04/10/13 257 W - + 7 - 1 Morning Reading - April 10, 2013

Good morning Raleigh. The yellow haze is here and so is the heat. Get those rehab supplies (further) stocked. Two local stories for your Tuesday enjoyment. The Eastern Wake News continues its coverage of local fire departments, which articles appearing every couple weeks or so. Guess the east side's been "newsy" lately.

So Wake Forest is getting an elliptical tanker presumably to replace the falls tanker that is going to Zebulon (yes, it is a pumper-tanker, but falls called it a tanker). Where are the savings coming from if another piece of equipment is being purchased anyhow?
Curious - 04/10/13 - 13:01

This County is growing leaps and bounds so adding units to a fleet is very understandable.
BamBam - 04/10/13 - 14:55

To an extent I agree; my main point is that it cannot be touted as a cost savings measure when it clearly is not.
Curious - 04/10/13 - 22:01

If the County looked at what is really being utilized, and not just occuyping space in a bay, I think that we’d see more moving around of trucks and less buying of trucks. The system is flawed.
Realist - 04/12/13 - 00:52

@ curious,

This is how I view the county saving money by reallocating the Wake Forest pumper. If I am reading all this right Wake Forest is purchasing a elliptical tanker, Zebulon needs a pumper and after the tanker is purchased Wake Forest will be left with an extra pumper. So by moving the Wake Forest pumper to Zebulon, the county does not need to purchase a new one for them. So that is where the cost savings would occur buying one new truck instead of two. I think I now may be confused from just typing that!
Watson - 04/12/13 - 13:04

I agree no need. ISO says they need it, but in reality they don’t. However, in order to not screw the taxpayers with super high insurance rates they have to have them all. Now if the county went to a countywide ISO rating, and not individual ones by department then you could absolutely start eliminating vehicles.
FD - 04/12/13 - 20:09

The ISO rating is not completely measured by the number of trucks… BUT it does affect a larger portion of the rating (FSRS elements of “Fire Department” and “Water Supply”). For comparison, the minimum requirements (9S/9E) from OSFM requires 1 pumper and 1 tanker (and equipment) per station; and All departments MUST meet the 9S minimum to be a FD in NC. http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Ratings_and_In.. Wake Co. is scheduled for their 9S inspections in May-June.

For ISO ratings greater than 9 (overview): http://www.isomitigation.com/ppc/2000/pp..
A.C. Rich - 04/13/13 - 09:35

I think a lot of the departments just do not understand ISO and go by hearsay and assumptions. Not completely their fault as it is confusing. Perhaps all of the chiefs etc need to have an ISO class to get the actual facts to make determinants about what they need/don’t need and what they need to do/don’t need to do.
FD - 04/13/13 - 14:48

With regard to the trucks (and stations and people), any of our county (or city, even) fire departments fall into one of three categories: they have sufficient resources (are right-sized), they have too few resources, or they have too many resources.

I’m guessing that it’s the rare fire service leader that willingly admits to (or acts upon a) surplus of resources. (Except in emergency circumstances, gross surplus, etc.) Rather, they’ll probably underplay any overstock, and as a hedge against future, leaner times. (Because the supply and demand does change. Revenues rise and fall, as do call volumes. And when capital assets are removed, they can be darned difficult to reacquire.)

What’s required then to turn a too-large fire department into a right-sized organzation? That’s the magic question, isn’t it?

(And those very labels are subject to subjectivity. I’m using “too large” and “right size” loosely here. Someone smarter than me can validate or disqualify the previously expressed opinions. Heck, a room full of people might disagree on what “right-size” should really be…)
Legeros - 04/13/13 - 15:11

Every department I work at all I hear is DOI this ISO that. Lady’s and Gentlemen DOI and ISO dont put fires out. I wish these chiefs would quit worrying about that and get out from behind a desk and get on the engine. DO WORK!!!!!
BamBam - 04/15/13 - 17:10

BamBam, I also would like some insight on how run a department and quit worrying about ISO. I agree that DOI/ISO does not put out a fire. ISO does tell me what I need to be considered a fire department in NC. I have a boss that wants a lower rating to help draw in new business. The new business will help bring in tax dollars that help keep the FD able to operate at an expected service level. Next time you feel like us chiefs need to get out from behind a desk and “DO WORK” walk across the street and look at your fire station and the work the chiefs have done for you. I’m confident no genies or magic lanterns were used to get you what you need to do your work.
Chief Officer - 04/16/13 - 00:49

Also see this thread, for a concurrently developing discussion on the county fire service system, http://legeros.com/ralwake/photos/weblog..
Legeros - 04/16/13 - 09:35

Don’t forget, we are an insurance based industry. ISO is the current standard of capability in that industry, so that’s what we have to follow as the measure. It is what is is…
A.C. Rich - 04/16/13 - 20:24

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