06/04/07 120 W - + 12 - 15 CAD Change Today

As noted on another thread and incorrectly posted about yesterday, there was a CAD change this morning. County units are now being dispatched into the city as automatic aid. As explained to us, it's a "closest station" response. If a county department has a station that is closer to city property than a Raleigh fire station, one unit from the county station will be dispatched along with Raleigh. By way of example, Bay Leaf 123 was dispatched today to North Hills Drive off of Lynn Road. This change was initiated at the request of the city, we're told. And county fire-rescue officials only learned of the change last week. Ergo the seemingly incomplete communication. Let the questions begin...

I was actually under the impression that it goes both ways for city and county e.g. raleigh will go into the county if they’re closer e.g. E-28.
pal - 06/04/07 - 18:07

Our sources indicate that any city->county changes are pending. They are still working out details. I believe there are already some city->county responses on the south and east sides of the city, though.

I stand prepared to stand corrected, however.
Legeros - 06/04/07 - 18:09

Any city unit closer to our district than us goes along with us. It would be nice to see special units also go closest.
DHFD - 06/05/07 - 00:53

So will all these “new” calls be used to support the case for NOT closing currently obsolete fire stations? Is the City footing the bill for the additional fuel being used by County depts to answer city calls? Some of theses stations (that should have already been closed) are so imbedded within Raleigh that they’ll likely see a 300% or more increase in calls.
Concerned Taxpayer - 06/05/07 - 06:45

concerned taxpayer, I would love to know which stations you think are “obsolete”. Yes I do think there are some stations that dont run a large amount of calls, There are some stations that dont have much district left…Does that mean that we should shut them down and the taxpayer that was in that district suffer. I know, I know, the response to that is another station could cover that district. Is another station closer, do they have tankers, (since most of the areas don’t have hydrants) can they cover it for any less money? This is what is looked at when determining does a station close. We here at NH still run almost 400 calls IN THE COUNTY, IN OUR FIRST IN AREA. (station one area). Will the new response increase our call load, sure.
You ask who foots the bill for this “new response”, the city has been running into the county for some time now, and now with the county units running into the city, In my opinion it will be close to a wash…. If money is what you are worried about…please put a price on a life, we will be sure to bill the next one we save..
We fight everyday to keep the interest of the public, how they receive fire and ems service from the county fire stations…comments about closing a station, and who is paying the bill, while are important, fall just under how much toilet paper we have in the bathroom that day.

What you need to remember is that most if not almost all of us are “concerned taxpayers” also. Not trying to seem angry, i feel everybodys opinion is valuable, but get involved if you are concerned that much, state your name, be heard and fight your case. Becoming informed on all the issues that go on in the fire service would help also.(not trying to be a smart ***) Come by the station, love to talk.

Mikey, we ran 2 calls in the city yesterday. We were looking in cad and they must have most of the changes in, at least for NH. Every street (and then some) that we punched in cad, that was on the new response map had a dual response. Get ready for the calls…
lp - 06/05/07 - 07:36

Other than for RFD #28, Raleigh stations have been responding into the County for awhile now (in areas where they are closer). RFD #28 is the station that is pending, and it will be resolved as we refine the county station response areas (now in progress).
Chris (Email) - 06/05/07 - 08:05

Fuel; it’s called the cost of doing business…...unfortunately it’s a little expensive right now.
Silver - 06/05/07 - 11:05

RFD E-20 has been coming out into the county area with us (SCFD) where they are closer for a while. We have also been responding into Raleigh where we are closest. I know our response into the city is a little expanded based on Monday’s changes but I have not had a chance to look into it much. We have a good relationship with RFD and things work well for the most part. I am glad to see the change. The fast response by a closer county unit into the city will make a difference, just as we have seen with RFD coming into the county has provided added service to our public.

Just remember, we did not get here over night and change is slow sometimes and does not always work out like we thought (sometimes better and sometime not as well). Let’s give the system time to work and work out any bugs that are found. I am sure it will never be perfect, but I think Monday’s change is an improvement. Let’s give it some time before we beat it to death with negative comments.
Griggs - 06/05/07 - 12:38

Let’s just take the names off of all the sides of every fire truck. Then who is going to complain? As long a A TRUCK gets there is the whole purpose of this system.

Concerned Taxpayer…who cares who picks up the bill. Is that the first thing you ask when you call 911?

Just like Griggs said…there are going to be bugs…it will all work out eventually, as long as we work together.
Beach - 06/05/07 - 13:10

I’ll bet if one of “concerned taxpayers” loved ones was dying, he wouldnt care what was on the side of the truck as long as it got there. You cant replace a person, and in a cardiac arrest, minutes can save lives. Minutes in which a closer unit could be coming from one of those “obsolete” stations.
FLIP (Email) - 06/05/07 - 13:37

Wow, to be a “concerned taxpayer” you sure as h_ll have your priorities a little out of whack. We’re talking about getting the closest unit to an incident, not the cost of fuel. I can see the headline now; “Fire Department Refuses to Respond Because The Incident Was Too Far Away”. You’re reaching bro, and falling short. Come back to reality…
Silver - 06/05/07 - 15:46

Diesel fuel vs Preservation of Life and Property…that’s a tough one.
WC - 06/05/07 - 16:05

As pointed out in another section of this blog, by another reader…. http://www.kpho.com/news/13397618/detail..
Luke - 06/05/07 - 16:56

That is just wrong, on so many levels.
ff - 06/05/07 - 17:25

Such interesting comments.

With regard to the question of increased operational costs, is it reasonable to expect altruism on the part of the average citizen? When Joe/Jane Q. Public learns that their tax-paid services are being extended outside their tax district, it seems the question “who is paying?” is entirely expected. Why should we pay for them, they might ask? (And, of course, they will want the closest provider regardless at whatever time that they need such services.)

Efficiency also comes to mind amid these discussions. Good/better/best are relative terms, but efficiency can be measured. Well, once performance measures are agreed upon. What is the most efficient… arrangement of these resources? You cannot reasonably have a fire station on every corner, nor can you have one fire station for everybody, everywhere. Somewhere in between is the optimum.
Legeros - 06/05/07 - 19:02

Just curious, does the city-county assist in station move-ups on a consistent basis or is that only done during extreme situations?

I can certainly see both sides to this topic, as Mike pointed out above. I can especially understand the concern of the citizens who are protected by a “single piece” station, such as 28. If E28 goes out with the county on a medical run, who is around to cover their district inside the city? In a perfect world, I guess, the next closest unit (city or county) should be sent. If a county unit IS the next closest, send a city unit along with it.. just like they are starting in the county. However, I can see how this would start to tax ALL the resources in Wake County, if 2 trucks are being sent on every “who’s closer” call.
Luke - 06/05/07 - 19:23

Is this just for eng companies or does this include ladder and rescue companies from combo departments running into the city as well?
Mike - 06/06/07 - 00:02

Roger - 06/06/07 - 02:01

LP, thanks for the response. “I would love to know which stations you think are “obsolete”. Yes I do think there are some stations that dont run a large amount of calls, There are some stations that dont have much district left…Does that mean that we should shut them down and the taxpayer that was in that district suffer.” The Fire Commission adopted a criteria by which existing stations could be assessed and their futures fairly evaluated. To date, this has only been put to test at Western Wake #2 and no action has been taken. If a station costs the taxpayer more to operate than the district generates in tax revenues and no resident will have a resulting decline in response times from the remaining nearby stations, tell me why this station is NOT obsolete? And your definition of a “wash” is not a wash, it’s called taxpayers paying twice for something only the City taxpayers were getting the bill for before.

Beach, regarding your comments. “who cares who picks up the bill. Is that the first thing you ask when you call 911?” Buy a house, own significant real estate in this County. Then you’ll understand why someone has to care who picks up the bill. No, I call 911 (or will should the situation arise) without considering the cost, however when I see fire stations running less than a call a day, that studies have cited are (or are on the verge of being) obsolete, getting $250,000+ custom pumpers, $80,000 brush trucks, and tons of tax money being invested in facilities and not personnel – someone has to care. Years ago, I received what I would consider above average fire protection from my VFD for a tax rate of $0.065. Now, I pay $0.12 – nearly double what I was paying a few short years ago – and I see my dollars getting squandered on toys and niceties that translate into no improvement in service to my houses and buildings. Do the math.

Flip – see above; you are only obsolete if someone else can cover what you are covering as well as you can. Assuming of course that the potentially obsolete engine is staffed.

Silver – the headline is more likely to read “FD Personnel Additions Delayed Due to Increased Fuel Costs”

Again guys, I’m not trying to start a flame war here and I truly respect each opinion offered on this blog. Each of you has a perspective of this issue that is valid. I just want to expose you to one of someone who is intimately familiar with what goes on inside a fire station but currently living on the outside. Like as has been stated here before, the anonymity of posting is what gives this blog its value. I can take a stand and not have to worry about some fire chief looking up my address and knocking on my door being pissed off at me. I don’t condone personal attacks and the moderator does a great job of killing them off quickly. I have no expectation that anyone here agree with my opinions, just want you to read them and respond if you are so inclined.

Now back to work… so that I can pay my tax bill.
Concerned Taxpayer - 06/06/07 - 07:41

The challenges of our county fire service were perhaps best exemplified a couple years ago, when the results of the Tri-Data study were rejected outright and because the results (service-level observations and recommendations) were exactly the type of results that were requested. It was interesting, eye-opening, hilarious, and sad, all at once.
Legeros - 06/06/07 - 08:14

“Concerned Taxpayer”. Well put. Take that argument to the man across the street from our firehouse, who’s self proclaimed “Dream home”, burnt to the ground, when we didnt get dispatched. Or the cardiac patient who would have had to wait four more minutes for care when we were literally less than 100 yards away. We jumped it, you might say we wasted gas, I like to think we made a difference. Or when we responded with the city to a medical call, yes 2 companies to 1 sick call…such a waste…it turned out to be a code and all hands were needed to keep a fresh set of hands on the patient. Explain your dollars and cents to the families of someone lost due to slower responses. Like the family of one of my best friends who died on the street when a department didnt respond. It was out of their district. The manager from the pizza restaurant responded, but not the fire department. Politics. 12 cents.

I’ll just say that I keep this topic close to my heart, which is why I find it difficult to understand, that we’re offering better, faster, and possibly more care, not only to the citizens but to eachother as firefighters, and you’re talking about 12 cents. How hard is it to 10-19 someone? It happens all the time. But at least we know that the closest help got there sooner and possibly made a positive difference in someones LIFE. I’ll say it again, someones LIFE. Or 12 cents. I apologoze if I came off…however, and its not personal from me to you or anything like that, but I feel strongly about the subject and truely believe that there is no price too high. The imaginary line is GONE. And finally, we’re being allowed the chance to be the best fireservice we can be, for the people we are charged to protect. Volly, Paid, City or County, its all about the same thing.

F.T.M, P.T.B.,Remain Diehard, and be safe.
Flip (Email) - 06/06/07 - 09:33

Flip, WOW!!! I have to say, that was outstanding. With the joint responses that are now in place (and hopefully working like they should), we will ensure that units get on scene faster, and manpower will also be plentiful (especially with the new CPR protocols). I like this solution. I have to say, as of right now, I’m not for just letting one unit that is the closest handle the run, because of fluctuating staffing levels (I hope that came out right). That is something that we’ve beat to death. But, I agree, though “Tanager Rd.” is in the county, it is a baseball throw from RFD #20 (3.25 miles from Swift Creek FD). The way it is designed now, I think, is excellent. We respond, because we’re closest, and Swift Creek responds, because it’s “in the county”. All in all, the citizen will get the best service and care. And yes, it’ll cost a little bit of fuel, but isn’t that small compared to a life or someones’ property?

As far as tax increases, it’s going to happen. And, it’ll probably happen again. Look at it this way, my cousin that lives in NJ paid $14,000 last year for property taxes. My brother paid just under $10,000. This area is growing, with that are expanding costs for schools, fire protection, law enforcement; so taxes are going to increase.

Mr. Concerned Taxpayer, I agree with you that it’s ridiculous to pay $80,000 for a brush truck. However, $250,000 for an engine company is cheap. And, if the firehouse closes its’ doors, that pumper can be moved to another county station. We needed reliable equipment in the county, maybe not $80,000 brush units, but the pumpers were needed. Go talk to your county government and express your anguish, they’ll listen to you, not us.

Flip, good job. Except for the “diehard” reference at the end.

Silver - 06/06/07 - 10:15

Concerned taxpayer— Your comment saying “Get back to work, so I can pay my tax bill” I take that as disrespect towards public safety officials, but I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way…..

Like I said earlier, Can you put a price on saving your family’s life and property? Maybe you should have went to the hearing the other night to voice your opinion.

If you own “significant real estate, you first concern should be “Can a fire truck get here pretty quick”—-no how much will it cost me.
Beach - 06/06/07 - 10:57

If an area is in the city and due to the location does not get a county eng because the city is closer and it is in the city. If that 1st due eng is out on a call and the county eng is closer to the now 1st due eng (which is normally 2nd due) will the county eng be dispatched or does it not because it is not closer than the normal 1st due eng even though they are on a call? Did that make any sense?
Mike - 06/06/07 - 12:58

what difference does it make with what name is on the side of any apparatus responding to an emergecy call???? i believe this has become a full blown pissing contest!!!!!! get over it!
JDH (Email) - 06/06/07 - 14:45

What happens when RFD 20 responds to Tanager Rd for a cardiac, Swift Creek also responds their 3.25 miles and has a wreck at Yates Mill Pond rd. when RFD could have handled the call by themselves. 2 engines going to same call that should be single engine response is crazy. It is putting to many vehicles on the road wich is more chance of an accident. Flip side of this. If RFD is out on this call and another call in their first due comes in who answers it?
guest13 - 06/06/07 - 16:32

If someone is worried about liability when they step onto a fire truck – they need to stay at the house.
guest - 06/06/07 - 16:59

Hopefully, our very professional, well-trained and well qualified emergency vehicle operators can respond to calls without wrecking their vehicle or someone else’s. Running HOT to calls doesn’t mean you have to drive aggressively or crazy – the devices are just requesting the right-of-way.

I think the concerns about liability are probably over-stated. In this county anyway, the fire and EMS drivers are pretty competent.

Skip Kirkwood (Email) (Web Site) - 06/06/07 - 17:21

Oh guest13, what if the sky was green? What if nobody ever got sick anymore? What if nobody was careless and caused a fire? Give me a break, don’t play the “what if” game.

The answer to your question is simple, Ladder 20.
Silver - 06/06/07 - 18:29

Mike, it appears that this is not the case now. Unfortuantly at this time this change doesn’t take into account city terriotry that the county would be the SECOND closest station, so when that city station is out on a call at this time that county station wouldn’t respond or at least wouldn’t be dispatched.
Roger - 06/06/07 - 18:49

oh by the way,,, i can think of alot of other ways our tax money is being mis-used, those that should make us way more “concerned taxpayers” WE should funnel our time and energy on getting to the bottom of these problems instead of worring about who’s department responds to an emergency!!!!!!! i live in johnston co and if needed,,, i dont care which dept shows up,, at least someone is there to help me and my family!!!!
JDH (Email) - 06/06/07 - 18:54

Beach – I meant no disrespect so please do not take it that way. The blundering school system will never be eclipsed in their ability to squander a tax dollar, not that I was disrespecting the hardworking teachers of our community either.

One point for discussion is the acceptable rate of loss of property and loss of life in our community? If we truly were seeking a zero to each question, we’d have 100’s of ambulances on the street and a fire station (with a ladder and a 3000 gallon tanker) no farther than 1 mile from each other. But zero to either question, while noble in its intent, is not realistic under any circumstances – at any cost. So what standard is it that the fire service in Raleigh and Wake County is seeking to attain? Your thoughts gentleman.

Mike was very accurate in his statement that Wake County paid untold thousands for a well-respected Fire Service consultant to do an assessment… “the results of the Tri-Data study were rejected outright and because the results (service-level observations and recommendations) were exactly the type of results that were requested”. No Mike, it was just sad. The GOBC came face to face with the reality that it was time to start acting like the fire service in a metropolitan county of nearly 1,000,000 people – and rather than deal with the change, they “rejected outright” the ideas.
Concerned Taxpayer - 06/07/07 - 07:55

The change made the news: http://www.nbc17.com/midatlantic/ncn/new..

As speculated at the start of this thread, some county departments have certainly seen a jump in calls. Will that affect any departments with stations that are or will be examined for closure? I would think not. Based on what I have observed, the present station closure criteria examines call volume within a station’s first-due territory. Call volume for automatic aid is weighed less so, or maybe much less so. (Such weighting might have been one of the criticisms of the examination process, as it played out in the last year with Western Wake Station 2.) Should stations be closed? If yes, should all calls (first-due versus automatic aid) be equally weighted? My opinion is… optimum. Whatever optimizes the system is best for the system.
Legeros - 06/09/07 - 05:41

And what does an “optimum” fire-rescue system look like? Find common ground there and we really might get somewhere!
Legeros - 06/09/07 - 05:45

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