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The Mayor's Fire Plan and the Stamford Vol. Fire Dept.

Director Gladstone clarifies some of the issues surrounding the Mayor's Plan for the Volunteer Districts.

As the newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Stamford Volunteer Fire Department... a joint venture of the Belltown, Turn of River, Long Ridge and shortly the Springdale Fire Company... I would like to briefly highlight the issues faced with the volunteer and career fire departments in Stamford.

First and foremost let me assure you the 4 departments in the Volunteer districts are viable, hardworking, and we all work very well together. We are presently working in committees to enhance recruitment, retention and cross fire training between the companies.

We are hardly a small operation- as we own six fire stations and the land beneath them. We own 11 Pumpers, 4 Rescue Trucks, 3 Tankers, 2 Ladder trucks, and assorted utility trucks, Chief cars, etc.

Our Volunteer personnel include more than eighty highly trained State of CT firefighters and medically trained EMR's, EMT's and Paramedics. We also have another 40 volunteers who provide administrative, training, legal help, accounting tasks and non-emergency volunteer help to the departments.

All of them, except the ten career employees in the Long Ridge Fire Co. volunteer their services for free to the greater Stamford good. Neighbors helping neighbors volunteering.

Our constituents overwhelmingly value our community service.  We provide not only public assistance for fire and emergencies, but also pump outs in floods, safety checks, car accidents, tree and wire down incidents, lock-outs, community programs, shelter and cooling operations, fire safety and anti-arson programs, open houses and community block parties.

We have been part of this community for 80-100 years. Neither strangers, nor "private companies" as the local union portrays us.

The volunteer companies have saved Stamford taxpayers millions of dollars by providing emergency services without the need to pay huge salaries and benefits.

With our economy at an all-time low, the Stamford Board of Representatives must carefully read the Mayor's Fire Plan and come to the realization that it is the only plan that makes fiscal sense.

It uses all the existing resources and it is the only legal answer. Frankly, changing the charter will not make the volunteer system go away… it will only try to change the district lines and create more lawsuits.  The legality of which, the volunteer companies have already won repeatedly in the courts.

Local 786 has spent thousands of dollars trying to wine and dine the Board of Representatives and convince the public that they can cover the entire city without any cost increase or taxing.

But wait a minute…If indeed that were to be true that would mean they are seriously overstaffed and over equipped.  Following that logic it would be easy to understand why they are attempting to take control of the volunteer operations.

They have used billboards, radio ads and web blasts echoing false information and scare tactics.

I doubt the public is aware that the union has declared the volunteer departments in Stamford a “rival” organization.  They have made it clear they want to us out of business... and are not interested in working with us. Over the past few months they have demanded our e-mails, meeting minutes and caused us thousands of dollars in legal fees to try to deplete our meager budgets.

Our experience, when the union houses paid men in volunteer firehouses they drive away the volunteers.  Mixed career and volunteer department’s historically only work when the Chief of the department is in charge of the career employees in their station.  The union obviously does not want their men to be controlled by Volunteer Chiefs.

Stamford taxpayers cannot afford what will happen if the union takes control of our fire stations... what with promotions, overtime and benefits and the loss of those 80 active volunteer firefighters.

And if the Mayor's plan does not go through, taxpayers will need to re-build or to purchase those fire stations, vehicles and millions of dollars worth of equipment that are privately owned by the volunteer companies. Under our state charter, we are required to liquidate all our assets, if and when, we are forced to close down.

I implore all citizens to carefully read Mayor Pavia's Fire Plan and demand that your representatives not create an unnecessary tax burden, nor change to a system that is neither needed, nor is it economically sensible.

As a homeowner in Belltown, I’m very comfortable that my taxing will go to support the Belltown Fire District. I do not wish to fund the Stamford Fire & Rescue Department. The mayor's plan is fair and equitable. My taxes will pay only for the services I receive.

If taxes are too high downtown, maybe those living downtown would be wise to scrutinize what they are paying for their fire service. What with promotions and benefits the Stamford Fire and Rescue has become a department that is currently overstaffed, over-equipped and let's admit it, very well paid.

Stamford firefighters on average are earning better than 80 thousand dollars plus overtime and additional benefits.  

I hope this clarifies some of the issues and explains why we have created the Stamford Volunteer Fire Department.  The Mayor understands the issues… Please contact your representative to make sure they do as well.  

 

Stephen Gladstone,

Chairman of the Board

Stamford Volunteer Fire Dept.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Larry Williams March 12, 2012 at 07:48 PM
And yes thank you here we go for getting him off the blog, im going into english class now so i can talk about firefighting
Here we go March 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Unfortunately this issue has brought out some of the worst in people. Everyone who has ever been on the internet knows when your having a hot button discussion, you type quickly, and therefore, badly. It doesn't make you ignorant. It makes you messy. As for my comment about this adam guy, Goerge seemed to be replying to an "adam", but I see no posts by someone of that name. I thought maybe the patch had deleted them or something.
Larry williams March 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Well i believe people are getting upset becuase they are starting to relize having union staff cover your dist is safer then volunteer coverage.. I think adam was talking about that.. And some people dont want to hear the truth..
Mike March 13, 2012 at 03:03 PM
tell the truth, I agree, the firefighters are paid too much, SFR is a perfect example. I think we should lower their salaries, it would make the taxpayers happy.
Mike March 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I don't think its a matter of having UNION Staff, it's a matter of having paid staff on duty 24/7. There should be staff 24/7 staff, I think that's what the Fire plans is for, it just doesn't have SFR Union included. I think the main opponents of the plan are the SFR union members because they don't get any a money out of this.
tell the truth March 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Well it seems Adam deleted all of his post...too bad he made some valid points.
Adam matzi March 13, 2012 at 06:37 PM
And i wrote my last name this time george)
Adam matzi March 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Hey sorry guys I didnt delete my posts somethig must of happend with the website , mike i agree with you union or not people meed better fire protection, i cant say stamford firemen will make more or less money i know some stamford guys and there all about life/saftey and fire protection they became firemen to help out obv there isnt alot of money involved i know im a paid guy myself. George was getting on my since i dont have great writing skills well sorry about that i guess people didnt like my comments, i wasnt talking nonsense just facts , sorry if i offended anyone but mr gladstone commented about f 786 takes over they will turn there house into a musuem by that being said obv there members arent worried about peoples lives just to have somewere to go and hang out , im not speakig for all volunteer departments but just becuase you hear someone sign on the air doesnt mean they have a full crew and thats not right for the residents that reside in volunteer districs , i use to be a dedicated volunteer i dont forget where i come from but whats right is right.. ( did i spell everything right this time!?)
Wrinkle dinkles March 13, 2012 at 07:38 PM
You tell him matzi whats right is right i say we get rid of all firedepts in the city get 20 medic stations to handle all medical calls and call mutual aid from greenwich,pound ridge,darien andnew cannan for fire calls will eliminate all problems in the coty of stamford
Here we go March 13, 2012 at 09:41 PM
And again mike...You say it's about the money, yet your mayors plan calls for the Volunteer drivers ( that are getting paid ) To be paid 10K MORE than sfrd firefighters and drivers. This is about going backwards to what you had. Unlimited overtime in the B district and NO OVERSITE of the personell..Period.
Mike March 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM
And again you speak from your arse. There has been nothing in the news that spoke of Paid firefighters for the volunteers to be paid more than SFR. To tell you the truth, I don't care, as long as their are paid personel at all of the departments and it's less expensive, I'm all for it. If SFR wants control soo bad, take a paycut and do the job for less money. I'm tired of hearing you people say "Give us money or lives may be at stake" "Don't trust the volunteers, we are paid firefighters we are the only ones who can save your life" , IT's all a crock of sheot, your not anything special, your just Union employees who do whatever they can to get more money from the taxpayers. I would rather have a private fire company in Stamford than the current Union SFR. It would be cheaper and we would still have the same fire response. You say the volunteers can't justify this whole plan, well I haven't seen anything that justifies your plan. The "BROWN PLAN" call for removing engines from shippan to north Stamford, doesn't make much sense now seeing what happened in Shippan with that fire that killed a family. So much for your brilliant plan. The volunteers have messed up to, no doubt about that, but no reports of a family being lost and I hope the volunteers realize that this could happen to them so they better get their sheot together.
Adam matzi March 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM
How is the stamford fire union members trying to get more money?? , if this pavia plan goes threw it will still cost alot of money , alot more then they keep saying , they never mentioned all the over time combination department paid personel gets... Its alot more then sfrd 1-300 overtime- combination is 1 - 9 guys for overtime. If sfrd took over as browns plan ot would prob be cheaper and how is that fair That some volumteer gets hired in the volunteer department amd gets paid all this money when the sfrd guys worked hard fpr there job and will basically always get paid the same. - correct me if im wrong about the money.. The volunteers always mess up people just dont hear about it..
Volly4lifd March 14, 2012 at 06:24 PM
All stamford needs is volunteers we dont need paid men we are doing it everyday , yeah its nice to has mutual aid from them but cmon do we really need it??
Volly4lifd March 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
We dont miss calls we always have a full crew. Perfect training people we never have problems....
Volly4lifd March 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I dont even know why we need mutual aid never missed a call yet and never will miss one
Sean March 14, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Wow anyone can drive a rig with just a driver and no boddies respond to the scene sign on the radio and say on scene . And you get a 100 percent call rate? Thats great. Great pride in what your doing....
Here we go March 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM
MIKE...Yes it is..and ive posted it in every other thread you posted on toprove it...and now i'm going to do it here. The plan clearley calls for the volunteer drivers to be paid 10 k more than SFRD drivers. Our drivers dont get paid more. And to volley4whatever..there is plenty of documentation of you guys missing calls. Now i'm not sure what Dept your part of, But they miss plenty of calls. Mike is just stiring the pot, like he always does, with lies...so mike, and the Citezens of stamford... Here is the link to Pavia's fire plan and how much it will cost.... http://www.boardofreps.org/committees/publicsafety/2010/items/ps28011/ps28011_qa_111114.pdf So, there you have it...proof mike is a liar. He knows this exists, it has been posted on other blogs on this website...every new topic that comes up he plays the same angle and loses.
Here we go March 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
With your record...yes
Here we go March 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
incorrect
Here we go March 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
incorrect
Volly4life March 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Bfd show me thr documents.. We make all of are calls
Volly4life March 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Tell them george
Donovan eversmith March 15, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I agree with wrinkle dinkles non of the depts deserve or represent the city of stamford they are all acting like a bunch of 5 year olds arguing over who has the later bedtime and to here we go you are an idiot
Here we go March 15, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Your free to feel which ever way you choose...the proof is in black and white. Mike said the new fire dept members would not be paid more than SFRD, while saying that we steal from the city. So I posted the facts. Sorry if you or anyone else can't handle it. That link shows the exact salaries of the new FD. If you choose not to read it, fine. But Mike and I have gotten into this argument before, and he is never able to back up his statements. That link proves what I said about the salaries.
Here we go March 15, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Your right...BFD does do a good job. That's well known. It's some of the other FD's that aren't making there calls. And that isn't saying I'm anti-volunteer. My beef is, if you say your a volunteer outfit, be one, make all your calls, like yours does. But as soon as you stop making 100% of your calls, you are failing as an organization, and therefore, should not call the organization a volunteer outfit when it is in fact a privatised combination department. ...And I might add, you do know that it will be your department holding the bag for recruitment of the volunteer ranks, right?
Mike March 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Show SFR's pay info idiot.
Mike March 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Call and complain then.
Paidman April 02, 2012 at 01:53 PM
One fire cheif the only thing that makes sense why is this even a discussion??
Gene April 04, 2012 at 12:11 AM
SFRD needs to take over , that will be the only benefit to this city.... If people don't relize that then they have problems....
FF joe May 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
The boards finally realized what's best....

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