Pa Fire Police
What incentives do we offer to attract people to become Fire Police? Across Pennsylvania, the same concerns are raised - Fire Police are treated poorly. Fire Companies balk at buying the equipment we need - our favorite story is the FD that spent $2200. on murals for their tanker commemorating 9-11 only to turn around and deny a $1500 arrow board for their donated Traffic Unit. or anther FD that spec'd the chrome wheel inserts for their new Engine at an $1800 cost, moments after denying $600 for the Fire Police to purchase cones - especially when they had NONE that were 28" or reflective.
What's really surprising is all of the "it costs money to equip a firefighter" charts available (google it). When you total the signs, cones, barricades, etc needed to stock a FD, the cost is just under $9000. Yet, according to the firefighter equipment charts, it costs anywhere from $8600 to $14000 to equip one firefighter. Not asking anything away here, but the Fire Commissioner's annual grant is more than $9000, so there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE why each FD has denied FPO's the tools to do their job....
Don't even get us started on vehicles! We've never seen a cop told to use his own car for patrolling. We've never seen an EMT told to take a sick person to the hospital in their own car. Firefighter's don's have to bring their own ladders, water, or hoses to fight fires. Even the township guy putting up new street signs doesn't use his own vehicle. So why are we using our own cars??? Especially with the price of gas these days!
We've let ourselves get walked on, because our generation grew up sacrificing for everyone else. Our parents or grandparents went through the Great Depression and we learned directly how bad things could be. We learned the value of saving "for a rainy day". We used our own cars and bought our own equipment because we had the sense of community that has vanished over the past three decades. Now it's expected of us to be in the background and be quiet, while others plot fancy new fire trucks with chrome wheels and a multi-color murals. We never learned to say "enough is enough)".
Of course we have no guidance. The motto of the Pennsylvania Fire Police Association should be "Status quo's the way to go!" as they have done absolutely nothing for us over the last twenty years. NO wonder their memberships declining! This organization thinks recipes are more important for their Newspaper then articles about how the laws are changing! We're talking about an organization that fought having a website, and doesn't want to expand the site or put relevant material on it! They have NO voice in Harrisburg, and numerous times dropped the ball on new regs, rules and Legislation. In all fairness, more has actually come out of this group in the past few years, so hope springs!
So, who can do our job? We're aging so fast that we'll be too old in 10 years to hobble out of the way of traffic.