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About 9liner

  • Birthday 10/21/1980

My Web Presence

  • Website URL http://www.mspaviation.org

Profile Information

  • Location Baltimore, MD
  • Gender Male
  • Primary Sector You Work In Fire
  • Your Primary Role Firefighter
  • Agency DCFD

Recent Profile Visitors

4,387 profile views
  1. Let me start by saying that I was not advocating layoffs. I was merely pointing out that this could be used by a particular agency to justify either laying off or not filling positions through attrition. Frankly, I am quite torn in this respect and I think this is where a true dichotomy exists within emergency services. A lot of us scream for less government intervention, less government spending, as long as it isn't at the expense of our jobs or our salaries. Now I personally believe that there are three elements of government which should be funded unequivocally. Schools, public safety, and public infrastructure. All other programs should be icing on the cake if there is money. That being said, with the fiscal climate which exists today, we cannot rely on the taxpayers for an endless source of funds any longer. Automation is going to happen whether we like it or not. Automation can, in most instances, eliminate the "human error" element. Now, I'm not saying computers are perfect all the time (they are programmed by humans of course) but I will speculate that the instances of human error vs. computer pale in comparison. Hell, our new Blackhawk helicopters can practically take off and land themselves. The pilots have been relegated to "systems managers". There are helicopters over here flying heavy lift missions, ferrying supplies, without any pilots at all. My point is, automation is something we can embrace and work with, or we can fight it kicking and screaming. I can guarantee you who is going to win that battle and, it usually doesn't end up on the side of the public servant. There have been plenty of instances where labor has refused to back down or negotiate and it usually doesn't end up well for the employees. That being said, sometimes we must embrace change for the greater good. I feel your pain, trust me. In my civilian life, I work and reside in the richest state in the country based on median household income. We claim 3 of the top 5 richest counties in the country. I have been on the job for almost 7 years now and I make less then what a Trooper in NY makes the day he crosses the stage. It is a right to work state and we do not have the holy grail of binding arbitration. Would I love to make more? Absolutely! But, I LOVE my job and sometimes we sacrifice in order to do what we love. I know it is hard to swallow but sometimes we need to take a step back and be thankful for what we have. I went for 3 years without a raise or a step. I am a step 4 when I should be a step 7. As a matter of fact, we spent the last 4 years with a 2% salary reduction. However, were able to avoid layoffs and were even able to put through at least 5 academy classes since '08. So, you can say we eat our own. And, maybe sometimes we do. That being said, It's not always about the singular person or the singular agency. Sometimes we need to take a step back and realize that we all work for a greater good. We need to remember why we do this job in the first place because there is not a day I don't love going to work. And frankly, they probably could have cut my salary 10% and I would still be doing what I love to do. Stay Safe out there fellas.
  2. Being that I've been out of touch with society for going on 9 months now, I decided to squirrel it up and peruse radioreference.com. I was scanning Wake County, North Carolina when I heard something odd on the Raleigh Fire Department dispatch channel and had to do a double take. Their alarms are dispatched by a computerized, female, voice. The dispatch provides all pertinent information: Location, nature of alarm, cross streets, Tac/Fireground/Response channel, and map grid. The entire process seems automated. This begs the following questions: Am I behind in the times? Is this the norm in a lot of other jurisdictions? I have been working in Emergency Services, in all capacities, for almost 15 years now, including a stint as a 911 dispatcher. Most telecommunications centers have call takers who are responsible for receipt of the alarm information and data entry. The information is then pushed to a "dispatcher" who assigns the appropriate units and transmits the alarm. While I understand the need for the human element for the call taking, response, and fireground, elements, does this not essentially eliminate the need for a "dispatcher"? This could have ramifications on policies, procedures, and more importantly, staffing levels. To me this seems very efficient and standardized. It seems that counties could adopt a system like this, eliminate positions, resulting in a cost-savings over the long-term. Any thoughts??
  3. Looks Awesome Brother. I want a ride someday!
  4. I have seen this video many times and it still makes me sick to my stomach. It drives me nuts when I hear "routine traffic stop". The public needs to understand that there is no such thing as a "routine traffic stop" in our line of work. This could have been any one of us. To all my brothers and sisters in Emergency Services: stay safe and always remain vigilant. R.I.P. Trooper Vetter
  5. It is my opinion that in the age of the "easy degree", a Bachelor's degree, and I would even proffer a master's degree, means less and less. A bachelor's degree today is what a high school diploma was 20 years ago. A bachelor's degree does not guarantee that someone has the maturity level or required decision making required for said job. This is precisely why many agencies look for that "well-rounded" individual. Just because you went to school for 4 years does not necessarily show a pattern of sound decision making and judgement. Merely, it shows you have started something and saw it through to the end. I have been in and out of college for the past 10 years of my life. I only have an A.A.S. and I'm 3/4 complete with my Bachelor's. However, in my last 10 years as a FF, Medic, Trooper, and Pilot I can honestly say those were MUCH more valuable experiences than a piece of paper which shows that I started something and saw it through to the end. I have attained many "hard to get jobs", two in particular, (Trooper and Army Pilot) without the degree. Whenever I have interviewed, I let my experience, knowledge, record of successes, and sound judgement speak louder than anything else. Granted, I have had to work my way up, so to speak, but in the end, the reward has been worth all the hard work and diligence. I have learned to be patient and things eventually work themselves out if you want it bad enough. To those of you intent on going to college and trying to obtain some public safety position: I would highly recommend that you do not limit yourself to your chosen career field. By this I mean steer clear of those criminal justice and fire science degrees. Speaking with many recruiters, they would prefer to see an individual with a non-related degree. Their premise is that THEY will teach you what you need to know to do the job safely and efficiently. Set yourself up for success in the future and consider your post-retirement options. This is especially important in today's budget-strapped times where our jobs are not nearly as secure as they used to be.
  6. This is precisely why you won't see those "young guys" being hired by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. Word in the hiring circles, is that it is very rare to find an 1811 (Special Agent) in any of the Federal Agencies who were hired below the age of 25. I have a few former co-workers who went federal. They were all told during the hiring process that life experience plays a major role in the decision making process simply for the fact that maturity comes into play. I have encountered plenty of young 20-somethings, with a masters level education, who have the moral standards and decision making prowess of a teenager.
  7. To me, these new "personal" cameras are merely an extension of the officer's in-car camera. We have been using in-car cameras since I came on the job in 2006. We are REQUIRED by policy to inform every driver that they are being "audibly and visually recorded" at the start of EVERY instance of contact i.e. disabled vehicle, traffic stop, collisions (situation permitting). We are also required to roll tape whenever we are responding code to an incident. While the recorder may be a PIA at times, it has saved my a** countless times from frivolous complaints. All of our patrol vehicles are required to have an operational camera. Being in a specialized unit now, our cars are not equipped with cameras and I can honestly say there are times when I still wish I had it. There are certain jurisdictions that actually require their officers to start a tape at the beginning of their shift and continue until they call out of service.
  8. Greetings and Merry Christmas from Andrews AFB, MD. 0700-1900 @ MSP Trooper 2.