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Bnechis

Scotland Merges all Fire Depts & Police Depts

38 posts in this topic

You'll never hear me argue against consolidating/regionalizing fire services, but a federal agency dedicated to general policing is prohibited by the Constitution, if I'm not mistaken, under the 10th Amendment. I also wouldn't argue for a national fire service because as of late it seems like there's not much the federal government does well, but County/Regional departments are a no-brainer to me.

There's no reason NOT to regionalize fire services, we'd be providing a much more uniform service across a larger service area and population and make better use of the limited resources we have at our disposal. The ironic thing is all the people who want to retain their "turf" don't realize that in most regional fire service models (IE: PG County, Baltimore County, etc) you're MORE likely to get sent to jobs way outside your first due, and your company retains its individual identity and Officers, albiet with some more stringent requirements on training/certification... but alas, here we are.

Edited by SageVigiles
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I agree with your point and in some cases it has to be done. As people say better on your terms then on someones elses..like politicians.

One other thing to keep in mind the nation is smaller then the state of Maine, with alot less tradition driven mindsets and organizations. The task was probably alot easier to accomplish.

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I agree with your point and in some cases it has to be done. As people say better on your terms then on someones elses..like politicians.

One other thing to keep in mind the nation is smaller then the state of Maine, with alot less tradition driven mindsets and organizations. The task was probably alot easier to accomplish.

It is just an EXAMPLE. Yes, the nation is smaller than the State of Maine but WESTCHESTER, NASSAU, SUFFOLK, PUTNAM, ORANGE, DUTCHESS are also a lot smaller than the State of Maine so why don't we do something about it? Imagine if the 300+ departments in these counties became county sized regional departments???

The things that could be accompished would be amazing!

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You'll never hear me argue against consolidating/regionalizing fire services, but a federal agency dedicated to general policing is prohibited by the Constitution, if I'm not mistaken, under the 10th Amendment. I also wouldn't argue for a national fire service because as of late it seems like there's not much the federal government does well, but County/Regional departments are a no-brainer to me.

There's no reason NOT to regionalize fire services, we'd be providing a much more uniform service across a larger service area and population and make better use of the limited resources we have at our disposal. The ironic thing is all the people who want to retain their "turf" don't realize that in most regional fire service models (IE: PG County, Baltimore County, etc) you're MORE likely to get sent to jobs way outside your first due, and your company retains its individual identity and Officers, albiet with some more stringent requirements on training/certification... but alas, here we are.

I don't think anyone is advocating a national FD here in the US. I think most of us would settle for regional departments at approximately the county size.

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Wasn't there a report or study done on consolidation? If so can someone direct me to the link to it? Thank you.

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Wasn't there a report or study done on consolidation? If so can someone direct me to the link to it? Thank you.

Here's one study about consolidation of 10 southern Westchester FD's:

http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2009WP/2009graphics/firereport.pdf

E-911 Center Consolidation Study:

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo33158.pdf

The 10 departments studied protect a resident population of 247,094 covering an area of 49.47 square miles. If this area was a city it would be the third most populated city in New York State following New York City and the City of Buffalo. Currently, these 10 departments operate 130 vehicles out of 25 fire stations with 604 uniformed firefighter positions (599 of which are filled and 5 of which are vacant) and 24 civilian employees at a cost of $88.1 million per year. The study looked at both enhancing cooperation and the possibilities of consolidating services. The study group quickly determined that all of the departments work well with each other, with several departments sharing the cost of training and communications. Joint purchasing is an additional area to consider, but the cost savings are relatively nominal (less than $100,000 per year). Consolidation would significantly improve fire prevention and suppression services with the potential to save substantially more money over time.

From: http://www.pace.edu/dyson/research-and-resource-centers/academic-centers-and-institutes/michaelian-institute/michaelian-institute-and-westchester-fire-chi

If I'm correct, there are several NYS laws that prevent consolidation. <_<

Cities are required to provide fire protection

Villages must also provide fire protection. A village may (1) have its own fire department, (2) contract with the fire department of another municipality, (3) contract with a fire district, or (4) form a joint fire district with a town and other village.

State law does not allow towns to provide their residents with fire protection as a municipal function. Instead, fire protection is provided either by a fire district or through creation of a fire protection district

From: http://www.nyslocalgov.org/pdf/Fire_Protection_in_NYS.pdf

Edited by firedude

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Those laws are easily amended IF there's a drive to do so. Nobody is going to go out and do it unless they're being lobbied to and right now all the lobbying is AGAINST consolidation/regionalization.

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I don't think anyone is advocating a national FD here in the US. I think most of us would settle for regional departments at approximately the county size.

I don't think anyone is advocating a national FD here in the US. I think most of us would settle for regional departments at approximately the county size.

Both of our fire service careers will be long over when this happens. You will have a better chance of a few (2 or 3) neighboring Depts getting together to form one new dept then a county dept.

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Consolidation works in Port Chester & Rye Brook ? We go there for money made on the backs of the Firefighters and Rye Brook does'nt come unless called ! WHAT ?

Edited by PCFD ENG58
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It is just an EXAMPLE. Yes, the nation is smaller than the State of Maine but WESTCHESTER, NASSAU, SUFFOLK, PUTNAM, ORANGE, DUTCHESS are also a lot smaller than the State of Maine so why don't we do something about it? Imagine if the 300+ departments in these counties became county sized regional departments???

The things that could be accompished would be amazing!

To paraphrase your statement: The things that aren't being accomplished now are what's really amazing.

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Thanks for the link. I actually was aware of the study that targeted Southern Westchester. Has a study been done for the rest of the county ?

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I agree with your point and in some cases it has to be done. As people say better on your terms then on someones elses..like politicians.

One other thing to keep in mind the nation is smaller then the state of Maine, with alot less tradition driven mindsets and organizations. The task was probably alot easier to accomplish.

Your 1st statement is 100% on the money. And clearly this is what is happening here now.

It may be smaller in area, but it does have 3x the population. And I was using it to compare regions, not a state wide or national service. I spent time riding with them and in some ways their traditions are stronger than ours. It was easier to accomplish because of their organization, because they already had done it and because there was a lot less "turf".

It is just an EXAMPLE. Yes, the nation is smaller than the State of Maine but WESTCHESTER, NASSAU, SUFFOLK, PUTNAM, ORANGE, DUTCHESS are also a lot smaller than the State of Maine so why don't we do something about it? Imagine if the 300+ departments in these counties became county sized regional departments???

The things that could be accompished would be amazing!

Dutchess 297,739

Nassau 1,341,033

Orange 373,551

Putnam 99,718

Rockland 312,520

Suffolk 1,494,388

Westchester 950,283

Total 4,869,232 (Note I added Rockland and we need another 425,768 to equal Scotland)

Scotland 5,295,000

Nice comparrison.

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If I'm correct, there are several NYS laws that prevent consolidation. <_<

Dinosaur:

"Those laws are easily amended IF there's a drive to do so. Nobody is going to go out and do it unless they're being lobbied to and right now all the lobbying is AGAINST consolidation/regionalization." (Sorry the quot got cut off)

They do not prevent it, they just make it very difficult or if you are looking for an excuse not to do it, its a great excuse.

Well said

Edited by Bnechis
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Consolidation works in Port Chester & Rye Brook ? We go there for money made on the backs of the Firefighters and Rye Brook does'nt come unless called ! WHAT ?

That was never a consolidation...It was a quilt (patchwork)

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Your 1st statement is 100% on the money. And clearly this is what is happening here now.

It may be smaller in area, but it does have 3x the population. And I was using it to compare regions, not a state wide or national service. I spent time riding with them and in some ways their traditions are stronger than ours. It was easier to accomplish because of their organization, because they already had done it and because there was a lot less "turf".

Dutchess 297,739

Nassau 1,341,033

Orange 373,551

Putnam 99,718

Rockland 312,520

Suffolk 1,494,388

Westchester 950,283

Total 4,869,232 (Note I added Rockland and we need another 425,768 to equal Scotland)

Scotland 5,295,000

Nice comparrison.

For the hell of it put in Bergen County NJ, geographically in the mix. Also a patchwork of multiple Dept.s and over 50 stations. A population of 911,004. That puts us way over.

Edited by spin_the_wheel

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Wasn't there a report or study done on consolidation? If so can someone direct me to the link to it? Thank you.

Here is a link to a NYTimes article from February 28, 1988 regarding the Westchester 2000 report http://www.nytimes.com/1988/02/28/nyregion/westchester-2000-a-five-year-endeavor-evolves-into-action.html.

Twenty five years later and they still can't play together.

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But if we all merged then I couldn't still have my own sand box.

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there is not any noticable change to frontline services. its mainly been support and senior management thats been affected. i.e less workshops and one chief fire officer instead of eight. as for the police. what they have done is taken away the eight independent forces and replaced them with thirty two divisions.

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If you look on Scotland's website, the one new department covers 4 major areas but not the entire country. The less populated areas have some combination of paid on call, paid per call or volunteer departments.

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the Scottish fire and rescue service covers the whole of scotland. it has a mixture of wholetime, wholetime/retained, retained andnd volunteer stations.

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you may also like to know that scotland has had a national ambulance service for many many years.

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Making a regionalized "County Fire District" is an easy way around those rules, right??? You are still only forming a fire district yet this one would be county wide and easier managed.

I believe that is the only thing that will save our county fire service here. My department has only 9 interior qualified firefighters, 6 of us are officers yet you go 10 minutes south of us and they have over 50 members, 3 engines, tanker, heavy rescue, 95' tower, brush unit, gator rescue atv, 2 ambulances, ALS fly car/captains vehicle and average 500-600 calls a year. We can barely get 3-4 FF's to a call with 2-3 rigs and they can cover two calls at once (have seen them do it). Regionalize our county and half of their members instantly became eligible to respond to our station for calls to get rigs out the door faster with more qualified personnel then before. I see nothing wrong with that! And I am an assistant chief of my department, I could care less if another larger department, more qualified with more trained members and better equipment comes in and takes over my sandbox...I will still be in the box playing, just with more friends and better toys! :D

Well said Chief. The problem lies with the older guys who dont want to give anything up. I will use my Dept as an example. We do about 1200-1300 fire calls (this includes MVA's) and about 300 ambulance calls. We have village Departments that borders us. One does under 100 calls a year with a square miles of 0.10 and the other about 250 alarms and a square miles of 0.19 with a combined population of about 3000. Both of these departments firehouses are blocks out of our district. If you were a younger F/F that really loved being a firefighter, why in the world would you not want to combine with a larger Dept where you would do 10x the amount of runs?

The future is really up to the younger officers coming up the ranks to see the light and be the guy or gal to make the change. One of these above mentioned departments is very close to a tipping point. Another Village Dept that borders them on the other side of us is actually running dual response with them on all alarms. Rumor has it they only have 3 interior firefighters.

Edited by spin_the_wheel
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I could care less if another larger department, more qualified with more trained members and better equipment comes in and takes over my sandbox...I will still be in the box playing, just with more friends and better toys!

It also mean you get more qualified better equipment faster to your house too in the unfortunate event you need them.

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Making a regionalized "County Fire District" is an easy way around those rules, right??? You are still only forming a fire district yet this one would be county wide and easier managed.

equ

Sort of.Stat law would alow this to cover all incorporated & unincorporated towns (including villages). But current state law requires Citys to provide fire protection. Now if you have only 1 city in the county, they could legally provide coverage to the district "By contract" which could (if negotiated) include some/all of the existing depts.

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there is not any noticable change to frontline services. its mainly been support and senior management thats been affected. i.e less workshops and one chief fire officer instead of eight. as for the police. what they have done is taken away the eight independent forces and replaced them with thirty two divisions.

That's what I picture a combined Westchester FD to look like 1 Chief instead of 8, but the 7 that are left are probably needed just because the dept is bigger. For example, the Resource Management Leader now has to order say 1000 sets of turnouts instead of the old 150. Instead of one training officer you now need a Trailing Staff

Martin; What is the official name of Scotland's new merged fire brigade?

Edited by wraftery

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That's what I picture a combined Westchester FD to look like 1 Chief instead of 8, but the 7 that are left are probably needed just because the dept is bigger. For example, the Resource Management Leader now has to order say 1000 sets of turnouts instead of the old 150. Instead of one training officer you now need a Trailing Staff

Martin; What is the official name of Scotland's new merged fire brigade?

This is a what a lot of people forget about consolidation and mergers. When you merge multiple smaller agencies you end up with a larger agency. If it is done wrong, you end up with a bloated, slow-moving bureaucracy. Think the kind of place where ordering a roll of toilet paper requires 3 forms and a safety training video

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Of course you'll need senior leadership to take care of other things, but I'd honestly welcome a robust Training Division that ensures training is uniformly provided among every member in the region. That would actually be fantastic. Think of what could get accomplished if all these Chiefs and Assistants had specific areas responsibility and weren't getting pulled in 13 different directions at once to put out "administrative fires."


If we're all working in a concerted effort instead of competing for resources, I don't see how that could be bad.

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What is the official name of Scotland's new merged fire brigade?

According to http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/public-safety/fire-and-rescue-services, the name is Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. More info can be found at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Fire_and_Rescue_Service.

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