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View Diary: Greedy, Lazy Firefighters Caught on Tape Wasting Tax Money (199 comments)

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  •  Not for nothing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeconwell

    But this video doesn't really prove anything. It provides no evidence about whether any particular area has too many firefighters or not enough, whether they are overpaid or underpaid, or what. It's just a video of some firefighters doing a good job.

    Determinations about salaries, hiring more, or laying off fire and police must always be made by running the numbers and analyzing the staffing against the need and against funding availability.

    Such decisions should be made purely on the numbers and not on appeals to emotion, which is what this is at the end of the day.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 02:39:12 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, but think you should prove it to everyone (8+ / 0-)

      go live somewhere where the crime and arson rate are high, but they decide they can't afford to hire cops or keep fire stations open. Let us know how it works out for you. I'll be waiting.

      "I took a walk around the world, To ease my troubled mind. I left my body laying somewhere In the sands of time" Kryptonite 3 doors Down

      by farmerchuck on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 03:48:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you ever do anything but carp? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farmerchuck, mikeconwell, JVolvo
    •  For the record (6+ / 0-)
      Determinations about salaries, hiring more, or laying off fire and police must always be made by running the numbers and analyzing the staffing against the need and against funding availability.
      The video does address the fact that more fire crews are needed than the public generally believes.  (Point 13 above.)

      There is no talk of defunding San Bernardino, however numerous other departments have been defunded, including the Contra Costa controversy linked to above, as well as Massachusetts and many other areas.  I've also linked the Ipswich video.

      Such decisions should be made purely on the numbers and not on appeals to emotion, which is what this is at the end of the day.
      It's a bit maddening to be under constant emotion-based, fact-free criticism, and be expected to counter with pure facts and logic at all times.
      •  The problem here... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros

        ...is that the firefighters aren't really the people you should ask if you need more firefighters or should pay existing ones more. The answer will always be 'yes' (just like I would respond if you ask if I should get a raise).

        This in no way diminishes my respect and admiration for the work you do, but at the end of the day some disinterested third party has to weigh fire issues against other priorities and come up with reasonable tradeoffs.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 04:11:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That sounds logical (6+ / 0-)

          and for most industries it would be a logical statement.

          firefighters aren't really the people you should ask if you need more firefighters or should pay existing ones more. The answer will always be 'yes' (just like I would respond if you ask if I should get a raise).
          The problem is that this assumes the decision makers understand the work milieu, which is incorrect.  This is a highly specialized field.

          Furthermore, if you review the video below, something very obvious gets sort of glanced over:  the trucks are made to seat 6 (because that's how many would be on each apparatus if it were up to us to decide); however they generally roll with 4 (because we don't get to decide); that often drops down to 2 (in real life, all the time); except when it's only 1.  Like in the video below.

          I have to disagree that we need to let civilians decide how this stuff will be handled.  It would be great if you could defer to our expertise instead of thinking we're just trying to self-serve all the time.

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            I have to disagree that we need to let civilians decide how this stuff will be handled.  It would be great if you could defer to our expertise instead of thinking we're just trying to self-serve all the time.
            Sorry, no can do. The best you can do is try to make an argument to civilian oversight about your priorities and try to communicate the technical aspects as best you can. The same argument could be made (and is) by police, garbage workers, teachers, and all kinds of other public employees (and private employees for that matter).

            Everyone argues that only they understand their domain and no one else can possibly understand so oversight is impossible. It is a very dangerous and untenable argument. At some point you must be answerable to a civilian authority who has ultimate authority to make decisions.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 04:37:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right (6+ / 0-)
              Sorry, no can do.
              We're clear on that.  We have no input into how things will be done or what we'll get to work with.  

              We're clear that, as another poster mentioned below, the public doesn't care about how things actually work, they just want what they want.  And, as in Obion County, when they don't get it, they'll scream for our blood.

              And when you fight back, as I do, you'll get all kinds of people telling you how misdirected your anger is, how you're carping, how wrong you are about the media, as witnessed right here in the comments to this diary.

              You mentioned above that there should be a "balance," implying that the default setting is that we call the tune and you, the taxpayers, dance to it.  From my vantage point, the opposite balance is needed, since we have no input whatsoever -- including First Amendment protections.  You completely disempower us, then when the world doesn't run within the guidelines of your fantasy-based narrative, we're jerks.

              Libertarians, feh.

              •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                soros

                When did I say you didn't get input? You just don't get the final say: your employers (the taxpayers) do. But your employers would be stupid to not listen to your advice. (That being said, they have a perfect right to be stupid if they want to).

                 You completely disempower us, then when the world doesn't run within the guidelines of your fantasy-based narrative, we're jerks.
                I don't take an emotional position on any of this. All I want are good public services at reasonable prices.

                And re 'empowerment', you work for the taxpayers. We appreciate your expertise, we honor your service, but at the end of the day you work for us and in order for this thing to work we have to come to reasonable accommodations.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 06:19:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  . (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KenBee, Calamity Jean
                  (That being said, they have a perfect right to be stupid if they want to).
                  Like in Obion County, where they voted not to have a fire department because they didn't want to pay the tax?  OK, they do have that right.  BUT.  Then when stuff burns down, don't cry to the next fire department over.  Which is exactly what the rest of America did.  You can't have it both ways.  

                  Well actually you can, because we're not allowed to speak publicly.  So you can put us into an impossible situation then flog us when it doesn't work out.

                  I don't take an emotional position on any of this. All I want are good public services at reasonable prices.
                  Kinda seems like you just want to pay what you want to pay, and we're supposed to give you what you want on that, whether it's possible or not.
                  And re 'empowerment', you work for the taxpayers. We appreciate your expertise, we honor your service,

                  Enh.  Not so much, really.

                  but

                  I knew there was a "but" coming!  LOL

                  at the end of the day you work for us and in order for this thing to work we have to come to reasonable accommodations.
                  Right.  Well bottom line, what you think is reasonable on the paying out end may not look so reasonable on the delivery end.  That's not our fault.

                  This isn't like some other industry, where less personnel means a slight inconvenience.  When we're not allowed to establish working guidelines -- which we're not; reference your "at the end of the day" comment -- people die.  Bottom line.  This isn't a report that won't be filed on time, or a factory that will turn out 500 widgets instead of 1,000.  People. Will. Die.

                  •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                    Kinda seems like you just want to pay what you want to pay, and we're supposed to give you what you want on that, whether it's possible or not.
                    No, we're supposed to come to some reasonable agreement. But at the end of the day, like all employees, public employees take direction from their civilian leadership.
                    This isn't like some other industry, where less personnel means a slight inconvenience.  When we're not allowed to establish working guidelines -- which we're not; reference your "at the end of the day" comment -- people die.  Bottom line.  This isn't a report that won't be filed on time, or a factory that will turn out 500 widgets instead of 1,000.  People. Will. Die.
                    Perhaps, but not a good reason to give up civilian control of these matters. People may die all the time. Taxpayers still retain control. Otherwise we're slaves.

                    Public employees work for and are accountable to the public. The public calls the shots. Always.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 07:35:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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