Budget Developments, Good and Bad

I stand by prior criticisms of certain practices and (non)policies of Mayor Susan Menard. Nevertheless, she, along with other mayors and councils around the state grappling with a bad budget situation, has my sympathy.
Further, she and the Woonsocket City Council are to be applauded if this questionable practice is discontinued, though some of us continue to wonder why it was ever implemented, in Woonsocket and elsewhere.

Lambert said the city also intends to address the fatigue issue by abandoning a longstanding fire department policy of having an engine accompany every rescue run. He said the move would eliminate perhaps 7,000 engine runs per year, further easing the strain on manpower.

This idea, however, seems unnecessary, unenforceable and smacks of vindictiveness, even with the stated disclaimer.

Amid concerns that recent layoffs on the Woonsocket Fire Department will increase forced overtime and on-the-job fatigue, city officials disclosed Tuesday that they intend to prohibit firefighters from holding outside employment beginning in April.
“From our perspective we are just trying to relieve the stress on the overworked firefighters,” said city attorney Chris Lambert. “We don’t want to add to that.”

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rhody
rhody
12 years ago

The former seems reasonable, but the latter is just like the vindictive soul Woonsocket’s become familiar with.
You don’t propose cutting someone’s pay under threat of layoff, and then tell that person he or she can’t make up the money they’ve lost with side jobs.
But then again, Cianci in Manolos has no clue how real people deal with a struggling economy.

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

Further, she and the Woonsocket City Council are to be applauded if this questionable practice is discontinued, though some of us continue to wonder why it was ever implemented, in Woonoscket and elsewhere.
If you could guarantee that I’d never need more manpower than just myself and my partner, I’d agree with you.
But you can’t. Because like so many other people passing judgment on public safety professionals, you have no idea what actually happens when those trucks go out the door. Yet somehow you’re qualified to determine it “questionable”?

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
12 years ago

EMT,
Stop with your nonsense. If we put ads in the paper for your jobs, we’d have thousands of well qualified people responding. What does it take to be a firefighter? A high school diploma? A GED? Give me a freakin break. We’d have more qualified people than we’d know what to do with.
NOBODY is Indispensable. Especially a bunch of overpaid, fat pigs!
And just remember – we pay to train you! Who the hell do you think you are kidding???
And, when firefighters have “presumptive liability” the taxpayers have every right in the world to dictate you don’t have another job!

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

EMT, just so we’re on the same page, I was questioning the practice of sending a fire truck to every ambulance call. Me too. – For decades, big cities sent ambulances on calls without fire trucks. Many cities still do so. Some do, some don’t. I bet I can name more that do than you can that don’t. – Was there an increase in the number of lives and the number of people whose quality of life was saved after the practice of sending fire trucks along on ambulance calls began? Moving the goalposts already? There’s no way to quantify that. – If, indeed, another person is needed on an amublance, why can’t it be another EMT? It could be. However, I will grant you that for many calls, perhaps even most, three could be considered overstaffed. But there are plenty of times where three isn’t enough. As a result, it’s considered most efficient to have that manpower available, but it’s not necessarily most efficient to have it on the ambulance for every call. The ultimate problem is, you’re never know how much you’re going to need until you get there. “Man passed out” could very well be a cardiac arrest- 4 personnel will often be a good start for that call. “Difficulty breathing” could be because the patient weighs 350 pounds and lives on the third floor in the summer heat- two or three people may not be able to safety remove that patient from the building. Obviously you can’t staff each individual ambulance to handle a cardiac arrest on it’s own, because that level of manpower simply won’t be needed for most calls and is hence an inefficient use of resources. But that level of staffing MUST be available. “Send another ambulance,” you might say. Ok, which neighborhoods… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

Wait, wait, wait. EMT, aren’t you defending the need of a fire truck to be sent with every rescue engine call? Because you “might” need the additional help?
Then aren’t you contradicting yourself when you say “that level of manpower simply won’t be needed for most calls and is hence an inefficient use of resources. But that level of staffing MUST be available.”
I don’t understand. It’s *overstaffing* to add 1 EMT to the rescue, but it is reasonable to send 2 EMTs in the rescue and 3-5 firefighters on a fire truck? I don’t get it.
And again you wrote: “As a result, it’s considered most efficient to have that manpower available, but it’s not necessarily most efficient to have it on the ambulance for every call.”
What does “available” mean if you don’t want to send another rescue to the scene? Either the additional staff is sent automatically, or they’re not.
As for your other comment: “I bet I can name more that do than you can that don’t.” I found the definition of that right here

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
12 years ago

We all know what’s going on here. This is nothing more than one group – the union firefighters – that have a vested interest in sucking as much money as possible from another group – the taxpayers. We have long passed the point where we are discussing reasonable public safety issues. However the unions understand that cloaking their demands to suck more money from the taxpayers in “public safety” is a winning strategy.
But ultimately, because they became such egregious pigs, they have forced the public into asking the right questions.
The fact of the matter is there will always be more that taxpayers want. However, we are now at the point of asking what we need. And the truth is that we taxpayers don’t need the levels of “safety” that the union deviously claims.

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

It’s going to be very interesting some day if some EMTs come across an unconscious man somewhere and pull his ID that reads “Mike Capelli”. That might be one slow ride to the hospital.

michael
12 years ago

We would treat Mike Capelli like we treat every person who calls 911 for help; with respect and dignity.
A call from a person with chest pain, difficulty breathing, altered mental status or other potentially life threatening situations is considered Advanced Life Support, a fire company, all licenced EMT’s but without transport capabilities is sent along with a rescue, or ambulance. Anywhere from 2-4 people are on the fire company, 2 on the rescue. Since there are more strategically placed fire companies their response time is quick, usually under 8 minutes from the time the 911 call was made.
A call for stubbed toes, minor lacerations or any number of calls that are not emergencies are considered basic life support and just the ambulance is sent.
Fire department unions do not make the rules concerning responses. Never did, never will, that is an administration job.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

EMT and michael
Why do you patiently try to explain yourselves to folks like Mike Cappelli and the other opponents of public safety workers on your time. Isn’t it enough for you to maintain your composure and professional bearing with the people you encounter while working? Do you think that there can be any conservation when one refers to you as “egregious pigs”. Of course michael he would be treated with respect by professional firefighters but why would you make yourself available for further insult.

michael
12 years ago

Phil,
Every now and then I feel compelled to explain how things work in my chosen field. There are a lot of things I know little or nothing about, those things I reserve commenting on.
Mike Capeli serves a purpose, that being graphically illustrating the need for public sector unions. His commentary is priceless.

EMT
EMT
12 years ago

Why do you patiently try to explain yourselves to folks like Mike Cappelli and the other opponents of public safety workers on your time. If you notice, I haven’t addressed a single word Capelli has said, nor do I intend to. Monique is at least a rational, reasonable person. She’s worth my time and effort, because she’s at least willing to listen. And not foaming at the mouth, which makes conversation much easier. Wait, wait, wait. EMT, aren’t you defending the need of a fire truck to be sent with every rescue engine call? Because you “might” need the additional help? As I said. We don’t know what we need until we get there. If we need it, we need it NOW. (I’m speaking somewhat hypothetically when I talk about engine responses. My 911 experience is at a volunteer department that does not dispatch an engine to EMS calls other than car crashes. If I need help, I have to wait for people to come from home. It’s not fun.) I don’t understand. It’s *overstaffing* to add 1 EMT to the rescue, but it is reasonable to send 2 EMTs in the rescue and 3-5 firefighters on a fire truck? Correct. The majority of calls don’t necessarily require more than 2 people (though one more does make life easier during a 20-minute ALS transport). As I alluded to before, the calls that DO need more than 203 people need that extra manpower NOW, not 5 minutes from now- cardiac arrest, major trauma, critical medical, obese patient. I’d rather have 2 plus some calls with another 4 (and can cancel the additional 4 when they’re not needed) than be limited to a total of 3 on all calls. What does “available” mean if you don’t want to send another rescue to… Read more »

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

{If you notice, I haven’t addressed a single word Capelli has said, nor do I intend to. Monique is at least a rational, reasonable person. She’s worth my time and effort, because she’s at least willing to listen. And not foaming at the mouth, which makes conversation much easier.}
Emt
Here is where I can agree with you. I don’t think that his comments are worthy of a response. I cannot agree with you on the matter of Monique’s rationality.
Michael
Thank you for your response. His comments are not priceless. They are not worth anything at all.
Monique or whoever you may be this week
The question should not be if there are seemingly unnecessary rescue calls but are we equipped to respond to the necessary ones. We cannot trust our elected officials in all cases in this regard, evidence the last eight years of George W. Bush not to mention Mayor Cicilline, former Mayor Cianci, former Mayor Laffey, and Mayor Menard. Public safety unions are putting the public interest ahead of the politican’s interest.

michael
12 years ago

You are correct, Phil. I’ve learned to read the name of the commenters at AR before reading the comment. Some times I can actually skip the comment altogether, most of the time I just brace myself for the stupidity and consider the source before proceeding.

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