Sunday, July 31, 2016

Busy Friday

Northampton Fire Department in South Amherst Friday 8:29 AM

If you or a loved one required an ambulance Friday morning Amherst Fire Department -- your local hometown providers -- would have relied on a neighboring professional EMS department to come to your aid. 

Hence the term "mutual aid".

In fact our friends in Northampton had to respond to a call in South Amherst from a 14-year-old who awakened with severe lower extremity pain. 

APD responded immediately (although they too were stretched at the time) and AFD's fire prevention officer  jumped in his vehicle and sped to the scene to assist until the Northampton ambulance arrived.

Unfortunately it's not all that unusual:  The needs of Amherst residents being met by a neighboring FD ambulance averages 78 times per year.

 AFD & APD on scene Northampton Road 8:10 AM for our friend Ethel

Over the next 12 hours AFD Dispatch would tone out on three separate occasions for off duty personnel or the Call Force to come in for "station coverage."

And even that only provides minimum coverage at the station, not enough to fully staff an engine in case The Beast came calling.

Why do you think they are a called a "fire department?"

Engine 1 with only 1 aboard (left) arrived to this on June 4th

Last month on a "routine" Saturday afternoon the first arriving engine at a major fire at Alpine Commons apartment building had only one firefighter aboard (the driver) and he could do virtually nothing until anther engine arrived from North Station with three aboard.

We were flat out lucky on Friday morning.  One day soon, our luck will run out.


Anonymous said...

Seems like it is time for a volunteer program system to back up the employees. If active community members step up and we provide some training, we can avoid hiring more perminant employees and the endless expense, but get most of the benefit. Many communities work this way.

It is easy to forget the safety risks of having to pay excessive taxes, which we already have. Excessive taxes drive families apart, send family members onto the roads to get crappy jobs at odd hours,in the most dangerous of places, just to earn a few more bucks to pay taxes. Excessive work is ruining our families and health, which can be avoided by shifting the common attitude that the public sector needs even more money when this group is already over the top in so many regards.

Amherst's biggest public funding need is to find town employees who know how to provide a better value. Once you spend $21k a year on students no one wants to hire, how can any other public venture in town be taken seriously? If you want more ambulences we need volunteers, donations and to limit other departments that waste in excess, like the schools and the idiots building rotaries...

Or find other ways to keep folks off the public ways, like lowering their taxes so they can be with their families safe at home. Lower taxes will have a great public safety and health benefit vs. Raising them to fund the problems of the excessive lifestyle currently being lived by the public employees of Amherst. You cannot even appreciate the few providing a value any more. They just seem like a bunch of greedy wasters when you include so many overfunded departments that cannot hack it.

Remember that folks that do not go out are also harder for the police to hunt, thus less arrests and less in jail/prison...which is another huge huge huge issue for the public sector, the obsession with locking us up in greater numbers than any other government on the planet.

The issue is not a lack of funds, it is lack of morals or oversight. The issue is too many demands for more funding.

This is like eating nails and then getting funding to cut them out of you vs. Not eating them in the first place. All Amherst wants to ask is who the best doctor is?

Nina Koch said...

There are other states that provide municipal services at the county level (especially states that have unincorporated areas). Maybe it's time to give that some thought in Massachusetts. To me, it doesn't make sense for each town to try to have its own police department, fire department, and school system. I think it ends up causing a lot of unintended consequences.

Larry Kelley said...

One HUGE problem is the state built the city of UMass In our little town and provided for a police department but not a fire department.

Anonymous said...

So why haven't you applied?

Anonymous said...

Paul T and his crew as well as Pelham fd baled me out friday evening with a very scary situation. An elderly friend passed out in my kitchen Friday
night. They were great and I Appreciated the professionalism and quickness of the response especially since initailly I had no idea if she was ok or would be ok. Thank you again AFD & PFD.
Becky Casagrande

Dr. Ed said...

10:24 has a point, sort of.

Much as there is a known (per 100,000) death toll for evacuations -- with officials having to balance that against the lives likely lost if they don't order an evacuation-- there inherently is an increase in fires/accidents when money gets diverted to taxes.

For example, even though my vehicle passed inspection, I just spent $600 on brake work. If I didn't have the money, I wouldn't have spent it.

Anonymous said...

We love our fire and police departments. They are overworked because they are expected to serve too many other towns. Mutual aid is one thing, but being the sole services for other towns is another. Our taxes here are so very high, at least we should expect a good response from these departments when we need one. They can't respond if they are in another town...or transporting very drunk students to the hospital.

How about a document that is attached to acceptance letters to UMass students, detailing what acceptable behavior is for students. This would need to be signed, notorized and returned with the student's check for payment for the semester. Then, the students would be expected to follow the predetermined rules to which they would have agreed. Simple? Perhaps. But, it might just have an effect.

We should do all we can to help our first responders. They need every bit of support and encouragement they can get for the noble jobs they do to serve and protect us.