Quite often due to staffing levels, it is not feasible sending 1 person in a car. Two of the three fire districts operate with 1 man ladder trucks while FDNY for comparison has 5-6 man ladder trucks. This eliminates his ability to go. The other apparatus often have 2 men on it, which stripping 1 man is also not practical. In addition, 2 of the 3 districts do not assign a member to ride around in an SUV. The ranking officers ride around on the truck, not in cars.
Any incident is classified as 1 call. The amount of resources that respond do not alter call volume. For example, if 3 police cars respond to a burglar alarm, it counts as 1 call, not 3. Same goes for FD. If there is a fire alarm and 3 apparatus respond, it is still only 1 call.
Both services respond on medical assistance calls because as stated the police department is the primary care agency, and they often do not have sufficient personnel available to handle solo. The fire department thus supplements and assists by getting resources on scene much quicker. In addition, it is not uncommon for all Greenburgh Police Ambulances and Paramedics from being tied up on other calls, and mutual aid resources responding, for example Ardsley-Secor VAC, or Scarsdale VAC. This often results in a minimum 5-10 minute delay. Fire department is on scene within 3-4 minutes of dispatch. An additional 6-7 minutes can surely mean the difference between life and death. Why would anyone not want both resources responding to ensure efficient response.
Salaries are salaries, its always amazing that the public service sector is bashed for their salaries while nobody cares to look at the politicians who make hundreds of thousands of dollars and don't have to work holidays, weekends, nights, or any day they feel like taking off. They don't miss children's plays, sporting events, or other activities. In addition, they don't go to work and put themselves in harms way. Yet their salaries are well in line with any police/fire department members. Let alone they often receive lifetime pensions for serving a single term in office!!! That means pension for life, for 4 years of service. Meanwhile, police and fire minimum retirement ages for pensions are steadily rising from 20 years of service to 25 and probably higher. So a politician can serve the public for 4 years, make 100K+ a year, then collect a pension for the rest of his life while a public servant must work 25 years or more, at the same pay rate, miss out on irreplaceable family time, and place themselves in harms way. Yet the public continues to attack salaries and pensions of these members. To me it sounds like were fighting the wrong fight View Comment
So far these comments contain numerous false and incomparable information. This article regards three districts while the Greenburgh police department covers numerous villages as well, so call volumes and budgets are completely non-comprable. In addition, police budgets encompass numerous other line items that cannot be cross-compared to fire budgets. Salaries are directly in line which you can compare on any of the websites out there.
With regard to calls, shopping, safety inspections, and other safety details are NOT considered calls. As you stated, a call is only one with "sirens roaring and everyone rushing to the scene of a fire or other emergency." Non-emergency details do not factor in with call volume.
Regarding concern of sending a crew out for lockouts or other assists, would you like the department to explain to you, a taxpayer, that they took 5 minutes longer to get to your loved one because they had to return to the firehouse to get the truck in case of a "real emergency."
With regard to Fire Commissioners being "paid so much," this is completely 100% inaccurate. Fire Commissioners in the three districts DO NOT receive a single penny or compensation in any form. It is a completely voluntary position that is elected by the public.
Duplicative resources are not dispatched on calls. The police department is the primary care agency for medical calls. However, the police department is often short staffed to handle all the emergencies occurring in town which results in a fire department response to assist.
"Call count" is directly a measure of need. High call volume provides fact of need for services. For example, if an office secretary cannot efficiently answer phone calls to a given office, there is a need for a second secretary. In this example, call volume is under a different meaning, but the basis is the same. More calls equals more need.
This issue will continue to be beaten to death in Greenburgh year after year after year. Consolidation has been proven to be ineffective at regulating or reducing costs. View Comment