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(Yahoo)   The mayor has ordered the city's firefighters to get off their lazy asses, cut grass and trim shrubs while on duty   (news.yahoo.com ) divider line
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4512 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jun 2007 at 4:28 AM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-06-02 04:31:15 AM  
/shrug

Better than posing for calendar photos..
 
2007-06-02 04:39:14 AM  
us.movies1.yimg.com

NOT amused.
 
2007-06-02 04:42:57 AM  
"Sup, we want you to run around in the summer heat doing yard work for the city. Then at a moments notice, assuming you actually hear it, go head out to a burning building. lazy sumguns."

I will eat my own foot if the mayor so much as touches a riding lawn mower. He might as well have said, "Hey firefighters, whitewashing this fence is SOOO fun"
 
2007-06-02 04:43:08 AM  
Good for him.
 
2007-06-02 04:46:22 AM  
STFU, GBTW, and cut my lawn
 
2007-06-02 04:47:26 AM  
Brewer said..."Actually, that looks like fun," he said. "I might get out there and cut some grass myself."

Yea, the Mayor ought to, rather, "get out there" and risk his life fighting a fire or two. I wonder how "fun" that looks like to him?
 
2007-06-02 04:49:37 AM  
And stop stealing my water...

www.youthink.com
 
2007-06-02 04:51:08 AM  
Gee, wouldn't it be ironic if, on the first day the firemen were pulling weeds, the MAYOR'S house caught fire, or the mayor's car caught fire, or the mayor's office caught fire, or the mayor's house caught fire... again...
 
2007-06-02 04:51:26 AM  
As an arsonist, I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2007-06-02 04:54:54 AM  
"We're firefighters, not service workers," union vice president Rick Razek said, stretching as he awoke from a midday nap. "It jeopardizes our citizens and will absolutely hinder our...(yawn)...response time. We didn't get into this business to, you know...uhh...hang on..." he said, eyes glazing over as Oprah took the stage on the large LCD television provided by the city.
 
2007-06-02 05:07:50 AM  
Sounds like a pretty good time for an outbreak of blue flu and maybe a slow code on bullshait calls like dumpsters, cars and politician's property.
 
2007-06-02 05:23:33 AM  
Come on, guys.

Firefighters have to be ready to pull your sorry A$$ out of a burning building at a moment's notice. A firefighter myself, I can tell you that a consequence of constant readiness is near constant waiting.

Short story long: Firefighters, like Chuck Norris, don't sleep: they wait.
 
2007-06-02 05:39:20 AM  
isn't that what illegal immigrants are for?

/they do jobs that even firefighters won't do
 
2007-06-02 05:41:43 AM  
Beats getting drunk in the local bar or surfing pr0n while 'waiting for the call'.

And if, like the article says, they're going to have their equipment on the civil work site, and take the fire engine to the work site, I'm not exactly sure how this is going to impair call response time. I would think that it will increase it - all they have to do is drop their work gear, hop on the truck, and go, and may in fact be closer to the site of the fire than they would from the station/pub.

Now, if only they had some sort of 'civic spirit' or other fundamental value that would make them less prone to complain about being a civil servant...
 
2007-06-02 06:11:44 AM  
This is asinine. Would any of you idiots supporting the mayor and not already flipping burgers appreciate being told to cut grass on your downtime?

This is going to be a long, steady stream of kicks to the balls for the morale of this department. You can bet that the best of the firefighters will be looking for employment in other cities.
 
2007-06-02 06:13:53 AM  
I'm not the post-9/11-FDNY/NYPD-t-shirt-wearing type, or the red-blooded-flag-waving-firefighters-are-heros-buy-them-a-drink type of person either, but even *I* think this is assinine.

You pay firefighters for the risk they take on, not necessarily the amount of work they do. They might only do a few hours of actual work a week, but when those few hours involve walking into a burning building, you bet your arse they better be well paid. How much money would they have to pay YOU to walk into a building on fire (there's not always somebody inside, so don't pretend you'd do it for free if you heard a crying baby on the third floor) a few times per month?

And you know what, last I heard, I've never heard of any Lexus-driving firefighters out there either, so it's not like they're getting paid millions to sit around and watch TV (though they do a lot of that, sure).

Ever give somebody mouth-to-mouth during CPR and get puked on into your mouth in the process? Raise your hand if you're a firefigher and that has happened to you. Yeah, I'd want to get paid for having to do that too.

To be honest, I don't particularly like firefighers personality-wise. Most (not all) that I've met are the pretty conservative flag-waving proud-to-be-an-American types that brag about having voted straight ticket republican since their daddy's daddy turned 18 (FTR, voting straight ticket anything is stupid). They love their brotherhood and patriotism cliches much more than complex thought or nuanced opinions (which annoys me to no end), and they can be pretty dirty in community sports leagues, but that doesn't stop me from acknowledging that they should be compensated for their risks.

Same goes for cops.

/what an arse of a mayor
 
2007-06-02 06:20:07 AM  
Maybe they should just get paid per fire instead of a salary. Say, 1000 per serious fire call in a unit with 2-3 serious fire calls/month? $100 extra bucks when they get puked on while doing CPR? Then they wouldn't get paid for downtime at all! Everybody wins!

/sarcasm
 
2007-06-02 06:32:06 AM  
It's also important that firefighters and rescue personel be well rested when responding to an incident. Working in the sun all day would significantly reduce the quality of work firefighters are capable of on scene.
 
2007-06-02 06:58:10 AM  
as a professional firefighter, I think this is a horrible idea, for a number of reasons.

The first is that firefighters work more hours, and longer hours, than the general population. This is due to both the expectation that there will be some down time and the economics of affording to fully staff an FD 24/7/365 with 8-hour days and 40-hour weeks.

Put simply, if you're outside mowing for eight hours, at the end of that time, you're just done working for the day. But if you've got a firefighter doing that, at the end of a full work day, he's still got 16 hours ahead of him in which he must be ready and able to respond to a life-or-death emergency at a moment's notice.

But the other big thing is -- that's not what firefighters are for. At least at my department we're too busy for this nonsense. During the daytime hours, in addition to running calls we train constantly, perform fire inspections, test hydrants, clean/maintain the stations, and work out. The only thing is we get a 2-hour lunch period during which we can sleep to give us a chance to rest up, since we'll most likely be up until at least 2am.

This asshat of a mayor is doing one of the worst things a civic leader can do -- by squeezing too hard, he's driving the best and brightest of the younger generation out of the department, ruining the morale of those who stay, and lowering response times. All to save a few bucks by trying to get lawn care on the cheap.

Screw 'im --- if y'all want your grass mowed, you can pay for it like everyone else.
 
2007-06-02 07:24:55 AM  
Ever give somebody mouth-to-mouth during CPR and get puked on into your mouth in the process? Raise your hand if you're a firefigher and that has happened to you. Yeah, I'd want to get paid for having to do that too.


Actually you aren't supposed to give mouth to mouth anymore, at all. They have these little portable devices you put over the person's mouth so that there is no contact or exchange of fluids.
 
2007-06-02 07:43:30 AM  
The new duties are similar to other non-fire-related tasks performed by firefighters, such as checking hydrants, conducting fire inspections or visiting schools, said Ken Adams, deputy safety director of the Cleveland suburb.


Checking hydrants, conducting inspections and teaching kids about fire safety aren't fire-related?

 
2007-06-02 07:53:58 AM  
Curiously, I went to look at the statistics for this area, East Cleveland, and how many fires they get. A quick Google search turns up a PDF with the stats. I may not be understanding all the acronyms - and I'm sure someone will be eager to correct me - but it looks as though the FD in question answered a little over 400 fire calls in 2006, with their 54-man crew. While obviously not all personnel are called out to a fire, it does make for more than 1 fire a day, on average. I would imagine, of course, this is given to large numbers in the summer and smaller numbers in the winter.

I am not exactly sure how this corresponds to the mayor's idea of a "large amount of downtime", and in my personal consideration, I'm forced to retract my earlier comment.
(At least in the summer.) >:)
 
2007-06-02 08:03:29 AM  
Maybe they can have cop cars retrofitted like street sweepers too....
 
2007-06-02 08:28:52 AM  
I'm all for it...sort of. I see no problem with them attending to the upkeep of the firehall and surrounding environs. But to go out and cut grass elsewhere...no. As much as I would love to see my brother (who is a firefighter/paramedic in Virginia) out there sweating his butt off, I don't want to think that we're affecting their response times. I don't want someone's life at risk just so the library's lawn is cut.
 
2007-06-02 08:29:04 AM  
Give them a Choice,Iraq or Afghanistan!!
 
2007-06-02 08:33:48 AM  
...last I heard, I've never heard...

Huh?
 
2007-06-02 08:59:49 AM  
1. Put snakes on plane: This is asinine. Would any of you idiots supporting the mayor and not already flipping burgers appreciate being told to cut grass on your downtime?

If you are getting paid...it isn't "downtime"...it is worktime.
 
2007-06-02 09:16:57 AM  
This is stupid. While I agree that FF should be responsible for assisting with the upkeep/grounds keeping of their particular station, becoming the city's extra hands is downright dumb. I don't want my FF/EMTs tired from pulling weeds all day when they respond to my house being on fire.

And to be honest, they didn't go to school to pull weeds and cut grass. They went to school to learn to fight fires and save lives.
 
2007-06-02 09:24:46 AM  
If my building is on fire, I don't want a firefighter trying to climb 6 flights of stairs tired and exhausted from mowing lawns all day. I think firefighters should have all of the downtime they want in exchange for peak physical performance during real emergencies. They go though things 12x worse than I'll ever experience doing my desk job.

/mayor is retarded
 
2007-06-02 09:44:09 AM  
Holy crap I can't believe that anyone thinks this could even come close to being good. The last thing any city needs is for their firemen to be worn out from mowing grass and pulling weeds. What the hell? How much does it cost to hire teenagers and college kids to mow the lawns? How much does it cost when a fireman dies because he was already dehydrated from pulling weeds all day before going to fight a fire?
 
2007-06-02 09:46:34 AM  
Good, give the hosemonkeys something to do other than polish their trucks and play Wii all day.

1/2 my social circle is police, the other half fire*cough*fighters. Their both lazy, but the hosemonkeys have it down to an art AND a science.
 
2007-06-02 09:52:46 AM  
Yeah for some reason I think the union is going to tell the mayor to Die in a Fire
 
2007-06-02 10:07:52 AM  
Screw that. I don't need firefighters that are moving 100% of the time. I need firefighters that are dozing off in easy chairs until my goddamn house is on fire; then they can run like hell to put it out and save my ass.

I begrudge no firefighter downtime. They earn it.
 
2007-06-02 10:08:53 AM  
starsrift: I would imagine, of course, this is given to large numbers in the summer and smaller numbers in the winter.


You'd be surprised. Generally, we run more calls in the Fall/Winter than spring/summer. It's a lot easier for people to set their houses on fire with a space heater than with a fan.
 
2007-06-02 10:21:03 AM  
Also...

Just a scenario: what if the firefighters in question couldn't make it to the scene in time? "Gee, boss...we were in the middle of extracting this huge root mass from a hundred-year-old oak tree when we got the call. Took us awhile to get out to the engine, y'know? What's that? two infants died? Damned shame. Maybe the landscaping staff should have responded. Might have saved some lives. Anyway, back to the tree..."
 
2007-06-02 10:38:43 AM  
Yeah, I want my firefighters to be tired from a bunch of farking YARD WORK when they show up to pull me out of a burning building.

/big guy
//wants 'em rested
 
2007-06-02 10:54:13 AM  
Hey, If you want to play that game, I'm all for it. Getting all hot and sweaty, putting on my snow suit-like bunker gear. I don't think that I'll be entering too many buildings for search and fire. I'll stand out in the street and just lob water into the windows. Eventually, all the fires go out.
But if you want your firefighter to actually enter the building to climb 6 floors with 100 lbs of equipment, then force open the door and search for your sorry ass, drag it out, then assist in actually putting out the fire (I think i missed a semicolon there) by ripping down all the sheetrock (or, god forbid plaster & lathe) in the apartment, THEN throwing your wet mattress, sofa, armchairs, ect. out the window. If that's what you want out of your firefighter, then you might want him rested, not tired form cutting lawns all day. Just remember that even though I might seem like I do little at work, the preparation, maintenance of tools, physical training and yes, the resting, ensure that I am 100% ready and able to rescue you and save your property. Because in the end, isn't that is what really matters.
 
2007-06-02 10:57:04 AM  
neomatt
Maybe they can have cop cars retrofitted like street sweepers too....

LOL

Next we can take the EMTs and retrofit their rigs as hotdog/gyro/taco stands so they can bring in some extra money for the city in their downtime.

We're going to be so farkin rich man!
 
2007-06-02 11:14:00 AM  
This is completely stupid and asinine.

Usually when firefighters get an alarm, they get paged over the PA then go down to the fire engines, put on their gear and haul ass out the door.

Now, they'll have to be paged or called on a cell phone, have every one get back into the truck, get back to the station, get their gear on and haul ass out the door. This takes precious minutes, which could literally mean the difference between life and death.

Not to mention what others have said, that they'll be exhausted from doing yard work all day. They may not be operating at peak performance, again costing lives.

All this so the mayor can save a few bucks in the lawn maintenance budget.

/Where's that Ohio tag when we need it?
 
2007-06-02 11:45:16 AM  
The article doesn't give enough context.
The Cleveland area is under severe economic stress. A lot of city services have been cut and many city workers laid off.
The mayor apparently is trying to shore up basic service with whatever he's got left to work with.
I expect a lot of cities will need to push more productivity out of there fire depts. in the future.
 
2007-06-02 11:56:06 AM  
Fire inspections? Sure.
Hydrant checks? No problem.
Lawn/yard maintenance around the firehouse? Of course.
Mowing the lawn at the city park? oh, hell no!

If they actually do have that much downtime, they should be training or doing fire prevention work (visit the local elementary schools, stop drop n' roll, etc.)

/47 runs in 48 hours last shift
//49-96 schedule
///house runs ~ 50 calls a day. No time for mowing the lawn!
 
2007-06-02 12:33:54 PM  
...and let's shove a broom up their butt, so they can sweep the streets as they walk.

If I were a firefighter, I'd probably start enforcing some obscure brush clearance code on every site I was asked to work. Use a firehoses to take it down to the bedrock. You can never be too careful.

Oh yeah -- and lots, and lots of code inspections around the city. Take the building inspector with you. Go door by door if you have to, spiraling out from city hall and the mayor's house simultaneously. I imagine the barbeque might be a bit too close to the house. And who doesn't have an extension cord run semi-permenantly in at least one city office?

Seriously, anybody who is willing to risk their life saving mine, or even saving my house (without me in it) can do what ever the heck they please in their down time -- I'll even buy them beers and barbeque for them while they sit around in between calls.
 
2007-06-02 12:52:43 PM  
*****To be honest, I don't particularly like firefighers personality-wise. Most (not all) that I've met are the pretty conservative flag-waving proud-to-be-an-American types that brag about having voted straight ticket republican since their daddy's daddy turned 18*****

Any Firefighter who votes Republican is either a Idiot or a Chief!
The Republicans are against Labor Unions and the collective bargaining process just to name a few of the things we like to have.
Minimum Staffing on a apparatus- Too Much Money, Proper saftey- Too much money. BS,BS,BS
Republicans are only interested in serving the rich and Cutting there taxes.
Have the mayor get off of his dead ass and out of his nice air conditioned office and show up at a few working fires and see the lazy firemen earn there pay!
 
2007-06-02 01:21:32 PM  
The mayor is an idiot.

If you expect the firefighters to risk life and limb to save other people's lives and property, then grant them a little bit of dignity.
 
2007-06-02 02:05:31 PM  
Don't know how it is in Ohio, but in the area I'm at, firefighters are also first responders to car wrecks. Which means they are often the first ones pulling someone out of a mangled car with the jaws of life because they're EMS cross-trained.

And around here, they honestly don't have THAT much downtime.

This mayor's an idiot.
 
2007-06-02 02:56:53 PM  
This is farking insane.

Now, I'm not a firefighter myself. I know a few, and I've watched plenty in action. Fighting a fire is a grueling, exhausting job, often for hours on end, that leaves men who started out fully rested sitting on the curb chugging Gatorade. It's a level of effort that can only be kept up for a finite amount of time, and it takes everything they've got. Nobody can keep that up all the time, and nobody can do it as well if they get no downtime before or after they are doing other physical labor?

How the HELL are they going to have the same ability to do that if they've already put in hours of work cutting the Mayor's grass? How many citizens' lives and property is this going to put at risk?

I wonder how much that mayor gets paid.

I wonder how many teenagers looking for summer jobs could be paid with that money?

If they've got a budget problem, using firefighters as landscapers is NOT the answer. What's next, having the police dispatchers painting City Hall when they're not actually on the phone, because y'know, the time they're not actually taking a call, they're slacking?

Then there's the morale issue. Firefighters are highly skilled specialists. They chose firefighting, not landscaping, as a career for a reason. Menial labor such as pulling weeds is the sort of thing that is assigned as a punishment. The firefighters sent out to do a landscaper's job are understandably going to view it as demeaning. Whether or not you believe they're justified in doing so, the fact of the matter is that they are. And, for that matter, if your job involves skill, training, and a rigorous selection process, and you were assigned to empty the wastebaskets and mop the bathrooms in your company's offices, you'd probably feel much the same way.

Maybe the mayor is just grandstanding to get city services more money in the budget.

Or maybe he's trying for the Guinness world stupidity record.

I'd vote for #2.
 
2007-06-02 03:22:18 PM  
I have to agree this mayor is an idiot.

I work as a firefighter in an average suburban department, and even though we don't run as many calls as our big city brothers, we don't generally have time to 'watch Oprah'.

There are incredible training requirements of the modern firefighter, especially in the smaller departments where we cannot afford to have too much devision of labor. We not only need to be familiar with, but need to be experts at firefighting, obviously, but that includes knowing the area, knowing our equipment, fire behavior (both structural and wildland), forcible entry, building construction, ladders, engineering, rescue techniques, search techniques, and all the tasks it takes to fight a fire.


Another thing to keep in mind, especially in a smaller department, is that there is a ton of administrative duties to keep up with. Things like maintaining and keeping records on all the freaking gear we carry, be it PASS devices, portable radios, keys, breathing apparatus, oxygen bottles, rope rescue gear, hoses, pumps, nozzles, extrication equipment, medical equipment, turn-outs, hand tools, chain saws, all the fire apparatus, thermal imaging cameras, maps, water rescue gear, etc, etc. Most bigger departments have an administrative staff to take care of a lot of the details of the long term upkeep and record keeping of all these programs, most smaller departments do not, this falls to the line people to take care of, and makes up a pretty good portion of our day.


Add to this the 'all risk' demands of a modern firefighter. Things like medical aids. Most west coast departments, especially smaller ones, go to every 911 medical call in their zone, this includes: heart attacks, falls, cardiac arrests, strokes, traumas like stabbings and gunshots, pregnancy complications, difficulty breathing, burns, vehicle accidents, etc.

We provide advanced life support care and transport for all these calls, at the paramedic level. This includes 12 lead EKG's, intubation, knowledge and indications for about 20 different drugs, IV's, splinting, differential diagnosing of specific respiratory problems, that could kill a patient if you screw up, CPR, specifics of pediatric treatment, etc. Basically most the critical, non-surgical capabilities of emergency room, without the specialists and about 25% of the diagnostic tools. This takes a lot of initial training, and requires many hours every month of ongoing training.

Add to this all the less traditional but no less important areas that we are tasked to be the ones to deal with like: water rescue, building collapse, hazardous material response, vehicle extrication, rope rescue, WMD's, etc.

All of these area require much initial training and constant ongoing training to remain at a high level of competence.

Add to that the business inspections, residential vegetation inspections, pre-planning, hydrant testing and maintenance, public education, school programs, CPR instruction, etc.

Don't forget, we also shop for and cook ,meals for ourselves, keep our station and grounds maintained, work out, train new people, write reports, lead and mentor our subordinates, do dishes, wash linens, etc, every day.

All these duties take time, and if this department has time to mow the lawns at the park, these other areas will suffer.

"Sorry I missed the intubation of your 4 year old, ma'am, I feel really bad for your loss...but hey, doesn't the lawn at the park look nice?!"
 
2007-06-02 05:01:40 PM  
FDNYDan
"Just remember that even though I might seem like I do little at work, the preparation, maintenance of tools, physical training and yes, the resting, ensure that I am 100% ready and able to rescue you and save your property. Because in the end, isn't that is what really matters."

You are absolutely right. Thank God for firemen and first responders everywhere. You guys are the true heros in my book.
 
2007-06-02 05:17:58 PM  
First, Its a stupid idea. That's why I submitted this story yesterday morning and it didn't get posted.

Second, all of you that think it is a good idea, don't understand the nature of the job.
 
2007-06-02 05:50:29 PM  
Actually you aren't supposed to give mouth to mouth anymore, at all. They have these little portable devices you put over the person's mouth so that there is no contact or exchange of fluids.

Yeah, I have one in my backpack, one in my car, and a portable folding one in my wallet.

Every firefighter/paramedic that has recertified me says the same thing. The masks stop the brunt of it, but more often than not, you'll get crap in your mouth with or without it. It's just a matter of how much.
 
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