We must ask "WHY?"

We must ask "WHY?"



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July council meeting

-In the wake of these dangerous staffing cuts, I would like to present the citizens of Wilkes-Barre with factual, independent data compiled by fire service experts.

When fires are extinguished in the early stages:

• Loss of life is minimal. 93 percent of all fire-related deaths occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.
• Direct property damage is minimal. 95 percent of all direct property damage occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages. (1991-1995 NFIRS {National Fire Incident Reporting System} study)
• The United States has the third highest number of people killed by fires each year.
• Every 18 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States.
(NFPA's "1998 U.S. Fire Loss" by M.J. Karter, Jr.; "Fire in the U.S.A. and Canada," by J.R. Hall, Jr.;"U.S. Fire Department Profile through 1998" by M.J. Karter, Jr.; "1999 Firefighter Fatalities," by P.R. LeBlanc and R.F. Fahy; and "U.S. Fire Fighter Injuries in 1998" by M.J. Karter, Jr. and P.R. LeBlanc.)

-Although the number of building fires are reducing somewhat we now have a situation where the death rate amongst firefighters is spiraling to the highest levels for thirty years. (Firetactics.com and Fire2000.com)

-In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. Considering how close buildings are in this city, instead of a room, multiple homes & lives could be destroyed.

-WHO IS AT RISK Senior citizens age 65 and older and children under the age of 5 are at the greatest risk. The fire death risk among seniors over 65 is more than double; over the age 75 triple; over the age 85, 3 and on half times the average population. Children under the age of 10 accounted for 22.2 % of all fire deaths. Without the manning we need, an extensive search takes too much time! If you don't believe this is a threat, then you should know this happened at 10:05 a.m June 12 in Seattle. 5 dead, four children ,two girls ages 6 and 7, two boys ages 5 and 13, and a 22-year-old woman. At the time the Seattle mayor, was considering Fire dept cuts. Now he is NOT.
-Understaffing of fire departments is a life threatening problem. So much so in fact, that the International City Managers Association (ICMA) has conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of fire companies based on staffing. (Managing Fire Services, 2nd edition). This international organization of city leaders recognizes the importance of a properly staffed fire department. The summary of the finding: If SIXTEEN trained firefighters are not operating at the scene of a working fire within the critical time period, then DOLLAR LOSS and INJURIES are significantly INCREASED as is fire spread. (International City Managers Association {ICMA} Study)

- With the dramatically increased work load that reduced manning causes, we are at much greater risk for heat stroke and Cardiovascular incidents.

-Early detection of heat issues is critical to stop dehydration and heat stress becoming fatal. But with the reduced manning Firefighters will be unable to take the water breaks that our paramedics use to evaluate their conditions, compounding the problem and putting us at unacceptable risk.

-Firefighting has long been associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes. In the United States, the most common cause of on-duty fatalities for firefighters is sudden cardiac death. With the added work load of not having proper manning this possibility is closer to a probability.

-Closing 60% of the Fire Stations and reducing manpower places everyone in Wilkes-Barre at risk, the residents, visitors and those that are employees of City or State Businesses. Response time to South Wilkes-Barre has increased as it is obvious that Firefighters have further to go.

New quotes from our mayor

-April 29 2010 “Firefighter rehabilitation at all emergency incidents is important,” (Times Leader) Proper manning is much more important.

-"I have delivered Jobs and Public safety to the citizens of the city" His own political add.
How by cutting the FD to unsafe levels? This is a fact, The cities own study says 17 is the minimum.
-Oct 27,2008 "With the location of three city fire houses the department can respond promptly to all calls" (Times Leader) Now there are only 2

Is the life of a firefighter, a family or a child worth taking chances

Will the doors be locked on YOUR neighborhood fire station? Will another excuse be uttered to explain why the mayor closed it?


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