Firefighters landscaping?

Hey, I really think our Hoboken Fire Department does a great job. Nothing to complain about.

However, a reader saw this article on Yahoo! regarding some firefighters in Cleveland, Ohio, and thought it might be interesting to see what our Hoboken firefighters could do during their “down time”…

It sounds like it could be a feasible thing for them to use the non-response time to help our community in better ways. Why almost every fire station has to send at least one truck to each and every fire call (99.9% are false alarms) is beyond me. I understand that “just in case” it’s a MAJOR fire, it’s always best to have all hands on deck, but c’mon, is it really justified?

Read the article below, and share your opinions. Who’d be right in this circumstance? Is there a “happy medium”?

Firefighters told to cut grass on duty

The mayor has ordered the city’s firefighters to cut grass and trim shrubs while on duty to help the service department care for parks and other public areas.

“We have 54 firefighters, and they have a lot of downtime,” Mayor Eric Brewer said Thursday. “Instead of sitting around the station, they’ll be assisting us as we beautify the city.”

The firefighters’ union opposes the plan, arguing that noise from city lawnmowers and protective headphones worn by firefighters might prevent them from hearing their radios when an emergency call comes in.

“We’re firefighters, not service workers,” union vice president Rick Razek said. “It jeopardizes our citizens and will absolutely hinder our response time.”

The mayor’s plan calls for firefighters to travel in a fire truck to their assigned work site and to keep their firefighting gear with them so they can proceed directly to the scene of a fire if called.

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.

A city law passed in 1944 authorizes the mayor to order special details for performing duties such as removing snow and ice from sidewalks and repairing buildings and equipment. The ordinance was enacted during a time when cities needed help with manual labor as many men served in the military overseas.

“This is simply an attempt to beef up a service that has been lacking for a number of years,” Brewer said Thursday as he watched several firefighters receive training on a riding lawnmower.

“Actually, that looks like fun,” he said. “I might get out there and cut some grass myself.”

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48 Comments on "Firefighters landscaping?"

matt_72
Member

[quote comment=”30160″]I don’t think it is so bad that they cut their own grass (at the station house), they have to wash their own trucks and keep the station house clean on their own. Some areas have a lot of down time, so they run drills and polish the trucks and equipment, plus they cook many of their own meals (when they aren’t ordering out).

As far as captains collecting paychecks without doing a thing. I disagree. First, they need to pass a test to become capt. and the test from what I hear is not easy. They are the ones in charge when a fire happens. Much like a captain or a major in time of battle.[/quote]

For a town with as many fire captains as Hoboken has who I would assume took that very hard test, we sure do have a lot of fires in town. Maybe they did well on the test, but the sure don’t do well when they do their fire inspections.

timber
Member

[quote comment=”30164″]Wow, Yoda’s pretty fiesty for a dead Muppet.

Speaking of fire inspections, this would be an EXCELLENT use of resources considering all the slumlords and their death traps that we have igniting here. I think fire prevention would be a reasonable use of FD resources…[/quote]

Certain firemen are certified to do fire inspections. I know in the town where I grew up, my brother is a Captain and Fire Insector(and is also a certified EMT) and he is very strict and never lets anyone go for an infraction. He made the new posh movie theater that was built re-do the curtains to be fire retartant (sp)- they were pissed that they had to spend the extra money (they should have done it right in the first place)

SarahC
Member

Wow, Yoda’s pretty fiesty for a dead Muppet.

Speaking of fire inspections, this would be an EXCELLENT use of resources considering all the slumlords and their death traps that we have igniting here. I think fire prevention would be a reasonable use of FD resources…

Yoda
Member
Yoda
[quote comment=”30124]For starters, this story was suggested by a reader. I read it and think that ANYTHING is feasible, as long as its properly planned. But in retrospect, that would only open the door for critique and blame if, god forbid, one single thing goes wrong during a major event. However, there are other scenarios as well: – Depending on the location, the “occupied” firefighters doing whatever task assigned, could quite possibly be first responders, maybe even saving a life because they got there first. – Having this random fourth, or fifth “fire squadron” could also help with general safety in the city, as more city personnel could help deter some crimes, promote fire safety, community involvement etc. Anyway, it’s just food for thought. I’m not a firefighter, nor do I have a complete understanding what happens in the firehouse 24 hours a day. Spirited debate, regardless of the topic is healthy and allows people to think about things. No harm, no foul[/quote] Don’t go getting all defensive on me, clearly I read the post and know full well it was sent in by another. I just figure if you find it good enough to post, and based on your comments, you might think this would work, so I singled you out to answer that scenario, which you haven’t. You see, I don’t think you would find it acceptable if you lost a loved one under those circumstances, no one would. Show me someone who would and I’ll show you… Read more »
timber
Member

I don’t think it is so bad that they cut their own grass (at the station house), they have to wash their own trucks and keep the station house clean on their own. Some areas have a lot of down time, so they run drills and polish the trucks and equipment, plus they cook many of their own meals (when they aren’t ordering out).

As far as captains collecting paychecks without doing a thing. I disagree. First, they need to pass a test to become capt. and the test from what I hear is not easy. They are the ones in charge when a fire happens. Much like a captain or a major in time of battle.

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