We Don't Lose "Non-Essential" Lives by ProQuest

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									                         FIRE POLITICS                                 >>>
 By DENNIS COMPTON




 We Don’t Lose “Non-Essential” Lives
 Don’t Ignore the Key Components of the Fire and Life-Safety System

 A
           recent newspaper article re-                       not negatively impact public safety. That      elected officials and city management,
           ported on a major fire de-                         premise may be valid for a 5% budget           but when it comes from fire chiefs and/
           partment in our country                            reduction, but when budgets are being          or labor officials, it is extremely troubling.
 being faced with the challenge of sub-                       reduced by levels of 15%, 20% and even         Fire departments may not be allocated
 mitting a 15% budget reduction to the                        30% in some places, the organization is        the funding to deliver these essential ser-
 city council for consideration in the                        cutting essential people                                          vices in the ways they
 2010-2011 budget process. This was
 in addition to the nearly 15% the de-
                                                              and services – and pub-
                                                              lic safety and firefighter
                                                                                           There are serious                    have in the past, but that
                                                                                                                                in no way diminishes the
 partment lost in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
      Fire department budgets in many
                                                              safety are being com-
                                                              promised. As a result
                                                                                             questions for                       importance of those ser-
                                                                                                                                vices to the safety of the
 parts of the nation are being decimat-
 ed by the current economic environ-
                                                              of the economic crisis,
                                                              fire departments may
                                                                                           policy-makers to                     public and firefighters.
                                                                                                                                      The line services
 ment. The realities of the revenue re-
 ductions being experienced by states,
                                                              need to decrease their
                                                              operating budgets to
                                                                                          address concerning                    provided by a fire de-
                                                                                                                                partment within its core
 cities and fire districts have resulted
 in the elimination of staff and line po-
                                                              achieve a pre-deter-
                                                              mined bottom-line re-
                                                                                           how, and to what                     mission typically include
                                                                                                                                prevention, public edu-
 sitions. In all of this, the critical need
 to provide the services necessary for
                                                              duction, but it can be
                                                              misleading to the pub-
                                                                                            extent, critical                    cation and emergency
                                                                                                                                response. These are sup-
 fire departments to adequately and
 safely protect the public and their
                                                              lic to do so under the
                                                              false belief that public
                                                                                            services can be                     ported by staff responsi-
                                                                                                                                bilities such as logistics,
 firefighters remains at the center of
 the core mission.
                                                              safety is not being neg-
                                                              atively impacted.
                                                                                          provided based on                     training and administra-
                                        
								
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