These three components of the fire and life-safety system are all essential. If prevention and public education positions and programs must be eliminated, fire stations closed, fire companies eliminated, staffing levels reduced or response times increased, so be it, but let's not eliminate any of them under the guise of "non-essential" personnel and services.
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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