Comment 79744

By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2012 at 09:56:18

Four of the 6 apparatus in Ward 10 are manned by "volunteers". So they are not staffed full time, and this is the rationale for moving the resscue to Station 12. However this is also a big concern. To have 4 apparatus worth around 2 million dollars sitting around doing nothing much of the time because "volunteers" are not showing up when they are paged or not showing up in enough numbers to effectively manage an emergency scene SHOULD BE telling the administration they need to HIRE enough personnel to man these apparatus. The chief used the proximity of John St and Kenilworth Ave Stations with multiple apparatus as a reason why they could move Rescue 6 and still cover Ward 3. Sounds reasonable to a lay person.....but fire service delivery doesn't work that way. There is a formula that has been used for decades to determine apparatus requirements in a particular area. For decades before Chief Simonds got here Station 6 had multiple apparatus. At varying times a pumper and aerial, sometimes two pumpers, at others two trucks and a District Chiefs car. The main factors that would dictate two trucks at Station 6 (at least) have not changed. Call volume has certainly not decreased, take into account the eventuality of densification and it will only increase. My hunch is the new Chief and his staff identified that they had a problem in the Creek with staffing of the part timers and to take up the slack decided to pull a truck from the inner city. Why they chose a truck from Station 6 is the question I have been unable to get an answer that makes sense to. Actually there is no answer that makes sense. To my mind the Fire Chief should be going before council and making his case for more hiring. In my opinion this city is running at least 5 apparatus short and this is only going to increase, (Have you seen the housing and commercial development going in on the mountain?),which would add up to around 100 firefighters to cover all 4 shifts. This trend isn't only going on in Hamilton. City managers have tended to hire administrative types who have Public Administration or MBAs or governance degrees to fill senior emergency service posts in the last 10 years. They've gotten this idea in their head that you can run an emergency service like a business and do more with less. YOU CAN'T. An old school guy like myself and those with more time at the sharp end than me know this and most likely would tell the city manager to go pound salt if he was instructed to do more with less. But if you can make a sexy spread sheet that shows you can ?

Oh and as for your question about Bernie Morelli? Bernie was prompt in getting back to me, was unaware of the apparatus move, was concerned and as far as I know has done what he can. I was suprised to find that an issue like this would not have been brought up at council.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2012-08-14 09:58:39

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