Friday, December 21, 2007

The Albero Fire Department

Albero’s concept of starting his own fire department sure brought me to my knees. I laughed so hard I couldn’t walk.

Let’s assume he can buy land and build a building as he claims he can. Good! We have a fire station in the city. Now the fact that the City finds itself in need of 3 stations currently, and has long term plans for another is certainly of no consequence. Albero is convinced that his one station should suffice any of the needs the citizen’s place upon it. Oh, and don’t forget the SFD covers a tremendous amount of area in the county as well. How soon will this building be built and where.? I certainly would like to see the feasibility study that will justify the location to accommodate his new fire dept.

How much equipment will Albero buy? Far less than SFD, that's for sure. First of all there will only be one staff vehicle and that will be reserved for Albero himself. Of course it will remain in Salisbury because that type of vehicle is not allowed out of state. How about fire fighting equipment? He says he could buy fire trucks. Just trucks Albero? How about a few engines too? Got any idea what those puppies cost?

He’s going to hire a full staff as well. They will be paid on “First Response Results”. Will someone please explain that to me?

Let’s see, Albero FD and Salisbury FD respond to a house fire. Everybody has to drive like an idiot to get there first and the winner collects from the homeowner. Yep—that’ll work. But as long as we are being stupid, what if the homeowner doesn’t like the first to arrive? Can they choose the second place winner instead?

HOLD IT! This would mean more than one fire department responding to a single house fire. According to Albero that is a no-no. No race---no winner---No "First Response Result"—no pay! I think that’s called a “Volunteer” Fire Dept. Albero. How many folks are going to do that for you?

Albero will build his firehouses in the “Hottest Spots” in town. How long did he take to do his feasibility studies for that one? And don’t forget he's going to ignore the west side of town. Who’s being racist and prejudiced now? A true fire department would not ignore anyone. Wait, I got it, He will just make his own district to cover just the areas that can afford to pay for his “First Response Result”. The west side being predominately poor (in his eyes) doesn’t qualify.

Who is going to train his people? MFRI special programs can do it. At a cost per student, per hour, per curriculum it should only run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

How many people will Albero have? Depends on the number of pieces of equipment. Salaries for those people? Let's be conservative and say the lowest paid will come in at $40,000. Maybe you can pay them all the same regardless of rank, experience or education. That would make everybody equal---that’s fair. How about benefits? You going to provide health and hospitalation for these folks? Let’s be conservative again, $4500 per year per employee. Hey!----these are bare bones figures. Want to add it up so far?

One engine $250,000
One truck $750,000
One medic $150,000
24 people $960,000 salary
plus $108,000 benefits

Plus maintenance, fuel, insurance etc, etc, etc.

And this barely scrathes the surface.

Albero guarantees he would get support from the County. That, I would like to see in writing. First of all I know of no other private enterprise the County (government) subsidizes. The County Chiefs surely will not support such a venture and in as much the County Emergency Services would be under no obligation to dispatch his Fire Department. Whats he going to do, listen to his scanner or depend on his mole to notify him of alarms via cell phone?

No doubt Chief See is shaking in his boots.


straight shooter said...

Can I quote you on any of this? Or will you sue me?

Soapbox said...

Help yourself!

I'm to poor to hire a lawyer. LOL

Gunpowder Chronicler said...

First of all, Chief TinyTesticle is ignoring that fact that there are TWO sets of costs in construction:

Hard Costs (the actual cost of construction)


Soft Costs (the cost of design, permitting, inspection, etc.)

Add into that the new equipment that will certainly come with a new facility-- new furniture, new phones, new computers, etc -- and the $10 million is not that far out of line.

Heck-- cable runs alone at $150/run could run into the tens of thousands of dollars in a hurry.

One other question: does anyone know what the original Station 16 cost to construction back in the day? If someone can get me that figure, I'll convert it to 2007 dollars. I'll be the difference -- plus the differential in costs for building materials -- isn't that far off.

Soapbox said...


Believe or not there may be some records still around on cost, I will try to find them. I do know this, a lot of the labor was done by members at the time.

Salisbury News & Views said...

You touched on insurance. I can't imagine what the premiums would be for ths type of venture by a private organization. Liability alone would be outrageous, not to mention death benifits, disability, collision.
I would venture to bet as a private company he wouldn't even be able to get insurance which means he'd have to be self insured. There's 20 million that would have to be held in escro.
While your at it you'd better line up some real good lawyers to be on retainer! Let one of his wonder boys run into and kill someone while responding to a "for profit" fire and all hell would break loose in the court systems. Let one of his medics mis-diagnose a patient and heaven forbid that patient dies.
This clown Albero claims to have run a large corporation, my opinion he's a clueless buffoon.

Bunker Britches said...

I love your comment, it put a real perspective on the costs of establishing a fire department and revealed that Joe Albero talks out his rear end because his head (assuming he has two brain cells to rub together) would know better if he either thought before he spoke or looked at facts.
If my house were on fire and Albero Fire Department showed up at my house, I would be able to build a new one, more modern, up to date and elaborate then what I currently have, because I would charge him and his fire department with trespassing and if any of my even burning belongings were touched, it would also be theft.

Chuck Norris said...

Who in their right mind would even insure a business venture that competed with a government entity?

Can you imagine how many insurance companies would sue him for letting a house burn instead of putting the fire out? How many would sue him for sending one engine to a house fire? As a private company he would be a target for such lawsuits. Where a government serves the best interests of the people, private organizations serve the owners/bod/shareholders and are in it for the money.

Perhaps his buddy Mike should investigate what he is smoking.

Gunpowder Chronicler said...

One other thing-- since 2003, the cost of construction materials AND labor has seen inflation of almost 20% per annum.

If one looks at the cost of school construction lately -- high schools run around, what, $50 million? -- a $10 million FIRE HEADQUARTERS (not just station!!!, a headquarters) is not too far out of line.

Up here in Gunpowder River Valley, the Maryland Line Volunteer Fire Department just built a new four-bay station. construction is large a huge pole barn on a concrete pad. A couple of fat guys reenacting the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles would blow the damn thing down.

Cost? About $2million.

Chuck Norris said...

Another question, would 'the great one' build his fire station, like he renovated his shack in Powellville?

Electrical line dangling and all?

gull92 said...


Hell of a mental picture on that one!

Inside Looking Out said...

I think the man smokes his own horses poop!!!