Friday, March 21, 2008

Albero's Tour of Station 16

Maybe Albero can explain some of the statements he has made in his recent post concerning the new Station 16. He says very pointedly that: “Gordy mentioned that piece by piece each piece of equipment will be replaced, new.” The question is, so? As the equipment needs to be replaced new equipment will be purchased. What is the problem with that? Is the fire department expected to keep forever what is in its present inventory?

Chief See stated the firefighters would still go the MFRI training center in Princess Anne for life fire training. Albero fails to understand this rationale because of the old training area just up the street. Simply put, the training tower on Isabella Street is not now, nor has it ever been a burn building. It does not even come close to meeting the strict standards to meet the criteria for such. Neither does it have an interior that is conducive to realistic training. There is almost no versatility in the structure. Aside from that live fire training often entails much more than structural firefighting. Flammable liquid burns using water and or chemicals are frequently the order of the day. Even burning Class “A” material for simulated structural burn creates a large amount of smoke. Not something the neighbors are will to tolerate on a regular basis. Flowing large amounts of water from the city system stirs up sediment in the system and causes problems for the citizens and businesses alike. The training center in Princess Anne has a building designed to take the heat of a structural burn. Flammable liquid simulators are in place and provide a controlled environment in which to train with little danger of an exercise going awry. Would Albero have the fire department spend millions more to duplicate what tax money on the state level already provides and at a greater level of safety?

Yes, the public by and large will now have to be “buzzed” to enter the building. Entry will be through the heritage center and than to the administration wing. Many valuable artifacts will be on display in the heritage center and this area should not be simply open to the comings and goings of the public without some type of moderation. The same is true for the administration wing of the department. The offices of the Chief and his staff are of no interest to the general public and there is information contained within that is not public information i.e. medical records, personnel records, budgetary items, etc.
If any of these are legitimately required by the public there are proper procedures to follow and those can be initiated from the lobby.

The $1800.00 for each set of turnout gear truly sounds like an extraordinary figure, but I ask you this, what is the value you are willing to put on a human life. This equipment is designed to give the firefighter every possible chance of survival in the event of a catastrophic event. Sadly, it isn’t always successful as the monument in Emmitsburg Md. clearly attests to. Standards are set and revised constantly and with that there is a cost and a need to remain current. That cost always seems to increase and the need never diminishes. Consider what the gear is protecting and the cost is of little consequence.

The eight cubicles for the bunking areas have no doors. Albero seems to think this is a sin. He says: “God forbid someone wake up at 3:00 AM after a night out and run face first into a door”. What do you mean after a night out? The crews work 24-hour shifts so where are they going to have their night out? Besides, after your brilliant statement of: “trying to keep tabs on who's at their home when they're stuck at the Fire Station.” I would think you would be in favor of no doors, especially with women working in the same building. Why do you think every firefighters wife is having an affair while he is at work? Not only have you said this but also you have allowed comments to the same on other posts. Is it because your favorite mole can’t keep his own home life in order?
Doors on the dormitory cubicles serve no purpose therefore they are non-existent.
The crews did indeed sleep in the cabs of the engine when Chief See came to the SFD. I was there as well. We also slept on the hose beds. Some of the men bought camp cots or army surplus canvass cots to set up in the engine bay, with the diesel & gasoline fumes in a poorly heated area in the winter and building like an oven in the summer. And you wish to begrudge these men and women a cubicle in a climate-controlled area. Maybe you should sleep in a your garage with all your vehicles for a year. Try it for thirty years.

I invite anyone to visit the current station 16 and take a tour of that building. Ask questions, find out what its like to work there year round. See for yourself the cramped quarters and the inadequacies it affords. That building has lasted for eighty years and was outgrown by the department years ago. Look at what is there now and look at what is to come in the new station and tell me it isn’t deserved.


TomCat said...

The place could be made by God and perfect. Joe would still find fault. Finding fault with others is his goal in life. He should start looking in the mirror and try and correct those faults before going after everyone and everything else.

Bunker Britches said...

Mr. Albero makes himself feel larger and thinks to makes him bigger in the eyes of others to criticize anything and everything and everybody. In actuality, it only proves how small he really is both in mind and in stature.
Thank you for this nicely written article and without profanity or prejudice.
Speaking of which, I wonder, do the powers that be at WMDT, who removed Salisbury Soapbox from the blog links due to complints of profanity, ever read Salisbury News and Views? It seems to me that that link should be removed.

Historical Wit said...

Good write up. Always a good counter to Jo.