Your Fire Chief has already begun the process of renewing the "Total Quint Concept" despite the desperate pleas from members in his leadership team and all of the Firefighters and officers in the field. His past Operations Chief and his current Operations Chief are against continuing on this path of fiscal irresponsibility as is the Apparatus Committee. The Fire Chief has ignored their ideas and pleas to consider other response plans that are less expensive, more effective, and can decrease response times. He has been quoted by the previous Operations Chief as saying "I will not be the Chief who goes away from the Quint Concept". Your Fire Chief has been the Appointed Authority for approx. 7 years and the lack of planning for our fleet replacement is atrocious. He has told the department that he is staying with the Quints and that he has ordered a $600,000 Rescue Engine to "experiment with". This is a direct quote from a town hall meeting. If you ask him today he will tell you that he is now waiting for the Fitch study (which costs well over $100,000) to tell him what to do with his department and his fleet/response model. I'm not a taxpayer in the city, but if I were I would be furious that he needs a study to make a decision that any competent Fire Chief can make and should make.
So the bottom line is this.....the Firefighters want to save $15 million by getting rid of the Quint Concept. Here it is in layman terms:
-Right now the Chief's plan is to continue with the Quint concept which deploys a dual fleet. This means that every fire station in the City gets a $500,000 Engine and a million dollar Quint (this apparatus has a ladder on top). this is based on the new apparatus that we have already started to receive and these figures are actually lower than the actual cost. 7 rigs are here and 3 others are being built. (not counting the Rescue trucks).
-There is only one crew of four firefighters to run these trucks. If it is an EMS call, Vehicle accident, Car fire, or other misc. call we take the engine, leaving the 1 million dollar ladder/Quint in the station unmanned. If the call is for a fire, alarm, gas leak, or odor of smoke we take the Quint, leaving the 1/2 million dollar engine unmanned.
-do the math, that is 1.5 million per station, 20 stations, for total of $30 million.
-Recommendations to the Fire Chief have been plentifull and include senarios that would abandon the dual fleet concept and go to a modified or hybrid style Quint concept where we would have 10 Quints and 10 Engines thus cutting the fleet to 20 trucks. In this senario alone we would save $15 MILLION.
-Now just to add insult to injury lets look at the savings in maintenance costs and tools and equipment. I would make a conservative guess that we can save at least 3 to 5 million by going to a "single" fleet model. It is not rocket science......maintenance, fuel, SCBA, EMS equipment, tools, hose, etc. for 40 peices of apparatus is less expensive than for 20. This brings the total of what we can save up to approx 20 MILLION.
It is happening as we speak. An apparatus update came out last week and it said "we are planning the purchase of the next batch of trucks soon after July 1st". We need your help NOW to stop this reckless spending. Please help us hold the Fire Chief accountable for this mis-allocation of funds. The economy is down, no raises, our career development is frozen, everyone is pinching pennies to make ends meet and he is poised to waste up to 20 MILLION. Help us to help save the citizens of richmond thier hard earn money!!!