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Good day boys and girls,
I have a very personal question to ask of you.

My Village has put a referendum on our April 7th ballot to raise taxes in order to be able to pay our emergency services salarys. If this does not pass, we will lose 6-7 of our 15 full time firefighters. Bringing our daily manning down from 5 to 3 a shift, then 2 with kelly days, vaca, sick days... I am number six on that list with 10 years on the job here.

What I am looking for is if anyone has a manpower study showing the elongated time change for response, line placement, rescue, EMS response problems, all the pertenant info needed to show the huge problem with a change of this type. Any type of info would be perfect, video, PowerPoint, hard copy, graphs, anything that someone has done so we can show the public in our town hall meetings the importance of not losing our manpower.

I understand this is common sense information, for firefighters, but we/I have no time to devote to putting a study together. We are working very hard to get the word out to our residents and every little bit will help.

Anything you may have please send to my home email;

Thank you all and please stay safe.
Joe McClelland
Midlothian Fire Department
Midlothian IL.

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Hey Joe, I don't personally have the info but the City of Rockford is going through a serious manpower battle and I know their president has done the studies or has info from other communities. Their website is We are also putting some of this stuff together for future battles. Good Luck.

Awesome. Thank you Brandon.
Great. Thanks Brett.

We have not faced this situation but have gotten many referendums passed over the past 25 years. The ones that passed did so with flying colors. The ones that did not failed by a small margin. We believe the key was firemen walking door to door and talking it up with the average citizen. In your case, I would say to your voters: If you wind up with only two of us but thw law says we must have at least four to begin (2-in/2-out) what should we do? We can wait the 3-6 minutes (or whatever time your next due M/A arrives) but that is on top of 3-6 minutes it took US to get there. Also, what if we have an ambulance call and are at the hospital with the ambulance for an hour? (I'm unsure if you do EMS) Or should we get out of the EMS transport business so we can be fully available for fires? WOuld you like to wait a little while linger for the private ambulance to arrive, provided they are available?

In my opinion, staffinf studies don't work on the average citizen. They see a BTR show up and think all is well. We need to speak to them in simpler terms. Also, when I presented the NFPA 1710 minumum of 15 firefighters I was questioned on how often do we need all those guys? I put on a straight face and said every time but had I been presssed I would not have been able to justity work for half the bodies on most room and content jobs (sure we get everyone on the job inside at some point [for morale] but in many cases the fire is being knocked by the time the second in company arrives.

Also, get your local newspaper to endorse a YES vote. Someone from the local or FD needs to call the paper's editiorial board and sell it.

Once the fire is out, the hard stuff starts. In a manner of speaking. The salvage and overhaul happens as the adrenaline (sp)? is going away. That's when you need a bunch of people to help. Pulling walls, moving furniture and rolling hose is not fun, but it has be done quickly so that the crew can get back into service. Getting double tapped doesn’t happen everyday, but it does happen. You also need extra crews to handle those rare cases

Having those extra bodies can mean the difference between just getting back to the station and getting tapped and still being at the scene with your stuff all over the ground. Plus, when you share the load, the crew isn’t expended if you get turned around in a hurry.

That's stuff that your average person can grasp.
Joe, I have several risk management models that might help you here. My company deals with fire ground risk management. I can even show how proper staffing can affect a huge change in our number 2 killer, vehicle accidents. Drop me a note with your number and I will gladly shoot some info.(ammo) your way!

I would agree with the chief here. When we passed our referendum to start full time service it was because we hit the pavement hard and heavy. There wasn't one street we missed. We lost our first attempt by a slim amount, so the second time we had a more focused effort and let the people know how important it was for them to get out and vote. This is a huge task for a small amount of people but this is a special circumstance. Also we aren't too far from you if you need some extra help. Let me know.


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