Hi Guys -- I need your HELP! Budget cuts have reached the only career fire department in the State of Delaware, and on Thursday, Chief Willie Patrick EFO, was given marching orders from the city fathers -- trim $ 1million from the annual FD operating budget. Those of you who are familiar with Wilmington know it to be an aggressive, very effective department. But for Chief Patrick the options are limited -- cut companies, or reduce staffing to 3 per apparatus. Neither of which sits well with him.

We know what the consequences of station closings are, and in this case Rescue-1 (A flying squad) is the primary target. But Wilmington is a busy job -- with the problems inherent in protecting an old East coast port city.

My question is: What are some of the specific drawbacks involved in reduced staffing? I can't answer, "one less man", I need to provide solid, tactical reasons why 3 man companies don't work in urban situations.

Interestingly enough, in the past 24 hours, WFD has had three 3-alarm fires, one resulting in a civilian death, two others involving multi occupancies with three firefighters injured -- two with burns. At one point 8 volunteer companies in Northern Delaware were called into cover city stations, but were redirected to the fire scene to relieve exhausted and injured firefighters. Additional companies, some from Pennsylvania, were sent it to cover empty firehouses until a proper callback could be completed.

My goal is to set-up and educate a citizen support group of about 1500 who will hopefully encourage Mayor Jim Baker to seek stimulus funding from the state to keep WFD at its current staffing strength -- which is, if I remember correctly, well below the official number permitted by legislation.

I appreciate your assistance in this matter advance,

Stay safe,
Lou Angeli

Notes: Wilmington Fire Department operates a 4-platoon system, with 24 on - 72 off. There are 6 engine companies, 2 truck companies, a heavy rescue and 2 battalion chiefs. The city also operates a class A fireboat which covers the Delaware River and its tributaries from Philadelphia to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Replies to This Discussion

Simple, NFPA (standard for ALL FDs), "Two in, Two out". Definitely not possible a 3-man engine.

Past Chief, BVFCo11 (PGFD)
so true, but yet we still see it everyday, AACo does it for sure, and I'm sure it happens all over the country and it needs to be stopped! We need to band together and make some changes before it causes more deaths, both civilian and firefighter


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