I have recently commented on a post on this site that has to do with whether volunteer departments should be doing rescues. A thread off that discussion led to talk about how different neighboring agencies compete for incidents. Where normally, I think, competition is a good thing but this gets rather heated and sometimes to the detriment of the public. I sited a particular incident I "witnessed" which I won't go into detail(if you want the details, check out the post I mentioned earlier) but to summarize it, a house literally burnt to the ground while 2 neighboring agencies debated control of the scene. I, personally, find this appalling. Has it really come down to this? We do mutual aide with other rural departments (mostly volunteer) and things go smoothly so I really don't think there is a compatibility issue here. The only agency that raised an issue about it is the paid/staffed 24 hour agency of the city. Don't get me wrong you guys. I admire and respect anyone that can do this for a living. I would love to get paid for this! However, I'm seeing a pattern developing (this may be a long on-going thing but I have only been in EMS for 4 years). Has money brought us to this? Is it so important that we have to fight for responses? It's a sad day indeed. What I think we need to do is look at the cause not the effect. Departments across the country are looking at budget short falls and lack of funding. Agencies, I presume, are rewarded for call volume by federal grants. Am I right? That federal money isn't enough. That goes, almost, without even stating it. So why isn't it enough? Why don't we look at the people that are charging a public agency, which existence is about serving the public, $1500.00 for a set of turn-outs, $300.00 for structure boots that last a year. These people are making a killing on products for EMS systems basically turning a public service into an industry. The result of becoming an industry is documented in the incident above. So instead of trying to find ways to make the money these people want, how about dropping a little reality on them. Don't tell me that these manufacturers have to make that much. Somebody is just trying to get rich and achieve the American dream and they're doing it at our expense. There's the solution, in my opinion. What do you guys think?

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