It has come to my attention, that our yearly budget from the township we protect is being not only cut , but slashed in nearly half. Now i'm sure many of you belong to volunteer fire companies that get funded either partially, or in whole by your local gov't,. Then their are those who get nothing or next to nothing. Well we get next to nothing and now they're going to give us half of that.
16 yrs ago I became a volunteer firefighter, in a small suburban town in northern New Jersey. about 20 minutues from New York City. We covered 3 square miles, mostly residential, but consisting of a modest downtown business district, a small industrial park, and a number of large commercial structures. in addition we had some highway, train crossings , and a river that liked to flood. We handled about 300 calls a year, of which maybe 25% were actual emergencies.This department as like those surrounding us had 2 engines , a tower ladder w/ pump, and a heavy rescue, all new equipment. we had about 60 members, and a beautiful fire house, This company like ,all that we were surrounded by, recieved a large majority of their budget from the town .
60 miles away and three years later I find myself a junior officer in a small rural company in northwest NJ. We cover about 50 square miles, residential and farm land. We cover 20 miles of interstate, (some of the most dangerous miles in the country). a state park, a national park, a major river that likes to flood, thousands of acres of state owned recreational land. . We respond to about 200 calls a year. about 60% are actual emergencies. anything from structure fires to forest fires, technical rescues in the parks and/or river and what we do the most of motor vehicle accidents. We have 2engines , a tanker, and a small rescue/utility vehicle. Just last year we recieved a new engine purchased by the town. Which we had to beg for. It is my understanding that it took ten years to convince the town we needed to upgrade our equipment. The Tanker is a nice truck about 10 years old, the second engine is servicable at best, and the rescue is nice but way to small for our needs( we built it ourselves F350 crew cab w/ utility body on it). We have about 20 members that are active,
It seems odd to me, that in the same state only 60 miles apart two situations could be so different. Where I am now we litterally have to have fundraisers to put fuel in our trucks.While my old company is awaiting their latest new engine.we barely have enough room to store the small amount of stuff we have, while they have a huge fire house with a commercial kitchen, communtcations room , and showers. The town i came from wasn't rich, and the town i'm in isn't poor, How nd when can we adequately fund firefighters across this country? why do those who need it, can't get it, and those who have it don't need it.