I was at a department not to long ago visiting and looking at their equipment and noticed that they needed better updated equipment. When I finished looking at the departments trucks the chief asked “what do you think”? I took a few minutes to think about how I should respond without sounding disrespectful and then I replied “you have some great trucks and equipment but have you and your men ever think about maybe getting more equipment”? He looked at me and said “We can’t afford it”. When I was on my way home I started to think about what that the chief had said to me. In today’s fire service the statement “we can’t afford it” has become all to common. No matter the size of the department or if it is paid or volunteer equipment and trucks can be obtain just by throwing out the “we can’t” and replace it with “how can we”? The fact of the matter is the mind is a computer and will only work with what it is given to work with. So when we say “we cant afford it” our minds shut down and does not try to think beyond that but when we say “how can we afford it” then or minds go into over drive thinking of all the ways both inside and out the box on how to obtain the money to buy the equipment. There is many ways to obtain money outside of grants for example bingo, bake sales, yard sales and etc. So I encourage you please don’t say “we can’t afford it” and start saying “how can we afford it”? I wish you and department the best so until next time stay safe and take care.

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Comment by matthew adamek on August 17, 2010 at 1:49pm
its sad, there people you need the most are getting kick to the curb side, its not right, if you got budget problem the protective services should be your last option to cut. It comes down to greed and peoples pockets in the government. Its tough if you a govt ran department, if its township , county , parish or what ever it tough. those politicians should take a pay cut, because one day there family going to need ems or fire for them and it wont be there because they shut the house down so they wouldn't lose there pay raise.We dont bill and never have but it has been brought to the table to start billing for out of area calls, or faulty fire alarms , or the place with 20 alarms a month .
Comment by matthew adamek on August 16, 2010 at 3:04pm
My dept haves a mutual aid dept just north of us that went to the voters and told them what would happen if they didnt get the tax renewal they needed to keep the dept operational. This dept tried 3 times, and still the voters said no. so now this dept is on the brink of shutting down and my dept taking over to cover its area. Which will but a stress on my dept since this mutual aide dept covers a large national park area. My tax base from john comment thinks that life is priceless where this mutual aide department tax base feels that there is a price. With this in mind i feel it depends on the area your department is in and how the community you live in feels.
Comment by John Crabbe on August 16, 2010 at 1:00pm
In a way you both have a good point but even if a department is ran by a board it is still voters and members who still have the say in if they stay or go so if you feel the money should go some where else then ever one should voice his or her opinion and stand as one voice which is louder then one persons voice.

The issue is that this blog really doesn't pertain to career types of depts. A career dept can't hold a bake sale or yard sale etc. The budgets are set by the politicians and that is where the money is channelled from. Many career depts have unions and they do voice their opinion as well as get political. Unfortunately that really is the way to counter such budget issues. My point is that you can't apply the same fundraising tactics by volunteer depts and think it goes across the board.
Comment by Elijah Davis on August 16, 2010 at 2:22am
In a way you both have a good point but even if a department is ran by a board it is still voters and members who still have the say in if they stay or go so if you feel the money should go some where else then ever one should voice his or her opinion and stand as one voice which is louder then one persons voice.
Comment by matthew adamek on August 16, 2010 at 1:57am
John i agree with you here, some department are ran by a fire board or govt body that says what can funds can be spent where and on what. And usually the people on those boards have no idea what even goes on in a fire house. For example Detroit fire can barely keep station open due to budget cuts made by politicians. My dept was suppose to go full time 10 -15 years ago, the excuse they dont have the money to pay the pay checks or the benefits. My dept. is lucky in one part though when we ask for something and show a good reason for needing it, we can usually obtain it some how. But other departments are not so lucky. Its a mess up world when the people who protect you and risk their lives for you everyday got to struggle to survive due to budget cuts, but its ok to give millions to some 20 years old girl for making a dumb movie who ends up in jail for dwi.
Comment by John Crabbe on August 16, 2010 at 1:19am
There is many ways to obtain money outside of grants for example bingo, bake sales, yard sales and etc.

No offense here pal, but that stuff only works for those volunteer type of departments. On paid depts the budget is controlled by the politicians and has to be channeled through that. Any fundraising done is to support charities etc.
Comment by Elijah Davis on August 15, 2010 at 5:14pm
thats true paul alot of departments feel that they dont use it that much so there is no need for it. I see it like this tho that it is better to have it and not need it as to need it and not have it thanks for your wonderful comment paul.
Comment by Paul Montpetit on August 15, 2010 at 3:09pm
I liked this but I think sometimes the question should be...."We can't afford to NOT get it."

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