Fire Police Forum
What we'll do here is to publish the comments we receive about the site. For example, one of the first things that we received is that some loved but most hated the green front page. We changed it.
But, what we're really looking for is input about the "state of health" of Pennsylvania's Fire Police. One guy had responded to the Pennsylvania Fire Police survey stating everything was just perfect in his FD and we shouldn't criticize. Must be nice.
This forum gives us a place to vent. I reserve the right to edit for grammar, spelling, language, but the ideas will be yours. Just be sure to throw a name (or pseudo-name) and County.
Fire trucks from three companies plus a chief's vehicle and an ambulance responded to a rollover crash. PD was on scene upon arrival, and the drunk had gotten out of his vehicle on his own denying injury. The vehicle, now back on it's wheels was off the roadway as was the police cruiser. The six - yes, six - fire trucks plus the chief's marked vehicle were the only things blocking traffic - at a nasty curve, highly-traveled road during fog... The drunk realized he was going to get arrested and threw his pills out, on the shoulder. The Officer had thanked the FD for their response and advised them they could leave. Instead, they crushed most of the pills and nearly caused several more crashes. The PD supervisor arrived and again thanked the FD for their response and asked them to leave - they decided they weren't going to go. At that point, they were threatened with arrest (Obstruction of Highways and Other Public Passages) and they left. The Fire Chief wrote a letter of complaint - in all capitals and including swear words - to the Township Board Chairman, ignoring the Police Chief and Township Manager. A meeting was held - the Fire Chief was nearly fired. Fire Departments are a resource at crash scenes, they are NEVER in charge. Yet, Roadway Safety Consulting has met this attitude several times recently among Fire Chiefs...wow...
We received an email from a guy who we will not name. It seems he's been a Fire Police Officer for over 50 years and is perfectly happy using his own car (without a gas reimbursement) and paying for his own equipment. He feels we are idiots for our stance that the FD / municipality should provide our equipment and vehicles, and that things are done differently across the state. He doesn't need to take the new training.
In a nutshell, we told him that he was the problem, not the solution. These kind of people hold us down!
The NFPA Standards are now here! This will be the standard we're held to in Court. If you do not know what Pub 213 and Part 6 of the MUTCD say, then you'd better start studying...
Fire Police were out at a wreck in Lancaster County recently where a TT/STLR took out poles, including the ones that hold up the traffic lights. After 9 hours, a local for-hire flagging company came in and set up traffic control - had it done in a short time, and had the devices do the work, not 20+ Fire Police officers standing at TCPs in the rain... jus' saying we can do what they did - we work out of the same book after all.
Pa Fire Police Meeting, July, 2008 - Tony Riccardi and Commissioner Ed Mann both speak of the need for Fire Police to be fully trained and actually perform in the manner in which they were trained, also that Fire Police need to EARN the respect from the public. "Wearing pink spandex shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt and no hat does not engender respect from the public."
A response was received when the PennDOT regs governing lights was last changed. I did a lot of behind-the-scenes things, and we got rid of the "only 2 lights are permitted in a blue lightbar" restriction. But when the rule-making was published in draft, we wrote in stating that Fire Police blue-lighters who are forced to use their personal vehicles should be permitted the use of Traffic Control Emergency Directional Light Assemblies (TCEDLA)(SignalMasters, Arrowstiks, whatever you want to call them).
The response we got was truly a great example of the people making the rules not being in touch with us - they said we are permitted to have TCEDLA's on our Fire Police Vehicles, because they're red light vehicles and red light vehicles can have TCEDLAs. Great, but someone needs to wake up the legislator who believes that we all have Fire Police vehicles. York County, for example, has 71 Fire Departments and around 8 of them actually have Traffic Units... Why weren't we all writing to express our views? Probably because we didn't know it was happening.
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