Sharon Boyd, Editor/Publisher

Your alternative to
The Dallas Managed News  
Rad Field

  Home       Search     


BadDealLogo.gif (6018 bytes)



  Fire Department Budget --- Misuse Of Manpower & Equipment

We have all noticed how Fire Department personnel and equipment are being utilized on the highways as "traffic directors" and "barricades". 

Let it be known that the Fire Department operates at "code" speeds on calls to service, whereas the Police Department gets to the scene when and how it can.  Therefore, the first to arrive at most highway traffic accidents/mishaps is usually the Fire Department. 

Utilizing ladder trucks and engines as barricades on the highways is not the most economical/ practical means to block oncoming traffic.  The current scheme can place six or eight firefighters "out of service" with perhaps a million dollars worth of fire fighting equipment "at risk". 

Instances have occurred whereby fire equipment has been run into by oncoming traffic.  Those events are VERY costly to the city budget and places much needed assets out of service.  Six or eight firefighters who could be training, sleeping or resting at a strategically located station ready to fight a costly or deadly fire are often out in the cold or heat getting worn out performing duties not primarily intended for firefighters.  Then, when called to fight a blazing fire, they may not be up to full capacity to perform the tasks they were trained to do.  Believe me, the Fire Department does a splendid job for the citizens of Dallas.
09/20/05 JD Spaan:
Thank you for continuously posting your thoughts about the city- it is always interesting to read your posts. As I was reading the posts today I had the following thoughts:
     Mr. Field asks  why does the Fire Dept. perform certain functions that he feels are a waste of resources (acting as "traffic directors").
    In Belo approves 2nd Tier Thinking, your commentary regarding the Dallas Fire Chief, you agree with the Chief that the "efficiency study" Mary Suhm wants is a waste of money. Isn't this an excellent example of the type of wasted resources an "efficiency study" could reveal? If the efficiency study revealed to the fire chief and the city manager that the fire department is wasting manpower and equipment  performing non-essential tasks, then those resources could be redirected and Dallas could be a safer city.   

The Police Department, with portable barricades and "arrow trucks", should be utilized to direct traffic and to protect a mishap scene QUICKLY".  After all --- if the Fire Department can get there, why cannot the Police Department.   For serious highway blockages or injury events, the Police Department could be operating at "code" speeds for timely arrival at such highway events.  In earlier years, before the Fire Department "barricade" escapades, police traffic elements, with flares, arrow trucks, cones, etc. were utilized to secure and clear accident scenes.  Those techniques used to work WELL. 

What has happened?  In these times, even HOV lane sweepers utilize transportable barricade / barrel trucks with electric arrows as protection for slow moving sweepers.  Perhaps those types of vehicles with approved emergency lighting could be used INSTEAD of a million dollars worth of fire equipment and a half dozen fire fighters (who should be readying for a hazard that they are truly trained for). 

And as  next to final straws... do the citizens believe that the Fire Department should have to budget for the WATER they use to put out FIRES?  AND --- for Fire Department "common" vehicles (like we all drive), why not rent them and have them maintained by a vehicle rental company?  The cost to have the city garage fix such vehicles might exceed that of rental agencies. 

Rad Field
Dist. 11





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8