I think buying the fire truck was a wise decision.

Comments

Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Okay, we spent $500,000 at a time when money is so scarce people are starting to ask you to spell that when you say the word. But there's a time to buy and a time to save, and I think this way the time to buy.

Not only that, but we bought a good engine at a low price, and the $50,000 needed to equip it as we want it is far less than it would have cost to buy a new engine. Plus which, we had the money set aside for it, and you know how that is in hard times--something comes up and the money just goes.

We are going to end our contract with Hellsgate in August of this year, and that's just next month. Time to get another engine in place.

Anybody think differently?

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Forgot to say why I thought it was a good idea:

What good is a fire station without a fire engine?

Would be like a woman without a.... . . . . . . . . . . . Husband.

Sorry to disappoint you. :-)

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

Tom, I am not certain if building stations that cannot be manned and acquiring apparatus that parks at an unmanned station is brilliant. For so many in the Payson area, they have this belief that the Federal Govt should bail the town out and pay for these items that we can't afford. Since the street department has no budget and nothing much to do, maybe they could be cross trained as fire fighters and man the station when they aren't cutting weeds or patching a hole here and there. Since the town is reluctant to reduce staff cross train those who don't have much to do. They could cut some weeds, sweep the side of the road, and man the fire truck. You got to think outside the box!

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Pat Randall 3 years, 3 months ago

They don't cut weeds they dig them up with a backhoe. Didn't you see the picture in the paper? I would bet vegetation spray would have been cheaper, looked a lot better and should last for 3 yrs. The town could use the employees that keep working out at the event center to be cross trained as fire fighters. Use a volunteer to man the front desk like they do at the police dept.

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

Pat, we just about found agreement again. Peace and love.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 3 months ago

The wisdom of buying a fire truck is not as important to me as the need for the fire truck or a place to park it. I am well aware of the changing times. What we expect today is very different than what we expected forty or fifty years ago. My piece of history. In !970 the population of Scottsdale AZ, was roughly 78,000. There were, as best as I can recall, 65 policemen, including the Chief and all Supervisors. The patrolling land mass was roughly 8 to 10 times that of our town of Payson. Patrol officers worked 3 shifts and took care of business. That same year, Scottsdale applied for and got a grant to employ police assistants, civilians 18 and older to take some of the burden of the officers. They took accident reports and other reports and were a great assistance to the department. Many future officers came from these PA's including one Gordon Gartner. The PA's were paid. Those positins in our community have been replaced by non paid Senior Volunteers (God Bless them), In addition, Scottsale did not have it's own Fire Dept. The job of responding to 78,000 residents was contracted to Rural Metro Fire. The purpose of this post is simply this, Why is Payson so in need of these essential services? What statistics do they offer that exceed the 1970 statistics of Scottsdale Arizona.? Do not infer that I am anti Fire Department, Police Department or anything else. I am Chairman of the East Verde Park Fire District Board which owes it's very safety to the Payson Fire Department through current contracts. Here is my bottom line. What has changed between 1970 Scottsdale at 78,000 people, and the Gila County, read Payson, 2010 statistics of less than 60,000 people in Payson with fewer homes? And why do we need more? I'm only looking for a logical answer and not placing blame anywhere.

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

Your points are well taken and as you know border on being considered controversial. When reviewing wages, I discovered that there is a nice trick to getting overtime when you are a firefighter. As you know, you can work 24 hour shift and do all kinds of interesting things in that 24 hour shift but then you are off for two or three days. Many have built successful businesses or worked other jobs knowing that they would have multiple days off. Not to many years ago, in looking at the ot report, I discovered that some firefighters were making as much as the chief due to ot. In fact one made something like 35K just in OT. Astounding when the average wage earner at Walmart makes what 20k? Maybe the answer lies in hiring seasonal firefighters when traffic is more abundant. Forest service does it so why not the town? In law enforcement the standard became four 10 hour days which really built up OT when going to court. I believe that DPS and others have gone back to the traditional five 8 hour days as a way to have better coverage and less cost. I am not anti fire fighters or anti police in any way but they are service jobs and service jobs aren't necessarily the most lucrative. Ask any teacher out there. The truth of the matter is you are right, we don't need more and we sure don't need the federal govt to spend taxpayer dollars on Payson to hire more staff. There are better and more efficient ways to cover the town.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 3 months ago

Unless things have changed when a firefighter goes on shift they are there 24 hours. They don't leave after an 8 hour shift, go home and are able to go to bed at night knowing they won't be woke up by bells ringing and they are off to another emergency. A lot of times, maybe not in Payson, they never get to bed in that 24 hours. They leave meals half eaten or don't get to eat at all. Not putting the police down, but how many of them drag people out of burning cars or houses or try to save a baby after they have fallen into a swimming pool? When they are fighting a fire they are wearing and carrying many lbs. of equipment. I always knew when my son, who was a paramedic had a bad shift as he would stop at my house on the way home and talk non-stop for at least 2 hours trying to wind down. When fire personnel are not on a call they are taking care of equipment, cleaning the fire house, cooking, filling out reports. out checking fire hydrants or something. They are not sitting on thier rear doing nothing as some people think. They earn every penny they get. Unless you have a firefighter in your family, you don't know squat about what they do and the pressure they are under. I think there should be another fire station at the airport. More important than more parks, ball fields, new swimming pool or enlarging the library.

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Barbara Rasmussen 3 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Fruth: The station will not be unmanned so the Engine will not just sit there. . It is apparent that you do not know what being a Firefighter means. One can not just be "cross trained" and fill their position. There are many requirements to become a Firefighter. Many years of schooling and training go with the job. They are not Hot Shots or Seasonal workers with the Forest Service! However they do go on wildland assignments such as the Wallow Fire, Willow Fire, Rodeo Chediski Fire and the Dude Fire and many others. Firefighters work 24 hr shifts and their overtime is not calculated after 40 hrs. They are on call 24 hrs a day even on their days off. And while there are times they do not go on calls constantly they are not sitting around watching TV or reading magazines or coming up with "creative ways" to get more overtime. Their families sometime don't see them for days. And they work every holiday, miss important dates that so many of us take for granted. Many of them struggle to make ends meet therefore they take 2nd jobs. People are allowed to ride along with them. Perhaps you could go down and do this and then you would realize just what a vital service they provide to our community and the surrounding areas.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Barbara, To many people are under the impression fire fighters sit on their rears reading Playboy or maybe playing cards when they aren't on a call. Little do they know how much training and stress it is to be a fire fighter and/or paramedic along with knowing about hazardous materials. Continuing education, and keeping in good physical shape. Not looking like some town employees I have seen.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Marly,

"You really aren't saying that a woman has no worth unless she has a husband, are you?"

Far from it. I was cracking a little joke, and I had to stick something in there. In a sense, I was just testing where people had their minds.

I notice that Pat jumped in too. You two are hard on a guy, but that's all right. Keep it up. :-)

"Since the street department has no budget and nothing much to do, maybe they could be cross trained as fire fighters and man the station when they aren't cutting weeds or patching a hole here and there. "

You know what that reminds me of, Tim? In the same vein during WWII, I saw a cartoon showing a three man draft board with the two outer members looking at the middle guy, who was saying, "What me?"

Better be careful. You could scare budget people into an early grave with a suggestion like that. You too, Pat. :-)

"The purpose of this post is simply this, Why is Payson so in need of these essential services?"

Knowing nothing about the subject, I'll just say everything I know.

(..........)

"Maybe the answer lies in hiring seasonal firefighters when traffic is more abundant."

As little as I know, I would not favor that program for the simple reason that I do not think it addresses the problem you mentioned (high pay created by a scheduling system). Better to change the system. If the problem is overtime, then redefine "overtime," and/or rethink the the schedule.

This may be off the mark, but in the Air Force, to attain 24/7 coverage we often used a "two graves, two days, two swings, two off" schedule that was the best work schedule I ever saw in my life. For six out of eight days you were off during shopping hours, off during the evening, and off at night. And if you examine a schedule like that, you'll see that the two days off are entirely off; you do not work on any portion of them. The coverage was great, and if needed--a rarity--the people who were on the day and swing shifts portions of the schedule were required to be available.

It's obvious, of course, that you can have enough men on duty to cover actual fires if you install a standby system like that, calling for a percentage of men to be available (in town and contractible by phone) whenever needed. Whether that would work better than the present system I have no idea. What I do know is that it's a whole lot easier to talk about what someone else should do than to be there on the job doing it, so anything I say on this subject comes under the heading of "well meant, but totally uninformed comments."

Having read Pat's post, and Barbara's, after that last sentence of mine, I'd repeat it, but I don't want to waste your reading time.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 3 months ago

Tom, Are you saying Barbara and I are totally uninformed about fire depts. and what the employees do?

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

You got it exactly backwards, Pat..

What I said was, "What I do know is that it's a whole lot easier to talk about what someone else should do than to be there on the job doing it..."

I was talking about myself. I was just speculating, as opposed to what you and Barbara were saying, which sounded like stuff coming from people who knew what they are talking about.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 3 months ago

Tom, Sorry I misunderstood.
Fire fighters and Marines are my heroes, as I have said on here many times.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

"Sorry I misunderstood."

No problem.

As to Marines, I've never forgotten Harry Truman's comment that the "Marines are just the Navy police force, and I intend to keep them that way." (may not be a perfect quote, but it will do).

I liked Truman, but as you can imagine that did not go down well with me, living as I did in a town where the U. S. Submarine Base was right across the river. I wondered if he had forgotten that 25,000 of those "policemen" gave their lives in the war that had just ended (World War II), and that the casualty rate was almost double that of any other service.

I'm afraid that Truman was not the brightest bulb on the tree, but he struck me as an honest man, though not the best thinker we ever had. I saw him in person once, taking his daily constitutional in Independence after he retired.

Still needed a shave. :-)

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 3 months ago

Off topic but referencing your last comment. Harry S. Truman was the last true of the people poliicians to hold the office of President, my opinion. None of the inside crowd thought he should have been the Vice President, let alone the President. No one gave him a chance in H. E. double hockey sticks of being elected President. No politician believed he had the courage to take the place of the already exhalted, never a finer president, statesman extraordinaire, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In my opinion, Harry turned out to be the most courageous President this Country has ever known. Put him down for his humble beginnings. Find some corruption in his past. Find a man who more than him, stood up to say this is it, This is our moment in the world and from this we will go forward. The Dollar ended it's corruption with Truman because it did not influence his decisions. I'm not a Democrat and I believe if Harry Truman were alive today he would say, he's not one either.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Dan,

Agree. Truman made me mad as hell when he made that crack about the Marines, but at least he was honest enough to make it. And I was not too happy when he canned MacArthur, who was by no means my favorite person, but who had the right idea. Want to win a war? Win it on enemy territory. You can't win it any other way.

On the other hand, Truman made the right decision when he used the atom bomb. Anyone of our era who second guesses a decision made in that era has his head up and locked. Wars are won by killing the enemy. During World War II the definition of "enemy" was "the people on the other side." The entire world was in danger. Had the Axis won, the death toll would have been so vast it would have been unbelieveable. The Japanese were the enemy, not just the Japanese soldiers, but the Japanese people, who would have fought on forever, killing and dying by the millions. We killed the enemy, a lot fewer of them than would have died had we not used the bomb. The war ended. Quod erat demonstrandum.

On top of that, if you read Japanese history you know that if we had not done what we did the war party in Japan would have assassinated the Emperor and fought on. In fact, they tried, and were only foiled by a few men who agreed that it was time to surrender.

If another people-against-people war erupted we--or they--would do the same.

We hate war. We hate fighting of any kind. With the sole exception of the invasion of Iraq, we do not initiate wars. But if forced to defend ourselves we reserve the right to do so instead of perishing.

Truman was a lot better choice for VP than the man he replaced, Henry Wallace, who had a strong socialist bent. I remember the 1948 campaign as well as if it were yesterday. As politically innocent as a flea, I got dragged to one of his Progressive Party rallies. I was shocked. Sounded like a Communist meeting to me. They even quoted things I had read in Marxist writings. I told my oldest brother Bill, who had dragged me there, that he was out of his mind to support such a nut. What Bill did (politically) after that I do not know.

(a bit more)

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Then--this will crack you up--one day in 1948, 16 years old, I was sitting in the bus station having a cup of coffee when "Mister Republican" (Senator Robert Taft of Ohio) dropped in as part of a whistle-stop campaign. And what? He sat down next to me, shook my hand, and started a conversation as reporters swarmed around and took our picture. It appeared in the New London Day. The two people named in the photo? Bob Taft, along with Tom Garrett of 220 Huntington Street. Still got the picture.

I wasn't even old enough to vote.

That summer I lolled around in a canoe at Ocean beach, rocking in the waves and listening to the Democratic Party convention, which was broadcast on the PA system. Just stretched out there in the sun there and heard the whole thing, sunning in my bathing suit and paddling around with one cute little blond named Barbara LeBlanc. I decided I liked Truman.

I still remember the pictures of a laughing Truman holding up a copy of a Chicago newspaper that said "Dewey defeats Truman." I didn't like Dewey. That mustache. Didn't trust anyone with a whiskbroom mustache in those days. Hitler. You know?

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 3 months ago

This last paragraph would make a great scene in a movie and a movie I would pay to see. Thx.

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

You just have to post that picture of you and Senator Taft. I'm one of those guys from Ohio so I would like to see the New London photo op.

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Rex Hinshaw 3 years, 3 months ago

Tom , What a great story. I enjoyed reading about it and think the picture and the story should be in the paper...how bout it.

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

Yeh. Just do it! It is history. If the Roundup can post all the police reports they sure can post a real historical story from their own Tom Garrett! :)

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Tim, Rex,

I think you're ribbing me, but I'll see what John has to say.

John,

Interested in a photo-op from April 1948? The date is "Tuesday, April....(that's where Mom cut it off). I wasn't in town when it printed; I was in NYC visiting some old friends. It's a bit yellowed but still okay. If you are interested, I'll drop it off for copying next Tuesday. No big deal. I'll drop in and show it to you anyway. It'll give you a chuckle. I would scan it and transmit it, but I put it on my little HP printer and it didn't copy all that well (faint horizontal lines).

I e-mailed Peter Huoppi, Director of Multimedia at the Day last night to see if I could get a scan of the original. Here's his reply:

Tom- We don't have a lot of archive material going back that far, certainly not prints or negatives, and nothing digital. I took a browse through the older photo and clip files, which are arranged alphabetically by topic, and came up blank. If you could come up with the date, I could probably find an image of the page for you. My only other option would be to look through the entire year of 1948 on microfilm one page at a time, which I don't have the time to do.

A lot of our microfilm has been archived by Google. The text is somewhat searchable, but I didn't find anything. It may be that photo captions are not indexed. If you'd like to browse it yourself, here's a link to what Google has from The Day in 1948:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=SrsqWtBqNIQC&dat=19480101&b_mode=2&hl=en

There's an article on the back of the clip I have which shows that the date had to be after 12 April, 1948. I went to Google. They only have three days from the likely period. None of them contain the photo.

Kismet.

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John Naughton 3 years, 3 months ago

Old news. No, really, really old news!

Seriously, why don't you bring it in and let my folks do their scanning magic on it. You can expound on the story, especially the Barbara LeBlanc part, and use it in your column.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, John. Great idea!

When I bring it in (should be next Tuesday) I'm going to show you an article that just purely by chance happened to be on the back of it (along with parts of 4 more). It's such an odd insight into American political history I think you'll get a kick out of it.

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

Tom I wouldn't rib you on that! I think it very cool and look forward to a feel good, good news story.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 3 months ago

Tim,

Would you rib me about once working with one of the Apollo 15 astronauts? :-)

Anyway, I think John is right. There's an interesting column in that story, along with the crazy election that year. I'll write it. Right now I'm about 8 weeks ahead on the columns, but I'll move that one up in the queue. Maybe three weeks from now.

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Tim Fruth 3 years, 3 months ago

Nope not that either. Now if you say you were a stowaway on one of the Apollo missions I might rib you then.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

"You just have to post that picture of you and Senator Taft. I'm one of those guys from Ohio so I would like to see the New London photo op."

Tim, look in Friday's paper.

Hilarious, no?

I even had hair back then.

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