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Date Posted: 13:04:30 08/02/17 Wed
Author: From the inside
Subject: Re: is Ron our next Fire Chief ?
In reply to: Well, if Shelley is pushing a paid fire dept. he better hurry before Holland is back 's message, "Re: is Ron our next Fire Chief ?" on 16:47:22 07/31/17 Mon

The department currently has 34 members.

3 Battalion Chiefs
6 Lieutenants
6 Drivers
19 Firefighters

With that said I wouldn't call ROFD understaffed. However, out of these members they all work full time jobs or other part time jobs to support their families just like everyone else to live the American dream. And part of their dream is to serve their community by providing you with fire/EMS services. But as time goes on and families grow and other circumstances arise some of our members have to move on to jobs that pay better and include benefits with a retirement. Some members try to do this while staying employed with ROFD but that can pose a problem and could possibly impact you or your family directly. Why? Because now they are juggling a family and a new job which more often than not is another full time FD job requiring them to work 24/48 and then we ask they work a minimum of a 12hr shift in RO. 36 hours away from your family is a long time. Iv done it and still do it. So what happens next? Marriages suffer, they miss activities with their kids or they are just plain worn out from working so much. That's just to name a few. So they start to pull less shifts because the amount of time away from family is not beneficial to the amount of money they are bringing home.

So why a push for a full time fire department? Its a step in the right direction for the citizens. We currently try to run the engine with 3 personnel. But that doesn't always happen. As stated above members typically work multiple jobs and their schedules do not allow them to work all the time. So some days holes don't get filled and we may only have two. 3 is the absolute minimum we would like to have on duty for safety reasons which is a conversation for another time. Mitigating an incident takes more than just 2 sets of hands. We have made the current system work. Its not perfect by any means. By implementing a full time staff of 3 firefighters on a 24/48 shift pattern it guarantees the engine rolls out with a crew ready to go to work. That benefits YOU and the guys riding the rig.

So why not go back to volunteer? Well before Chief Shelley took over the reigns ROFD had a hard time getting the truck out of the house to respond to calls. Calls were being covered by Sansom Park and Westworth Village. Shelley was able to come up with this current model we are running as temporary fix to that problem. He knew it wasn't a permanent solution. Having a volunteer is not a bad thing. I started as one and ill never forget where I came from. But going backwards to a completely volunteer service can have a negative impact on the citizens of River Oaks. Volunteers have to work too. So there is no guarantee on what could happen when you call 911 during the hours 8-5 or even at 2 in the morning. I understand budgets and the almighty dollar and that a full time department comes with a price tag. I know some of you may not see the benefit of having a full time department and you are okay with that.

And for those of you bashing Chief Shelley I encourage you to get to know him although his time in River Oaks maybe limited. I think you would find he is a godly man and a family man. He takes care of the "bubbas in the trenches" and the citizens he works for. The only side if him most of you see is in council or budget meetings asking for more money and some of you just read about him on this forum. At the end of the day he is just doing his best to get the best people and equipment to take care of you and your family. THANKS CHIEF!!!

This is just a little insight from within and you can take it or leave it. From those of us on the front lines all we ask is for you to stand behind us and support us.

God Bless

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