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Letter: CCFD Cuts, Privatization, Liquidation Should Never Happen

By Everett Trainer to CCFD Board President and Vice President

Good afternoon Mr. Gralinski and Ms. Baker, 

I am writing to you in regards to the current situation in the Town of Coventry. As you know, Central Coventry Fire has been the focus of your budget cuts and plans of liquidation and privatization. That should not ever happen. 

Private ambulance services in Rhode Island are merely transport services for profit. The underlying motivation for private ambulance companies is money. It's all about money and very little about public safety. These companies often hire young and inexperienced EMT's and pay them less just so the company can save money. The training is nowhere near as extensive as that of the fire service. Less training means there are more mistakes made and public safety is largely at risk. The mission of the Central Coventry Fire District is to provide life safety and property conservation through safe and effective services. That mission not only is very difficult for the firefighters to see through currently, but it will also not be seen through at all if privatization occurs. It is unwise to privatize. 

I know men on the Coventry Fire Department. They are motivated, driven, educated, and experienced. They want to help people. They want to ensure the safety of others. Not only are they tremendous at their jobs, but they go above and beyond the call of duty. They are incredibly nice people who will answer any question that is asked. If they do not know at that moment, they will go find out the answer. I was on scene with them at the 2nd alarm fire on Shady Valley Road. It was -2 degrees out, with snow on the ground, and these guys were working their hardest to combat the elements and the fire with limited personnel and low quality equipment. I watched a firefighter attempt to start a saw, but it wouldn't work. These guys need to have proper equipment to be able to do their jobs! This isn't the only Code Red in Coventry either. There have been thirty-nine working fires since you have been elected back in July. Twenty of which have been since you voted to liquidate and close the stations. That number alone demonstrates to not only you, but to everybody, that this town needs adequate fire protection. If you keep this up, lives will be lost. It's not a matter of if it happens; it's a matter of when it will happen. 

Furthermore, they have stated that they will work with you on the budget. 

Three out of five fire stations have closed which increased response times in certain areas. The Central Coventry Fire District serves twenty-six square miles containing about 25,000 people. How do you expect this to be efficient? Personnel levels have already dropped and now three strategic locations are closed. On top of that, the call volume is rising! 

Tower Ladder 3, the only tower in the town, was sent back. A tower ladder is essential to the fire department. It had a length of 100 feet and had the ability to flow 2000 gallons of water per minute which is very beneficial at fire scenes that require defensive operations. It also has the ability to rescue four people from a building at one time! The Central Coventry District is home to all but one of the high-rise buildings, mills, nursing homes, and senior/assisted living centers in the town. Your next closest tower ladders are West Warwick Ladder 1, Warwick Ladder 1, and Cranston Ladder 2! Do you really want to have to wait for them to get to the scene?! Granted they are even available. 

I hope you both realize the real problems that you have caused and I hope that you find reasonable and safe solutions. Do not close stations or put apparatus out of service. Do not privatize the fire department. Look at the facts. Think of your firefighters. More importantly, think of your citizens.  

Sincerely,
Everett Trainer

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michele Martin January 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM
No the contract should not be extended. It needs to be completely renegotiated. Of course that's why the union wants it extended. What I meant by permanent is not deferring anything that would have to be paid at a later time.
Steve Fay January 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Ms. Martin you seem to cast a blind eye at the expenditure for Fire Chiefs there is the proof. If you think I am going to lay out a plan here on this "yellow journal" board you may begin to hold your breath. Where is the reporting for the CCFD Court hearing this past Friday? Oh and Mr. Stanley is correct in his postings. Now I find it repugnant that neither yourself nor MR. Brooks are listed on the tax rolls in the Town of Coventry. Me thinks this more stirring of the Pot!
Michele Martin January 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM
Yes you will save money by eliminating the chiefs and more with the tax collectors just like last time. Look where that got you. How will this be any different? You will spend more than that on the additional men you need. Not to mention equipment needed since CCFD's is shot. Also as far as your plan I am sure Lauren could run something for you. You have no plan! Hopefully the taxpayers in this town are not stupid enough to fall for anything without concrete numbers. I would much rather have a plan from someone who wasn't in the fire service and is just thinking of his union brothers.
coventry taxpayer 2 January 26, 2014 at 02:04 PM
Mr. Fay your wasting you time with Michele, way back she came out like a little lamb and talked about how she was from "Western" and didn't want any part of CCFD. Fast forward and she has her nose all the way up to her ass in the middle of this and it is easy to see she is a mindless plant. If you truly live in western Michele stay there please and shut up!! I pay my taxes in central, you are having your own problems out there if you read the papers . Get your own house in order!! If you really live there??
Randy January 26, 2014 at 04:15 PM
Michele, you're wasting you time with these union fire fighters. They are only in it for themselves. Notice they don't have a plan except trying take whatever they can get from the taxpayers. They all disagree with anything that might take something out of their pockets or benefits. Even though we might have a plan it doesn't really matter because they are always looking for more, nevermind taking less.
coventry taxpayer 2 January 26, 2014 at 05:00 PM
LOL! sooooooo Randy what is your plan??? I am a taxpayer not a FF so I'm all ears!!
Randy January 26, 2014 at 05:37 PM
I have posted several different ideas on here in the past. Feel free to search for them. I was hoping to see some of the fire fighters post some of their ideas that might help. After all it is their jobs on the line. Come on guys, lets see what you can come up with!! It's not like you haven't had time to think about it.
RS January 26, 2014 at 06:39 PM
I guess a big starting point of a plan is to have the BOD actually sit down and negotiate with the Union. Per earlier comments they had to be ordered to negotiate by the judge.
Michele Martin January 26, 2014 at 06:59 PM
Coventry Taxpayer 2 one town one department will affect me. Unlike you I am not willing to give the fire district an open checkbook. There needs to be a better plan than the last one. I'm sure you don't think the rest of the town should pay the CCFD debt.
Just Me January 26, 2014 at 07:19 PM
I would like to see what the other departments in town have for a contract, as well as surrounding communities. I think if you really look at what the CCFD firefighters get its not that far off. So why make it all about them??? They went to the table and the Board refused to honor the deal that was cut. So who is lying to who?
Realistic Taxpayer January 26, 2014 at 07:24 PM
Good evening Ms. Martin ... First, since you seem to ASSUME, that all the people whom comment on the Patch, are either firefighters or family of the such, can you please tell me how you come to that assumption and cite any factual information to support your theory. Second, can you please inform us on what contract negotiations you would like to see, what was offered, and what were the alleged deferments that were on the table? Third, you have stated in past posts that one department will effect you, can I ask why and how?
Realistic Taxpayer January 26, 2014 at 08:27 PM
Good evening Randy. After taking you up on your offer to search for your "ideas", I have to apologize that I am only able to go as back as far as your comments on the "keyboard cowboy" thread, for whatever reason. Since you have "had the inside scoop for 20 years" can you please re-state your ideas for us new to the Patch?
Randy January 26, 2014 at 09:04 PM
New to the Patch Realistic Taxpayer?? You've been here longer than I have. Don't play your stupid little games acting like a two years old. If you read my comments then you already know what my ideas were. Do you have any suggestions yourself or are you just going to keep on criticising everyone else without the capacity to problem solve yourself??
coventry taxpayer 2 January 26, 2014 at 09:13 PM
Michele Martin , I have stated before that we would leave western out of it and just bill them for every run. Your department is not that important to the plan seeing as you are having a lot of problems yourself.
coventry taxpayer 2 January 26, 2014 at 09:14 PM
Randy who is the nasty one here you seem to a legend in your own mind!!
Realistic Taxpayer January 26, 2014 at 09:14 PM
Oh goodie! Someone came out to play!
Realistic Taxpayer January 26, 2014 at 09:24 PM
Your abrasive attitude is unwarranted, and again, I will apologize, and tell all that are following, that I was unable to see any of your comment past the "keyboard cowboy" post for whatever reason. How can an uneducated individual like myself, seeing I am only a 2 year old playing games, give any suggestions to you, a "20 year insider"? I simply asked you to please reiterate you "ideas" to the problems that we as a town face? If you care to not do so then so be it.
Realistic Taxpayer January 26, 2014 at 09:26 PM
Realistic Taxpayer = 15 comments vs Randy = 64 comments
Michael Scanlon January 27, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Two Toledo Ohio Fire Fighters killed in the line of duty during a fire and explosion.
Mary January 27, 2014 at 07:38 PM
Michelle have you read what happened in court? Maybe you should . http://coventry.patch.com/groups/announcements/p/court-denies-three-motions-by-ccfd-board-hears-update-from-chief
BOB I January 29, 2014 at 09:23 AM
yes mary , sounds like they are tired of beating a dead horse and are ready to pull the plug.
Randy January 29, 2014 at 05:49 PM
Realistic Taxpayer, what is you're opinion on the vacation and sick time that was mentioned?
Realistic Taxpayer January 29, 2014 at 08:51 PM
Good evening Mr. Randy. I do not see any mention of vacation or sick time in Mr. Trainers article.
Leave RI January 29, 2014 at 09:07 PM
Regardless if you're a teabagger or tal-libtard this will end up like the Twilight Zone episode "The Shelter"...go ahead and google or you tube/hulu. You're welcome.
Randy January 29, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Realistic, that's because it under the keyboard cowboy article you keep bringing up yet seem to not have read fully or you're just being selective as to what you will comment about.
Realistic Taxpayer January 30, 2014 at 07:02 AM
Can you please tell me where I "keep bringing it up"? I most certainly have referenced your comments under the Keyboard Cowboy post at your direction to "look up my ideas" in which I explained to you I not able to find any of your "ideas" and could you please restate them, which you have yet to do. If sick time and vacation time is one of your ideas please elaborate and I comment. Again as a "20 year insider" I would like to hear what you have to say.
RS January 30, 2014 at 03:18 PM
Bill, I think you aren't giving the board enough credit. They have actually done a superb job. If you recall waaaay back when they were running for election, it was stated here that they had no interest in solving any problems or negotiating with the Union. It was stated here by myself and others that they fully intended to liquidate the District and privatize the EMS. They have done exactly what they were elected to do. You can't find may elected officials that actually do what they intend to do while campaigning. I say job well done to the BOD!!!!!
Randy January 30, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Like I said Realistic, you're just here playing games. If you read the 20 year comment that you mentioned then you could have read the other comments and you'd have an clue.
Realistic Taxpayer January 30, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Mr. Randy, ONCE AGAIN, I can only read SOME of your comments on the "keyboard cowboy" article for whatever reason. Can you PLEASE re-state them so I can make an informed, educated decision on the problems that face our district. If you care not to then so be it. My two year old games vs. your " 20 year insider" knowledge must account for something no? Is it perhaps you offered no "ideas" or solutions to the problems? I have not once called you names or made any childish references your way, now have I?
harleyrider8272 January 30, 2014 at 06:46 PM
Dingdong the witch is dead!! Stern threw some water on Morgan and she screamed " I'm melting, I'm melting" and all that was left was the smell of red herring!! LOL

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