Budget cuts are starting to hit


Here where Happy hangs his helmet, we often talk about how we’re immune to drastic budget cuts. Although salaries are often protected by contracts, it’s important to remember we can easily be replaced. Remember all those folks that tested with you that didn’t get hired? They’d love a crack at your spot now.

But even here at our large size Fire Department, new cut backs that had been rumored are now taking effect.

Anyone else noticing this kind of stuff?

Paper towels are to be used sparingly.

Reduce gas and electric by at least 10%

Here where I’m working today, we’ll call it Engine 98, the furnace is broken. There is no heat. We are under orders from the facilities management folks to just use the gas oven and a room fan to heat the common areas. A gas oven. On a cold day. Needless to say I’m typing with my turn out coat on.

Another station lost it’s hot water heater and it wasn’t repaired for over 2 months. 2 Months at a busy, crowded house (15 FFs) with no hot water for showers, washing or cleaning.

Soon we’ll be told to reduce the amount of bandages, nasal cannulas etc to use.

Granted we can be wasteful at times, but some of the cuts are going to hurt. Not in the pocketbook but in the living conditions in the firehouse.

The training staff has also been drastically cut down to barely even a skeleton crew. There were rumors of some new hires this year, but now there is no one to train them.

Local unions focus on what is pensionable, mainly because most on the board are closer to retirement and have those concerns fresh on their minds. I keep having to pause my typing to rub my hands together to stay warm here today. My smile is beginning to crack.

But hey, the heat works in my car out in the lot. Worst case I’ll wander out there with a portable radio and just sit in the sunlight.

And looking at the call volume for Engine 98 over the last few days, I should be able to get some work done on the computer.

Speaking of “computer work”, I mentioned just a few posts ago about taking time out to watch the fantastic series Firefly. Turns out there is a group of Uberfans who tracked down the ambulance prop used in the episode Ariel and are refurbing it to travel around different fan gatherings.
If you have a moment, look for the new link in the sidebar about the “Ariel Rescue Group” and check out their progress. Looks like a fun, but costly, project. But then again, if that’s what it takes to get Jewel Staite (Kaylee) to come visit me, I’ll make one too! From scratch.

Everyone stay safe,

the Happy Medic

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