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Youngstown to consider building new fire station



Published: Mon, April 15, 2013 @ 5:21 p.m.

Youngstown to consider building new fire station

YOUNGSTOWN — City council will consider legislation Wednesday to spend up to $780,000 for a new fire station in Ipes Field on the South Side.

City officials have discussed replacing Fire Station No. 9 for seven years. The 90-year-old station on the corner of Midlothian Boulevard and Sheridan Road has structural problems as well as rats, mold and water leaks, said Fire Chief John J. O’Neill Jr.

Council’s ordinance, if approved Wednesday, would permit the board of control to enter into a contract with a company submitting the best and lowest proposal for the construction of a new fire station in Ipes Field, near the intersection of Midlothian Boulevard and Lemoyne Avenue.

The ordinance states the estimated construction cost to be $780,000.

If all goes according to schedule, O’Neill said construction on the new station would start in June and be done in September. The new station would be on an unused gravel area of the city park.

For the complete story, read Tuesday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com


Comments

1Ianacek(909 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

There's no WAY Youngstown needs to or can afford to spend $780,000 on a new fire station .

The Public Financial Management Inc report prepared for Council last summer points to mindboggling waste & inefficiency in a Fire Dept of 137 staff , spread over 8 stations; that averages only 1 fire daily between them .Of its other work , over half is non emergency , according to the report . I don't believe this figure includes computer time either - the Fire Dept manages to have a much better website than the Council . Go figure . PFM says multiple units often arrive at a fire when only 1 was ever needed . We all realize Fire depts need to operate on a high level of unused capacity , but in Youngstown the excess capacity is ridiculous .

Current fire station locations do not provide greatest access to major roadways
•Fewer stations can provide better response if properly located
•Reduction in FTEs would result in need for fewer fire stations

In this bloated & topheavy fire force , the report says 6 Chiefs , 30 Captains , 28 Lieutenants comprising nearly half the numbers . The mayor took great delights last year in congratulating the latest promotees personally & assuring the Dept it could ignore the PFM report so long as he was Mayor.

In 2003 , a self serving fearmongering campaign by the Dept persuaded voters to maintain this extravagence by hiking the Youngstown Income Tax rate to the highest in Ohio ; helping the City bleed jobs at an accelerating rate .


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2jupiter(116 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

PFM's report FAILED to address the call volume of the Fire Department. It utilized statistics that did not take into account the City's astronomical arson rate. Furthermore, if you are going to quote the report (as if it were worthy of being followed in the first place), quote the entire report: the Department was recommended to shrink-THROUGH ATTRITION, as the amount of fires (hopefully) were reduced by demolition of vacant structures.
Current station locations are in sensible geographic locations. Your reference to the Department having a "much better website than the Council" is inaccurate as well. The website you reference is maintained (and paid for) by a private citizen who has an interest in history and the fire service-IT COSTS THE CITY NOTHING! IT-IS-NOT-A-CITY-WEBSITE!!!
The reductions that you suggest will cost the City (and its residents) MORE when insurance rates are increased due to a reduction in fire protection.
Response to calls for service are dictated by national standards and best practices. Your insinuation that waste is rampant is simply unfounded and erroneous.
Your reference to the rank structure fails to mention the ten year step program that all new hires are under, resulting in a starting salary of approximately $9.00/hr. for the first two years, and increasing to barely $15.00/hr. after five years. Your suggestion that a "reduction in full-time employees would result in (the) need for fewer fire stations" is also false. The reduction in FTEs would INCREASE insurance premiums for residents, actually costing taxpayers money. Your reference to the 2002 tax increase needs to attribute "fear-mongering" to the appropriate political interests. However, the residents (voters) approved the level of service which they wanted for their city. Is your opinion somehow more valid than a resident's right to vote on matters? One of two conditions apply to you: either you are a City resident or you reside outside of the City. If you are a City resident then your vote was not the majority regarding this matter. If you reside outside of the City, then you have no say on matters regarding City political initiatives requiring a vote. I would caution you against attempting to assert tax-paying status as a condition for voting rights.
As the busiest fire department in the area, your statement regarding a "high level of unused capacity" is ridiculous as well.
Lanacek, you sound like a disgruntled has-been-who-never-was, now attempting to be a keyboard-know-it-all.

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3123goz(580 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

We should shrink all safety forces to an absolute minimum. After all, if there is more than one call at any given time, they can do rock, scissors, paper. Maybe toss a coin. One fire station centrally located should do it. 12 guys to work 3 shifts 7 days a week, 1st call, 1st served. That should keep them busy for a full shift.

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4yfdgricker(5 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"I don't believe this figure includes computer time either - the Fire Dept manages to have a much better website than the Council . Go figure." Lanacek, I am the webmaster of youngstownfire.com, the site you referenced in the quote above. First off, thank you for the complement. Jupiter is correct, there is no city money or firefighter time used on youngstownfire.com. It is paid for entirely by me, all of the research for the site is done by me, the photos are primarily taken by me. I am not a Youngstown Firefighter but I have grown up in a firefighting family. I receive no money from the city. The entire site is a tribute to the men and women who have served, are serving or will serve on the YFD. Granted the YFD hasn't released an annual report for quite a while but the yearly call volume of the YFD is impressive. I have a problem with the "high volume of unused capacity". It is not like fires are scheduled in advance. Ok there will be no fires tonight so we can close everything. Tomorrow though there will be 5 working house fires so we better schedule some people on. Firefighting doesn't work like that. When you call in a fire, one truck, if not more, are out the door on their way within 2 minutes of getting dispatched. There seems like a lot of stations, but in reality, they are organized so that firefighters can get to any section of the city within 5 minutes, a response time recommended by Federal fire guidelines. Unless you physically make the city limits smaller, you still have the same area to cover and fires are not limited to just people's houses. Grass fires, trash fires, car fires all happen whether there are houses present or not. Those fires also need dealt with quickly before they spread to occupied areas. There are non-fire related items that the FD deals with as well. Flooding, tornados, car accidents, sinkholes, river rescues, etc. Sometimes they are called to help out the surrounding departments when things go bad.

"PFM says multiple units often arrive at a fire when only 1 was ever needed." Yes, this happens a lot. One of the big problems with Youngstown is that whenever a citizen sees a fire, they call in and say a house is burning. That dumps 3 engines, a rescue, a ladder and the two chiefs. A lot of times, the first fire truck gets there and it turns out to be a car/trash/grass/bonfire whatever. If the caller would have been a little more specific in what was on fire, the FD might only have sent a truck. Not always the FD's fault. If someone says a house is on fire, they are going to send a house fire response to quickly deal with that situation. If the caller says a car is on fire, it's a different response. (Then you get on scene and it is a car on fire... in a garage... attached to a house... spreading to an occupied house next door).

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5yfdgricker(5 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 2 (darn character limit)

"In this bloated & topheavy fire force , the report says 6 Chiefs , 30 Captains , 28 Lieutenants comprising nearly half the numbers." I like that. It sure looks like a lot. Yes indeed. Until you realize a firefighter work 3 days a week x a 24 hour shift is a 72 hour work week! A normal work week (at least mine) is only 40 hours. Seems to me we have less firefighters working more and that sounds to me like the opposite of bloated and top heavy. Maybe the firefighters should only work 40 hours a week and we should add some more employees! The FD work week is 1 day on 2 days off with 24 hour shifts. That's 2 chiefs, 10 captains and 9 Lieutenants per shift to make sure the FD can deal with anything that might happen in the city. Actually firefighters work three 24 hours shifts for a total of 72 hours but they get a 24 hour shift off giving them a 48 hour work week, I know it is kind of odd but that happens when you work 24 hour shifts. I'd also like to point out that firefighters do not have the luxury of being able to roll over and go back to bed when the alarm sounds in the middle of the night. Sometimes that little point is forgotten.

Jupiter is also correct. If you have a smaller, less staffed, less capable FD, you do indeed save money paying taxes to support it but your insurance will skyrocket. I guess if you don't pay insurance, it is cheaper. I just hope the FD is able to get there quickly before you lose everything that is important to you or even worse, your life.

Thanks for letting me post and for reading what I know about the YFD. I don't really want to battle back and forth about operating procedures, federal guidelines or salaries because that is not what I do nor is it what I know. So please forgive me if I don't post anything else on this subject. Thanks again for the positive comment on the youngstownfire.com site. I do really appreciate it.

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