Conservative News & Commentary

Oct 21, 2015 — by: P. Henry
Categories: Government

Klamath County Fire District 1

Isn’t it wonderful? This brand new, shiny fire station! Wow, who ever lives near this beauty must be proud and feel safe. Matter of fact it is the one of the newest stations in Fire District 1.

Wait, what’s that? No one works here? You mean there are not any firefighters at this station? What?!? No one has ever worked from this station? What’s going on?!?

Good questions. Welcome to government illusion at its best. While the Fire District 1 does park a fire truck in this station and pays for heating and cooling to keep the station warm in the winter and cool in the summer, not one firefighter has ever been assigned to work from this fire station. Why? First, understand that the station was built as a “gift” of the Federal Government — Federal Governement grant money. The station was built between the Running Y Ranch and Ridgewater neighborhoods, two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the county, to give the illusion of a quick and nearby fire response. Why? Because it helps keep the fire insurance rates for the well-to-do lower than they would be without this building. In other words, the Federal Government spent money (it didn’t have — they borrowed it) on a building that has never been used in order for these wealthy residents to qualify for cheaper fire insurance rates.

Second, Fire District 1 can not afford to hire firefighters for this station. So the station was built, but the department can not afford to use it. Excellent use of tax-payer dollars don’t you think? Perhaps they should be required to post a big sign out front that says, “No firefighters work here.” Now that would be some real education and honesty from government for a change.

The Illusion Continues

Just like this unused Fire District 1 fire station, ballot measure 18-104 trades on the same illusion of providing better service and more safety at additional tax payers expense. Questions that are never asked or answered include:

  • How old is the current equipment? How long is it expected to last? How long should it last?
  • How many fires or emergencies has District 1 failed to respond to because of current equipment?
  • How many fires have there been in Fire District 1 during the past 12 months, 24 months, 60 months?
  • Would the new equipment provide any significantly better response time? (In other words, what is the real world benefit for the real additional cost to tax payers).
  • Why five new trucks, five new ambulances and a brand new command vehicle? Why not two of each? Why not new-used?
  • Who has independently validated this request to the tax payers? Or is the Fire Chief the sole decision maker and requestor?
  • Since this apparent “need” was known about for quite some time, how much has Fire District 1 set aside from their budget each year to help pay for new equipment?
  • How did this question get on our ballots? Was it a citizen referendum, where 3,500+ signatures were collected, or did the County Commissioners, by edict, put it on the ballot? (If you guessed “the Commissioners did it”, you would be correct).

There are a lot of unanswered questions, and there is a reason for that. The Fire Chief does not want to answer them. It is far easier to play his violin and tug at the heart strings of well intentioned voters, than to truly justify the additional expense to tax payers for more equipment. Klamath County residents pay $1.73/$1,000 for general property tax. Fire District 1 charges over $2.50/$1,000 for their services. This means county government lives on $1.73/$1,000 but, Fire District 1, who charges much more from every property owner in their district, now needs even more money for new equipment. Huh? What did they do with the money they get without question year after year? They spent it all. Every year. Every last penny. There is no savings for equipment. Instead Fire District 1 is hoping you won’t stop and think. They hope that you will feel sorry for them and that shiny new equipment will make you feel proud and safe.

The fact is, no one will be safer if this levy passes. No one will be worse off if it doesn’t — well except for the fact the firefighters and their chief will have to live within their means. Don’t fall prey to another government illusion. If you still don’t understand, go visit the brand new fire station out by the Runny Y Ranch. Maybe then it will sink in.

Correction: October 22, 2015

The County Commissioners did not vote to put this measure on the ballot. The Fire District can put any measure on the ballot for its taxing district as long as it reimburses the county for the cost of the election.

Correction: November 2015

We were incorrect in saying that no one ever worked at the Fire Station by the Running Y Resort. For several months the station was operational until the Fire District could no longer afford to staff it. The station has been inoperable for several years now, which means the point of the story still holds true although the facts were not completely accurate. In otherwords a distinction without a difference.

33 Comments

  1. chuck ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 10:04 am

    Agreed: No on this bond. After re-reading the original H&N article of October 6 I had to laugh. 151,000 miles are too many? I recently went with a friend to Arizona to retrieve his 37 ft. fifth wheel trailer. The 2002 diesel pickup had 170,000+ miles on it and there was no concern as to whether we would make it or not. One issue that I don't see brought up very often is the increase in valuation throughout the district. Even before the 2008 recession there were tax woes. But all those new houses that had been built must have brought in more revenue than the farm and forest land they replaced. The election timing is convenient as well, as we city dwellers have not received the latest property tax statements with our new KU bond included, which will, as I remember, increase again with the 2016 statements next year. And why buy used fire trucks? Isn't that what we have now? #
  2. chris h ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 10:11 am

    It is true that District #1 has a lot of calls, many of them because people have been trained to call 911 when there is a need, not necessarily fire or dire medical. In rural areas these calls are less frequent because people tend to be more self-reliant and help-thy-neighbor friendly. In spite of the bigger budget, District #1 rarely is able to respond as a backup when the rural VOLUNTEER EMS groups are not available. But when LaVerne was on the floor I was glad to be able to call 911 for help getting him up! #
  3. Dennis ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 11:22 am

    I had the same question too about the empty fire station. But they use the same emotional language to get our money. I appreciate the job they do but management still needs to be accountable to the public since they work for us. More government, more taxes means less freedom. #
  4. Erick ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

    The author should do a little more fact checking. Station 5 was built and staffed for approximately three years before a variety of budget issues (economy and grant funding) forced its temporary closure. Since then it has been leased other fire and medical agencies to offset costs. While not ideal, the statement is simply false that it was built and never used. Many of the current fleet are as old as some of the fire departments newest employees. Industry standards place apparatus to "reserve status", or "back up" after 15 years. Many of the fire departments primary response fire trucks are 25 years old (average 21 years)...a classic if you were entering them in the car show. The same is true for over half of the ambulances (average 15 years). These vehicles are not long haul trucks and have higher demands placed on them for life safety purposes. There is a vehicle in for repairs weekly often leaving crews short. The district spends about $77,000 per year in maintenance and repairs just to keep the fleet rolling. Fire Disrtict 1 is asking for about the same as one family trip to Dutch Brothers for coffee. These facts are readily available for the public to review. Many local business and the administration office (143 n broad at) have flyers available for the taking and FD staff have been making public appearances throughout the community answering questions. Perhaps the author should try attending. #
  5. Tom J ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

    Erick - interesting. I don't know about whether the station was ever used or not, but find it fascinating that the District would buy and staff something that they couldn't sustain. My understanding is the building was funded by money from the federal government and then staffed by that same funding? That is not a sustainable way of doing business. So now we have an asset that does nothing. It just sits there, until more money is available from the benevolent federal government? How is that a responsible use of tax dollars? It remains an illusion that the fire department is just around the corner. But what really intrigues me is that where is the savings in each year's budget for fire equipment? The Fire District must know that some day they will need to buy new equipment is it not? I'm not anti-fire department, but I believe the fire department should operate the same way the rest of us must, within our means. None of us can go make our neighbors give us money to buy whatever we "need" because we didn't save. That would be called theft. If I must take out a loan, I don't burden my neighbors with paying back that loan. We need a government that lives the same way that the people they serve live. Right now, government plays by different rules. They just cry for more money and say the sky will fall if they don't get it. Where is the accountability? Time for government to live in the real world like the rest of us. If the fire department want's to take out a loan, fantastic. Just don't make us pay for it. #
  6. Terry L. Clemens ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 4:25 pm

    Klamath falls had a chance for an ambulance service....and shot it down!! It's much easier to fleece the taxpayer for government subsidized ambulance service. #
  7. Lisa ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

    Well I mailed my NO ballot already. I am so sick and tired of this constant reach into my wallet. Here is another reason to vote NO. Last year I had an ambulance ride to the hospital. It was from the area of Mia and Pia's so not a long ride. I got the bill for this high priced taxi and it was almost $1500!! I called and explained that I was a property owner and tax payer in their district and how in the hell could they send me a bill like that when I am supporting their operation via my property tax bill. It didn't matter. Plus I didn't need any special care in the ambulance either. If our equipment is so bad and they send bills out like this to the very people that support them I say privatize the operation and take that off my tax bill. Heaven forbid you need a fire truck if your house was on fire. Privatize the entire fire district and we would see some real cost saving management. Count me in on a NO vote. #
  8. Fred Starkey ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

    I suggest to all of you that you find out the total State Bond Debt. According to Moody's Oregon spends $3.25 for every $1.00 of tax revenue: that is why they have to borrow money. In reality, Oregon is unofficially bankrupt. Get the Moody's report. #
  9. Brandon ~ Oct. 21, 2015 @ 9:37 pm

    How old is the current equipment? 1990, 1990, 1990, 1994, 1996, and 2007. Two of the 1990 engines were bought with the passage of a public safety levy in 1989. This is listed on the information pamphlet from the fire district. How long is it expected to last? NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends 15 years then being placed into reserve status. This is also on the information pamphlet. How long should it last? Most engines nationally are decommissioned at the 25 year mark. 15 years front line and 10 years reserve. How many fires or emergencies has District 1 failed to respond to because of current equipment? Anything more than none is unacceptable. At any given week there is a delayed response on an apparatus from mechanical problems. The fire district always tries to respond to any call for service with in there boundaries. How many fires have there been in Fire District 1 during the past 12 months, 24 months, 60 months? The fire district averages about 160 fires a year. That is any type of fire, not including false alarms. Would the new equipment provide any significantly better response time? (In other words, what is the real world benefit for the real additional cost to tax payers). Newer apparatus would accelerate quicker, maintain speed easier, and be safer to operate on the road. Which means the firefighters can arrive at the emergency quicker to provide for life and safety. Why five new trucks, five new ambulances and a brand new command vehicle? Why not two of each? Why not new-used? The ballot is for 5 new ambulances, 5 used engines, and 1 new command. 5 New ambulances is for when a tax payer calls 911 for a medical emergency the firefighter/EMT's can safely and quickly get the person to the hospital without the worry of breaking down, also so that the ambulances can be built to the fire district's standards to get around in the fire district and other out lying areas. The engines need to be replaced, 2 months ago one engine had a catastrophic failure while doing the yearly pump test, this failure could of been during a fire and could of been deadly to the firefighters or the tax payers. The command rig needs to be replaced as well, every army needs there leader to be efficient. To be efficient on the fire ground, the firefighters need there leader to be able to arrive quickly and safely. When looking at the mileage of the vehicles, don't look at the large number, look at how many times that apparatus has started up and was pushed to the limit before being warmed up. How many people get into their vehicles an accelerate hard right away before it being warmed up? Its hard on the motors and there comes a lot of maintenance issues from it. This is my 2 cents on these issues and do not represent the fire district's point of view. #
  10. A.Smith ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 10:36 am

    Brandon, if this equipment is so old, that everyone knew it needed to be replaced for quite some time, where is the line item for new equipment in the Fire District's budget? We are not unreasonable, but we do expect government to be responsible by planning for the future like every other business and household in the district. If you need more money, then why not hold annual fundraisers? If the community agrees with your need, they will gladly contribute, and abundantly. This is a very generous community for worthy causes. However, to use government force to take additional money from everyone's pockets because of poor long-term planning by the Fire District is unacceptable. Government may no longer operate in an alternative universe from the rest of us. #
  11. Another Fred ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 10:49 am

    Wow! 160 fire incidents last year! This means there were more than 200 days (at 3 shifts per day) where full-time salaries, benefits, and retirement money was absconded with no benefit to the citizens. I say "Vote NO!" #
  12. Steve Souder ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 11:44 am

    Fire Dist. 1 has skated along with a free ride too long, No one denies that firefighters are needed but think about. They work three day's , may or may not be called to do any fires or emergency . then get four day's off. At work the eat better than most and have the best working conditions on the planet. The actual response calls are inflated but look good. The questions asked are good ones. They sure don't need more money Steve Souder #
  13. Roger Ramsey ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 11:57 am

    "The fire district averages about 160 fires a year. That is any type of fire, not including false alarms." WOW! What a total rip off. Now I know where all the money is going... to pay people to do less than more. This is like most issues in government, there is plenty of money but that money is poorly allocated. What about a full time staff of four - chief, maintenance, two full time and the rest of the fire personnel on call? With only 160 fire incidents per year, do they need five fire trucks?!?! Sheesh. #
  14. Terry L. Clemens ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 12:31 pm

    I can remember a time when most of the Fire Dept. was volunteer, time to go back to it!! #
  15. Erick ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 1:54 pm

    The question to how many fires District 1 responds to is misleading. Fire responses are only a fraction of the total calls for service those engines go on every day. 2014 saw over 7000 calls for service and this year they are projected to break 8000 calls for service. The engines and ambulances respond to about 22 calls per day in Fire District 1 response areas. To think they only respond to 160 fires a year and nothing else is simply not true. If you would like to know the breakdown of types of calls, the Central Station can help with that information. One should look at the fire department for what it is, the tool box for the community. Every time a citizen has an issue or needs help the fire department responds, day or night. If the community is content with emergency response vehicles old enough to be placed in the next Klamath Cruise then vote your will. Steve Souder, not one shift in any fire station goes without a call, the previously posted stats confirm that. A. Smith, Brandon is correct in his information. The facts are operating costs increase annually with the tax base remaining stagnant. More money going out, less coming in and a department struggling to maintain an acceptable level of service to the community. The district did not come to the decision lightly. It was the only option, there is no hidden pot of gold, secret slush fund or Swiss bank account to dip into. I'm pretty sure community fundraisers, bake sales or firemen calendar shoots would take another 20+ years to earn enough for 1 engine...not a viable option. #
  16. Erick ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

    Terry, If you find waiting for up to 30 minutes for a volunteer fire or ambulance response for a critical incident, fire, heart attack, stroke, car crash or ??? then great. ask some of the local communities served by volunteer agencies how well that works when no one responds because they are all at work or ??? and District 1 is unable to leave town to help. #
  17. A.Smith ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 2:17 pm

    Thanks for your comments Erick. Informative, but not persuasive. "The district did not come to the decision lightly. It was the only option,..." these tired government excuses will no longer be tolerated without resistance. 11 vehicles, ALL at once, costing close to $2,000,000, in a community that is having a difficult time keeping its head above water economically is unreasonable. Save some of FD1's budget for future equipment purchases. It's that simple. Let's have the community, not the fire district, decide what an adequate level of service is. Hold a fund raiser. See how much people agree with your position. Don't coerce money by use of government from people who disagree. Government should not allowed to spend every dime and then cry when they need new equipment or a new building. We the people decide. Not they the government bureaucrats. This is the exact same cry we heard from the sheriff's department last spring. Their levy failed. We are still here. Crime did not get worse. We live in the real world, and have to make tough economic choices. Government must live in that same world, that's all. I'm sure you will do an excellent job, but please plan for the future. Lay off two workers at $50K each and in 5 years you will have $500,000 (magic!). Go buy an engine and two ambulances. Save, repeat. It's not that hard. #
  18. Terry L. Clemens ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 3:50 pm

    Erik....scare tactics just won't work anymore!! If my house burns to the ground, I will just collect the insurance, shake the dust from my heels and depart this dying community!! #
  19. Dawnn ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

    I think it is pretty telling that Fire District 1 would put a $30,000 - $50,000 tax payer election on the tax payers for one issue. It could have waited until the next election with multiple issues to vote on. I guess they don't mind wasting tax payer money. #
  20. Brandon ~ Oct. 22, 2015 @ 6:48 pm

    So what I am reading is most people would rather keep their less than $40.00 a year for most homes in klamath (proposed rate of 0.16 per $1000.00 assesed value) then to put it towards their safety or the firefighters safety. I agree there has been a lot of different districts coming after our pocket books. Why can the schools pass but when it comes to fire and life safety that protect our kids, that it gets this much opposition? Also to privatize any fire or EMS would cost more per year than most people pay in there taxes. Those companies are for profit. Ask people in areas with privatized fire how it works out for them. Another point to ponder is check what your insurance rates would be without a fire department. It's not scare tactics, it's common sense. #
  21. A.Smith ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 7:28 am

    Brandon, I can only speak for myself, but my specific issue is not with the Fire District but all of government. It is the ADDITIONAL taxes, every six months from every “noble” cause under the sun. For the record, I argued against the additional school levies as well. To construct new buildings that will not educate our students any better is foolishness at best. Buildings do not educate. The problem with our public schools is not the buildings — it is the education system that needs an overhaul. I would like to see government operate in the same manner that the rest of us must — within its means. Some years revenues are better, some years they are worse, but we all should be able to live within our means without burdening our neighbor. This EXTRA tax, time after time, adds up very fast. $40/month here, $60/month there and then another $150/month after that. I don't think our side is arguing for the elimination of the fire department, but instead for an accountability of the fire department (and all of government). My stance is we pay enough. Government has enough — more than enough to do what it is tasked to do. The problem is not a revenue issue but a cost and allocation one. Again, the question yet to be answered by the Fire District is what did it do with the millions of dollars it has been given over the past several years? That is where the conversation must start, not where we are now and that the Fire District “needs” more money. Where is the budgeted line item for new equipment? Accountability first. #
  22. Terry L. Clemens ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 7:46 am

    Brandon?? Erik?? Please answer A.Smith's question. "Where is the budgeted line item for new equipment?" Maybe your reply will sway me over to vote for the levy.... #
  23. Another Fred ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 8:19 am

    Erik, I love your line, "It was the only option, there is no hidden pot of gold, secret slush fund or Swiss bank account to dip into...." Apparently the FD #1 Board believes that's not true! Why else would they use the force of law to pick money out of my wallet? The taxpaying public is the Golden Goose in this story and taxing districts, like municipalities, counties, states (and the US Fed) have suck the poor thing dry. #
  24. Dust ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 11:50 am

    Ok, I have read alot of negitive here but lets face the facts here and the fact is they do need new and better used equipment. They arent asking for new Engines but new Ambulances and I voted Yes. I know for a fact that when they need to transport someone to Medford Portland or any hospital that is emergent District 1 will transport. Why cause the Air ambulance can't do it and the patient needs to get there safely per the doctor ordering this or the child needs to go to Doernbecher Children's Hospital cause the weather is unsafe to fly and these men and women do it. They go to other agencies when there is no one to respond in the Volunteer rural areas cause yes they are all at work this to is true. Its all part of Klamath County and these men and women help the whole county when able and for that they need good running apparatus to do this. Those of you saying No I understand your tired of your pocket book being hit. I understand that. The people complaining about the New (Used) engines well those are a need to. Do you as the public understand that Fire or Medical Emergency, a Public Assist cause someone fell and needs help getting up they are always there. They always send an engine in case they need extra personnel to get aboard the ambulance while working a cardiac arrest and have the extra man power to help save your families life with there trained skills. Its better to have them there then wait for them to come and causing a delay in care. Do you the public know that every fire including second alarms and mutual aid calls wears on the engines and the pumps causing wear and tear on these apparatus to put water on the fire to save your home, business or neighbors home. They are sent to help people get into there homes from the hospital cause the family can't always do it and they are not taking an ambulance out of service to help these people. They come to your home when a carbon monoxide detector is going off and help you and make sure your home is safe to go back into, or even help the elderly change there battery in a smoke detector cause they can't do it anymore, they respond to automatic fire alarms every time no matter if its false or not cause the one time you don't could be the real deal and could be your business or home and then you want to sue cause they didn't respond. Every engine is staffed with EMT's from Basic to Paramedic and there isn't one person who is on those ambulances or fire engines that is trained at that level and certified to do the job your calling 911 and asking for there help for. These Engines are a vital role. When there ambulances are all in use cause believe it or not a lot of people call 911 for illness's and they rely on a volunteer agency to help out they send an engine to start life saving skills to make sure the person who called 911 there needs are being met. Do you the public realize these men and women train daily to keep up on there skills and perform tasks to keep up on there training. Do you even know what they go through on vehicle maintenance that is also done daily. These men and women risk there lives daily for complete strangers from near and far people traveling through for vacations or traveling for the holidays they are there 7 days a week 365 days a year 24 hrs a day. Someone said privatize the services, dumb idea in my book. Ontario Oregon did that and use a private ambulance service and they wait longer than some for the ambulance to get on scene and the cost was way more expensive than what you would think. I know this for a fact as I was a Volunteer Firefighter in Ontario and watched some people die waiting for a private ambulance. Its hard hearing blame because they think you killed there family cause the ambulance took to long. Cost and effect well this will cost you more and the effect would be worse way worse. District 1 has a large area to cover when there not covering in town they are also going as far as Bly, Bonanza, Chiloquin, Keno Stewart Lenox and Rocky Point when all other agencies are tied up or unable to respond. No they don't send Engines out there unless needed or the Governor declares conflagration like she did this year and the last few years before they sent an engine as many did from Klamath County to help save lives and property in another community. I don't know if many people are familiar with what these men and women do but they save lives and if your life is not worth an extra 40 to 60 bucks then I don't know what to tell you. My life my families life and my children s lives are worth a million to me and to me its worth every penny to have them readily available and responding quickly and professionally and saving lives every day. Please I ask to vote yes. These men and women treat you as they would there own family and they cry when they lose one and give high fives when they save one. I've seen it. As for the lady who got the bill did you ever think of buying there fire med membership. My father in law did and we thought we would never use it like we buy air link membership just in case and when he had his heart attack it was the best investment we ever made and saved us thousands. maybe you should have bought it it could have saved you thousands also. Long Story short these engines and ambulances and what there asking for in not unreasonable at all. I understand your view but look at the bigger picture cause your life as every life does matter. Thank you Fire District #1 for all you do and the service you provide I support you. #
  25. Dust ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

    Terry I might be able to answer your question in some aspect in the line items for new equipment cause I had to deal with Budgets being a Volunteer. Budgets for equipment are not just for engines and ambulances for for all equipment from saws, to axes to Zoll AED defibrillators to any piece of equipment including fire fighter gear helmets turnouts and so on. This gear is mandated by OSHA and NFPA to be replaced no matter its condition after an x amount of years and if any station or department fails to do so then they get fined when inspected. As life savers we should be held more accountable for the dates and when things expire and to avoid fines that leaves a fire service to replace such equipment. Its not a choice we are given but a law we have to follow just like anyone else we have higher laws and standards that we are held to and certifications we must have to prove this as all fire and ems stations could be audited by OSHA at any given time. If there is a line Item for vehicles well that line item isn't for purchasing new vehicles if your line item is being depleted by having to fix your old ones to stay running all the time. Its a nickle and dime situation you take money out to fix broken to keep it running for the next call. Its like your personal rig you have to keep it running to be able to go to work well the same follows here if you have a budget for a new truck and your old one breaks a Tie rod and CV and a head gasket where are you going to pull from to fix your rig. You have really not a lot of choice but to pull it from your new truck fund to fix the old one so you can go to work. This is not different then the fire district taking money out of the line item for equipment or fleet to fix the broken for them to get to the next emergency. I cant speak for the fire district but I know this happens cause it happened to us and it was easier to get newer to us (used Fire Engine) than to pay for a brand new one and the saved the tax payers tremendously cause a new engine in todays market is an easy $450.000.00 just for one engine alone. So the math is there and you do it and tell me how much they are saving the tax payers compared to asking for 5 brand new engines and the new Ambulances well they are worth every penny to run and save lives cause the next life they could be saving is yours or mine and I want to make sure I they get to me and get e to the hospital with a reliable appapratus. #
  26. Tom J ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

    Hi Dusty, thanks for writing. Is this wrong then? http://klamathcounty.org/depts/clerk/2015_Nov_Filings/Measure%2018-104.pdf This is the formal request for the ballot measure by Fire District 1 that is posted on the County's website. It say 5 fire engines, 5 ambulances and 1 command vehicle. Are you saying that is wrong, or are you mistaken in your understanding? -- Thanks. A.Smith #
  27. Tom J ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

    I don't know what to think of the defenders of this ballot measure. They may not be socialists or leftists, but their tactics sure are. Rarely can they explain where all the money went (as A. Smith pointed out) but scream the sky will fall on all of us unless we pay them more. If you need to lay off a few men/women to save the money to buy new equipment or do it some other way then so be it. We are tired of doom and gloom threats UNLESS we do things YOUR way. If you are truly the super-hero life savers you claim to be, then you'll be resourceful enough not to ask taxpayers for any more and get creative in how you can live within your current budget. As someone recently said, “My cow is all dry,...she can’t give any more.” #
  28. Dusty ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    Tom J yeah laying off people that's the answer right then you run into budget issues with overtime. I am my own person with my own political view and why is it that people who support it must always be wrong. Maybe you are in the wrong by not supporting life saving measures. Maybe your wrong for thinking I'm not allowed to have my point of view. I am not judging you nor am I throwing stones at a glass house as we all are allowed to have our own point of view. As for the 5 Ambulances and 5 Fire Engines and a Command Vehicle no its right. My perspective is they have two ambulances they use for transports and they are failing also again the nickle and dime stage of the draining the budget and or they want to staff an ambulance at each station here in town. Its bad enough to have to use such an old ambulance to transport people as far as Portland but to as much as you may not know they do take patients from the hospital to Medford and Portland a lot. I know 5 engines Used to the tax payers new to the fire district but in all honesty is not that bad and will truly pay off and I can not say what where and the whole issue maybe that should be something you go talk to the fire chief about or go by a fire station and ask and get your information from them. I do not work for them I just know how people are so quick to ridicule and throw down fire/ems tax based bonds and not know or get educated on this issue. As for the comment about the fire station towards running Y ranch well that was staffed at one time till a budget issue which I believe fell under the old chief and his management of closing it down to further staff the stations in town due to lack of man power and all the overtime and costing the budget more as well. so I mean if you ask maybe go to the source of the department and not just assume cause we all know what assume means. #
  29. Tom J ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 2:09 pm

    Dusty, I merely suggested an alternative solution. It is clear we are going to disagree. You advocate government ALWAYS getting more and more and more whenever THEY deem it necessary. I advocate a responsible government that gets a budget and lives within it, using some to save for equipment and some to pay employees. You can only tell me potential nightmarish stories if the ballot measure does not pass. I can tell you the exact cost to the community in financial figures. There is no way to do a cost/benefit analysis on those terms. We haven't even gotten to what the current budget of the fire department is or how that money is spent. Again, we disagree. So be it. But it is not because I am mean and want people to die. It is because I know roughly what district EMT's and fire personnel are paid and it is far beyond anything the average tax payer in Klamath would dream of making. Yet there just is never enough for government. Government can never do with less and the people must always do with less. Have a great weekend. #
  30. Another Fred ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 2:22 pm

    I'm starting to get suspicious... Some commentators seem to know a lot of details in favor of defending the tax and spend status quo. These are details FD #1 apparently didn't want to share with the tax-paying public. It also seems that a couple of these guys have plenty of time for sitting at their computers... So, I'm wondering are they sitting at the firehouse while I'm paying them their salary? #
  31. Terry L. Clemens ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

    Cut personnel, overtime is cheaper than a yearly salary. You don't have to pay out extra benefits. I know, I worked at a place that required it. It's called mandatory overtime...if you don't like it, go find another job. That is what I was told.... you can either do it or not. #
  32. Another Fred ~ Oct. 23, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

    If the FD continues spending taxpayer money on wages and benefits while never planning for machinery upgrades then what will the taxpayers do when the buildings crumble around the new equipment? As its going there won’t be a dollar left to run anything... In the short run you just can’t spend more than you have and every family knows that, every firm knows that. Real world companies are laying off employees because of tight budgets has the FD never thought of this? That’s how the real world works and the only place it doesn’t work like that is in government agencies - both large and small. #
  33. Dusty ~ Oct. 25, 2015 @ 6:47 pm

    Another Fred you can sure make some of the most ridiculous comments. Yeah lets cut staffing and then you are delaying responses and hoping another agency can come if there volunteers arent working. Going back to an all Volunteer organization too well thats not bright cause they will have to get a job and then you better hope they can get away from there job to respond to your emergency. I hope you read todays paper as I did and they have already cut staffing by 10% it said and there asking for a bond for what did it say 5 years unlike the school who asked for it for what did it say 30 yrs. I looked that up cause it shows it all online. There not asking for life time or a 30 year bond there asking for 5 years at as little as 16.00 a year there not asking you to foot the 1.985 million or what ever the amount is. I understand we all have our views but again 16.00 is a hell of a or less than a funeral, or anything else for that matter and from what I see Chief Spradley explained himself pretty well from what I see. No one is strong arming you from any of the fire dept and I have seen all the articles and no one is making you feel guilty if you dont vote yes cause its your vote as it is mine. I am not affraid to say Yes and I will even donate my time to help raise them funds any other way I can if it came down to it. They have applied for grants and saved the county and tax payers a lot of money and they are not supported by the county commissioners either so asking the county for money well they arent like some other entities who rob peter to pay paul to keep things running and threaten the public like the someone has they are going to come and help you whether you vote yes or not they will still do there darnedest to give all they have to there very last breath to save anyone and everyone. So please dont be such a hard ass when it comes to being so judgmental towards them. Like they stated the last time they ever asked for anyting on the ballot was i believe 1989. That's 26 years of not asking for our help. Im sure its time to give just 16.00 maybe more depending on house size but in all reality its worth it. so go ahead and judge mine comments cause I think im sure I made my argument. #

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