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Week in Review: February 18, 2011

Sat, 19 Feb 2011|

Chief Bobby Halton reviews this week's major fire news.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

[MUSIC] >> Hi I'm Bobby Halton, and welcome back to Fire Engineering's week in review. Thanks for tuning here at FireEngineering.com, we sure do appreciate you checking us out. Hey listen, a couple of things were being brought to you this week by FDIC. And as we've been telling you for the last couple of weeks, it is filling up fast. It looks like we are going to have another record breaking attendance. Probably will be somewhere over 28,000, 29,000 firefighters in Indianapolis this March 21st through 25th. If you're gonna attend the hot program, please sign up quickly as nine of the classes are completely sold out. And on Monday we just have three open, three classes open at, at this point in time. The hot program, looks like, for the first time ever is going to sell out completely. Lots of great classes, the best instructors in the world, and we know you wanna be there. We'd like to thank you for your support of FDIC in this our. Third year. We just can't wait to see you out there and, hope to see you all real soon. Listen, other things to be aware of, we do have several major news stories on FireEngineering.com I think you should check out. Including another tragic collapse on Long Island where several fire fighters were injured. And we hope for their speedy recovery. We're seeing a lot more collapses. We really need to be paying attention to these lightweight truss floors. That we have out there now. These wood I-beam floors. And several other contributing issues. To these, continually increasing collapse issues that we're facing on the fire ground. A lot of of these collapses happen somewhat without warning. However, we need to be aware of the potential at all times. So check out those collapses and let me know what you think. Now, to our lead story. Safer is now safe. Because of incompetent and failed leadership in our 111th Congress, our Fire Act Grant Program and our Safer Program funding, which many organizations have made plans assuming they were secure,. We're not secure. It's absolutely unacceptable to allow this type of failed leadership that we have tolerated for so long to continue. Thankfully on February 17, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to extend specific wavers to the Safer Program which was introduced by Congressman David Price of North Carolina. This action extends those waivers that Congress had approved, allowing fire departments to use the grants to keep firefighters from being laid off and to rehire firefighters who had been laid off, thereby maintaining crucial staffing levels. The waiver also allows fire departments an exemption from the matching portion of the original safer program and allows the money to be used without penalty if the city or community is unable to continue the employment of those firefighters after than grant money expires. These are important exemptions because many of the cities realize and recognize the critical need to maintain staffing levels if only in the short term through these funds while other alternative funding sources and solutions are being worked out. Most municipalities understand that the continuing fiscal crisis in America is going to, by necessity, make this type of funding less accessible in the long term. And are now beginning to make intelligent and well thought out alternatives to federal a reality. However, many of us still desperately need this federal support, as we begin this transition back to a more locally funded model, and a less federally dependent model. This resolution will protect the safer program and the, in its continuation through fiscal year, 2011. Congress failed last year to pass any budget whatsoever, so they have to continue now to pass these resolutions which provide funding in the absence of a standing budget. As firefighters it's important remember, we remember that our votes count, and that when we send someone to office to work for us we need to hold them more accountable. The failure to pass a budget that placed the Safer Act and the Fire Grant Program in jeopardy is unacceptable. If one of us freelanced at a fire and failed to do what we were responsible for, such as ventilating a roof, placing other firefighters in tremendous jeopardy, we'd be disciplined. We may be kicked out of our company. We need to look at the record of these people who are sitting in Congress. We don't need to agree with everything they stand for or everything they do. But we do need them to do the basic job they were sent to do, which is to govern and govern responsibly, and passing a budget is part of that responsibility. Firefighters must demand that this current Congress, the 112, passes a budget, whether we agree or disagree with the content of that budget. We need to have assurances that the money that our administrations are making life and death decisions with are gonna be there. Every indication is that our current level of funding may decrease. But it is not whether or not it is increased or decreased, that question is not the issue. The issue that promises make should be promises kept. And that a grant awarded to a town or community is something which should be not dependent on the actions of a new congress. It's not a democrat or republican issue. It's not an independent or libertarian issue. It's an issue of character. Demand these government employees, our elected representatives, do their jobs. Remember, they work for us. Now,other things to consider. It's time to do our spring training. We've got the weather picking up. Remember to start your outside drills. Start looking at those hazards and those things we need to get going for the springtime. You, all of our firefighters, they're in flood plone, prone areas. We need all of y'all to be checking all your equipment cause we know that the spring runoffs are coming soon, so let's get prepared for that. Wild fire season has already kicked up. We got a couple of wild fires burning right now that you can read about on the web page here. So read about that so let's get prepared for probably another busy wild land season. Let's not be like the people we just had to criticize here this morning. Let's be better then that let's some them what being prepared means. Fire service is gonna step up and always be there and always be ready. And that's our motto, and that's what we've always done. We watch over the communities we've promised to serve. And we've been very good at it since 08 A.D. Remember FDIC is coming up soon. Go to FDIC.com to register. Get your rooms today. There still are some downtown hotel rooms believe it or not. So get online and, and get registered and we'll see you there. 28,000 firefighters. March 31st. The battle of the bands. Five K courage and valor fun run, stop, drop, rock and roll, the Fool's Bash, the Union Night Out. So many activities going on. Over 1100 exhibitors as I understand, or 1000 exhibitors, somewhere in there, and more exhibits than you can imagine were all under one roof again. The greatest fire fighting exposition and networking opportunity in the world. With over twelve international delegations coming g this year to FDIC. Come be part of it, be part of the most important training exercise that ever happens in the fire service, FDIC. Its where you need to be and I'll see you there. I'm Bobby Hall, that's our week in review. And remember, be careful out there. [MUSIC]

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