Facts & Information Based in Commentary. Jan 12. 2010 | Comments (0)
I am a young member of Enterprise Vol. Fire Co. I too would prefer FULL disclosure of the facts so that the members of the community can make an informed judgment about their position. The commissioners and the news media have been unfair in their reporting. The commissioners have clouded the issue and have failed to inform the public they represent of all of the relevant facts pertaining to the situation in District 4. · The publicly elected board consists of 4 members or spouses of members from Hamilton and only 1 member from Enterprise. This is a supermajority that is currently unchecked by the system. · There has been prior approval to purchase and construct a new firehouse by UPS to consolidate and centralize the companies. · Other publicly funded organizations are supported by volunteer organizations. For example the PTA supports the Teachers Union, Candy Stripers support the Hospitals, etc. The involvement of the community via volunteerism is good for the organizations and improves the services provided. · Enterprise is financially sound and has the ability to support its building via hall rental income. · Hamilton has been unable to pay its mortgage on the building that was constructed adjacent to their old firehouse for more than half a decade. · Enterprise has land that would allow the expansion of the firehouse and provide room for the consolidation – Hamilton has no land to expand upon. · The consolidation as proposed supposes that $200,000, the cost of the 2 new paid fire fighters, is less expensive than the $40,000 stipend that is provided to Enterprise as rent because we independently own our building. · Equipment (Engines, Turnout Gear, etc.) is provided by the commissioners to comply with POSHA regulations. · By unfairly commenting that Enterprise is “afraid of losing our bar” you are discounting that we are a volunteer service organization dedicated to the community. · Commissioner Directives, not manpower or desire to assist the public, hamper the response to mutual aid calls by Enterprise – we are largely not allowed to respond out of district and have strict limitations that prevent us from doing so. · The mutual aid restrictions prevent us from responding from our homes – this is an effort to ensure better service, however, it then requires us to be tethered to the house as though it were a paying job. As a volunteer organization we have other obligations, such as working. A consequence of this directive is a “decreased” response – which is artificially limited by the Commissioners’ Directives. · Admittedly, in the past our numbers have been depleted. This was largely due to a bulk of our membership becoming paid fire fighters. We have been addressing this issue and just this past winter we have had 3 members graduate fire school and 3 more certified fire fighters join us from other companies. In addition we have been getting good response rates, even during the day (historically a weak point). · All of our Fire Fighters are professionals and are trained to fight fires to the Fire Fighter I standard that the paid professionals are also held to. · Finally, all that being said, this is a petition not a forum. I would encourage you to raise your questions at the upcoming Commissioners’ Meeting, details below If you feel strongly about these issues please come to the Commissioners Meeting this upcoming Thursday January 14, 2010. The meeting will be starting at 7:30 pm at the Hamilton Fire Company. The street address is 1805 East State Street, Trenton, NJ. Please let the commissioners know that you have concerns and want a straightforward explanation of the facts so you can make your own decision.