Notes from the Peanut Gallery

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On the road again

Off they go again, the call just came in. A fire west of town, very different location from last night. Will advise when I know more.

City Council is scheduled to discuss BVFD Tuesday night and there's mention of possible action. If they take the action they've been trying to take for years now, they'll be giving BVFD trucks to the county, in effect, they'd be giving them to the Kinney County EMS.

Here's the deal. KCEMS has been newly dubbed Kinney County Fire & Rescue. Hey, awesome! We could use a better funded fire department in Kinney County. We have to call for help all the time (and often get called for help as well), it would be nice to call for LOCAL help! But, huh? What? The powers that be want to give KCFR our trucks? But... what will we drive? We've got volunteers, we've got equipment, we've got tons of training! And we can't afford new trucks. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!

Is KCFR staffed well enough to fight fires AND handle EMS calls in Kinney County? We often have eight to ten guys on a fire, and sometimes more. That's a lot of staff for Kinney County to be paying. How many EMS guys do they need on staff at all times? If they staff enough EMS and fire fighters to respond to medical and fire emergencies 24/7..... wow, that's going to cost a fortune!

Are they going to fix the trucks because a county run fire department can't just drive any old piece of junk--only volunteer departments can get away with that. This isn't an opinion, it's the law. Seriously, KCFR goes out in their "new" trucks under the county's flag and they can be fined. Now, let's say they plan to get the trucks up to legal standard before they use them. Then what? The county has to go without fire protection for how long while the repairs are being completed?

And, no, despite what you may have been told KCFR will not be taking volunteers. Well, they shouldn't at any rate because it wouldn't be legal unless they are first fully staffed. And despite what the City of Brackettville continually implies, BVFD is not a city run fire department. It's its own entity, self-governed. A not-for-profit fire department with paid members can also have volunteers. But they must be self-governed. They can't be run by a city or county or by any governmental agency.

Much of this is explained here:

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