Currently, the Five Cities Fire Authority is asking the voters to support a fire benefit assessment to maintain personnel funded by a federal grant that will expire in September. It is my opinion that maintaining this third firefighter is paramount in maintaining minimum staffing levels outlined by the National Fire Protection Association.
In my experience as a fire chief, effective firefighting can be defined by two elements — weight and speed.
Weight is the amount of equipment and personnel that can be delivered to an emergency scene.
Speed is the time in which the equipment and personnel can arrive and become operational.
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These two elements are not independent; they go “hand in hand.” You need to have the on-duty personnel to respond and the apparatus deployed to provide an effective fire suppression force.
The FCFA is asking for a $66 annual assessment from property owners to maintain a minimum staffing level of three firefighters. They are asking the citizens to make the Five Cities safer for all. They are asking for less than $1.27 per week per household to reduce property damage and potentially save a life. That is cheap insurance .