Still Searching for Benedict Arnold in New London

***12/8/2012—if you hit the ‘tags’ below this post you’ll find many more interesting things on the City of New London, CT**

There’s a little tune to get your morning going.šŸ™‚

New London Firefighters are back in the news. I’m getting a little sick of it but…whatever. What really gets me is how up in arms and concerned some people seem to be. Why? I mean, if they’re genuine they’re either stupid as stumps or they have lived in this town less than five years. Take your pick. I don’t care which one it is. All I’m saying is that this type of political posturing is nothing new in my little town, it’s meant to get you up in arms so that you’ll cough up more tax money out of fear.

Nice, huh?

Yeah, Welcome to Life in New London!

Anyway, some interesting things have come out of this so far. My little town is somewhere around 3 miles long and 2 miles wide…give or take. If you live in a big city you think that’s a ‘neighborhood’ not a town, I know, I know.šŸ™‚

Today WTNH told me that the Fire Department has 80 members! 80. I thought; that’s a little high. Then The New London Patch told me there’s 56 fire fighters and 24, umm, other positions within it. I don’t think we have or need 24 dispatchers. I’d say they work in the ‘billing department’ but since all the bills come from some place in New Haven (or Hartford, I forget which) I think that’s ‘sub-contracted’ out. I’d say they were EMTs but since Lawrence & Memorial Hospital is cornering the market on Ambulance and EMT services lately, that one’s out too. I can’t remember the last time I saw a plain old City of New London Ambulance go by.

It seems, out of these 24 (I hope, it’s out of these 24 anyway!) there is;
1 fire marshal,
2 fire inspectors,
1 assistant to the fire chief,
1 secretary.

I can eliminate two of those jobs, maybe 3, and so can you, we won’t lose a damn thing. Now, the other 19 positions…who are these people and how much do they get paid?

I dunno.

I did my darndest to look online but not even the Almighty Google could point me to the Connecticut General Statues that say how many people are needed to staff a firehouse. The CGS site was no help! I tried every search string I could think of and couldn’t find it. BUT I’m told it exists. Out there somewhere in the Great Abyss is a rule stating how many firefighters need to be on-duty at any given time.

I think it’s 18. I think that because;

Five vacant positions in the fire department will remain unfilled. Samul said that by laying off 25 firefighters, the city is saving the cost of their benefits. He said the staffing level of 18 firefighters per shift will remain unchanged, and estimated that the cuts will double the workload of most of the remaining firefighters. Read the full article on The New London Patch

Now, I need further clarification because I’m still not sure. Is that 18 firefighters per firehouse per shift for a total of 54? Or is that 18 firefighters per shift divided by the 3 firehouses, which would be 6 firefighters per house per shift. Or does it simply mean that there needs to be 6 fire fighters per firehouse at all times?

To tell you the truth, I can’t remember seeing 18 guys hanging around a firehouse at any one given time. I could be wrong. However, I think the most guys I see at a firehouse at any given time is when they’re stopping traffic with their Boot Donations.

The “average” pay for a firefighter in my town seems to be right around $45,000/year. Not bad. Not great but not bad especially when you factor that, unlike some of us poor schlubs, they get yearly raises and good benefits. Yes, there are some of us who went without a single raise in pay for 7 years. I’d like to see them do that, just for one year, I really would. Not to mention that there’s hardly a fire every single day and they do a lot of sitting around waiting for the bell to ring. Yes, when it does ring they spring into action and do their thing. Good for them. Go team! Woot-woot.

I also looked online for an old, maybe even ancient thing, that used to be known as Volunteer Firefighters. We had some here…but we don’t anymore. I can’t find one single thing on a New London Volunteer Firefighters. Sort of a shame, perhaps we should reinstate that quaint but effective notion? Just a thought. That’s all.

What about those firehouses? Why don’t we consolidate them? If we got rid of just one then we could have 12 fire fighters on duty at all times instead of 18. They don’t have any problems closing my schools or turning them into “magnet schools” or building a monstrosity they call a ‘neighborhood school’ but it could probably actually fill the needs of at least half the elementary school kids in this city. So, why not one firehouse too? Two of them are within 1 mile of each other. I think one of them can go and not risk ‘public safety’.

BTW, are we still doing the rather antiquated 10-12 hours per shift thing? Let’s split it up into three 8 hour shifts like a normal job. Yes, that means I expect 3rd shift to WORK 3rd shift and not sleep in the bunks upstairs. The firefighters could get a break, see their families, maybe even go to the beach now and then. They’ve got all cell phones and pagers so they can be ‘on call’ if they’re suddenly needed.

Anyway, my bottom line is simply this; I don’t think we need 80 people in our Fire Department. If a few of those jobs have to be cut so my property taxes don’t continue going through the roof, I’m in favor.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you; So when your house burns down don’t complain!

Oh, I won’t. The ONE time I ever needed the New London Fire Department I had the fire put out before they even arrived on the scene. Still, it was nice of them to show up.

About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 01/06/2012, in Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Overstaffed for sure, they can always call in other towns if /when they ever need additional assistance from Waterford, Groton etc., That is just a waste of money, that could be used for say…..fixing the sidewalks, streets, that will soon be dirt covered roads like the days of old from the looks of it in your pics… I know one fire station was down on bank street, and one near my old house near Ct avenue somewhere -lord my memory sucks where are the others? They could probably ditch the one near CT ave if not already downtown can get there quick enough –

    • Our 3 firehouses are located on: Bank Street by the Shaw Mansion, Broad Street across from the old Cumberland Farms, and on Lower Boulevard by the old Jack’s Place. I think they could close/consolidate the two on Bank and Broad without a lot of problems. You can almost sprint from one to the other! (Well, when we were a little younger we could have! LOL) I’d love it if they’d spend some cash on the sidewalks…oh wait they did! They got a big wad of stimulus cash and proceeded to fix sidewalks and roads that didn’t really did it! Ahhhhhh, New London, gotta love it.šŸ™‚

  2. Nicole Marie Jones

    I know Ledyard and North Stonington have Volunteer Firefighters I use to hang out with two of them and then there was one I use to date who lived in like….Farmington I think it was and was also a Volunteer Firefighter. Just sayin.

    • We HAD a Volunteer Fire Department, I know we did, some of my friends hung out there and volunteered in high school. I don’t know where it went.šŸ˜¦

  3. Among her varied interests is genealogy, Lisa has put together a comprehensive website dedicated to The Lineage of the Darling Family and related surnames, her databases contain over 9,000 ancestors. She has collected and displays on her website, free of charge, many interesting bits of information including vital records, war records, census records, and more. This collection may be helpful to anyone searching their roots in New England. It may also be special help to those with connections to the Salem Witch Trials.

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