Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there!
Today’s Quote … “Personally the purchase is very questionable for the benefit of the citizens of Manheim Township. If the township had the money to spend on it I’d say go for it but quite honestly Manheim Township does not have the money even with the fire tax.” – comment following the Lancaster Online “insider” article about Manheim Township’s decision to allow and underwrite its fire department’s decision to buy a million dollar plus truck from a one-bid provider.
A second quote … “The misappropriation of funds from volunteer organizations casts a public shadow over the entity and causes the people it serves to lose trust in it as well.” – From this Wilkes-Barre Times Leader column advocating mandatory state audits on fire protection organizations.
- SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING TONIGHT to discuss the 2017 Budget | Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at 6:00pm in the Borough Hall, 308 Locust Street, Columbia, PA.
- Police department summary violations include harassment and disorderly conduct – CrimeWatch and Columbia Borough Police Department facebook page
- When Ben Franklin brought the concept of volunteer firefighting to Philadelphia in the early 18th century, he sought a “Club or Society of active Men belonging to each Fire Engine; whose Business is to attend all Fires with it whenever they happen.”
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Fire Department Report shows that volunteer fire departments constitute a major share of all fire departments across the nation. Perhaps because of Franklin’s impetus, Pennsylvania has the most fire departments in the nation.
In Lancaster County, fire departments are overwhelmingly “volunteer.”
U.S. Fire Department Profile – 2014 – A 2016 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report on the status of Fire Departments.
- It’s not easy being a volunteer fire fighter. Everyday life (work, family, training requirements, responding to fire calls; maintaining resources and so much more has been draining on volunteer fire departments. “I fund-raise, I train and I go to fires,” says one volunteer fire fighter in this 2014 New York Times article.
- Indeed the time demands are one problem; another is maintaining staffing and funding the fire-fighting services and the department. “This is not easy for many volunteers and is one reason there has been a steady decrease of approximately 8,000 volunteers per year in Pennsylvania since 1975.“
- Yet another is management of shrinking resources: human, physical and financial! “Boot drives, BINGO events, and other events that typically see large amounts of loose cash have proven problematic for departments to control and properly keep track of. Unfortunately, these types of events are very susceptible to thievery.”
“Theft of department funds” is just one ethical lapse in the fire service according to this White Paper: Fire Service Reputation Management.
- Talk about reputation management! – Lancaster Online
- Teacher endows $3.4 million in York – The York Daily Record