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Barcroft to ACFD: No More Made-For-TV House Burnings

by ARLnow.com November 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm 4,314 56 Comments

Neighbors aren’t too pleased with the made-for-TV house fire set by firefighters in Barcroft last month.

Last night the Barcroft School and Civic League passed the following resolution, asking Arlington County to rescind its policy of allowing the fire department to perform controlled burns in residential neighborhoods.

Resolution

Whereas the Arlington County Fire Department burned a house in Barcroft on S. 8th Street on October 19, 2010, producing billowing clouds of thick black smoke and leaving the building a charred hulk that is still giving off fumes; and

Whereas the notification to the immediate neighbors was received at 5pm on the previous day, and the telephone number given for questions was not answered, indicating that the Fire Department had decided not to consider any citizen concerns about the burning and giving insufficient notice for parents to make arrangements for moving their children for the day or for pregnant women to arrange to move elsewhere; and

Whereas there was no notification at all to the neighborhood at large; and

Whereas similar burnings have provoked protests in other neighborhoods; and

Whereas the burning of a typical older Arlington house produces toxic fumes from lead paint and other materials and in most cases releases asbestos fibers; and

Whereas in an era of concern about toxic substances and their effect on air quality the intentional burning of a home in a neighborhood is clearly an anachronism;

Now therefore the Barcroft School and Civic League recommends to Arlington County that the policy of permitting the Fire Department to burn homes in residential neighborhoods be recinded.

Adopted this 4th of November, 2010 by the Barcroft School and Civic League.

Bryant Monroe

President

  • Jason S

    Whereas people in this area are too damned sensitive.

    • YTK

      “too sensitive”???Oh really? Thick black smoke, fumes, burning asbestos and lead – and fumes long after the fact – Sensitive? No – SENSIBLE.

      • Jason S

        If burning the house was a huge deal, they should leave this area as the air quality is not exactly top-notch. Houses and cars burn all the time in the region, are we going to evacuate entire neighborhoods because somebody burned a turkey? This exposure, while not healthy, is not uncommon. By living in an urban area we accepting the implied risk of exposure to pollution.

  • Lou

    Can’t say that I blame them.

  • YTK

    Not only that — but did they CHECK each edifice to MAKE SURE that there were no animals or homeless people inside?????

    • Westover

      Yes, they did.

      • rft

        I thought we wanted homeless inside the houses when they burn; how else are we to deal with the homeless problem?

  • ACFD Vol

    These types of excercises provide valuable experience. There is nothing like walking into a burning house that we have never seen before. One can only get so much out of running into the same burn building.

    There probably should have been more notice, but this is a practice that goes on in all jurisdictions. Not to mention that this will probably not happen in that neighborhood again.

    • Westover

      Typically in Arlington homes have not been burnt in recent decades for training, although other drills are used successfully. This however was not a training burn, it was a public education burn.

      • charlie

        sorry, not sure I agree. ACFD did a burning on 15th Street three years ago and one on Lexington this summer. The Lexington Fire was to simulate night time so it was done in the dark. With large flood lights.

        • False Comments

          Wrong Charlie! The Lexington Street house was an actual fire. Flood lights are used on all night time calls. It is amazing how people that don’t know what is actually happening can just post things like they are factual.

          • charlie

            if you say so. i have friends who live on that street they told me it was a staged fire. which part of Lexington are you talking about? maybe two different things?
            And the one on 15th Street? Do you have better info on that?

          • charlie

            and it is also amazing that some people just jump down someones throat and start yelling and being righteous when they could just offer a separate opinion without thumping their chests.
            Especially since you don’t know if it is the same Lexington Fire and you also only discredit half of what I said which assumes that you should also go “Right Charlie, 15th Street was a controlled burn.”
            But that would be above your standards, I think.

    • Jason S

      I cannot comment on the fire experience, but as a former soldier going into the same buildings for practice gave an unreasonable level of familiarity with the training environment which was never really available. It makes sense that putting out a fire in the same building over and over has some value, but cannot accurately represent what would be encountered in a real fire. It would seem that houses are all quite different even when their architecture is the same as people would have different levels of clutter and furniture arrangement.

  • Westover

    The burn provided a great way to inform and educate the public. The burning lead paint would not cause a real lead pollution problem, but other items in the house could, but a modern home has far more toxic material than anything made pre-1960.

  • YES!

    The ACFD does not have a training building to practice “live burns” in. It’s a shame that the dog parks in Arlington get taken care of, but the brave men and women of the ACFD don’t have a place to practice the most important and dangerous aspect of their job.

    • rft

      My dog DESERVES that waterfall, damnit

  • Jersey Mike’s

    I applaud the efforts of the ACFD — in fact, I think they did the community of Barcroft a favor by getting rid of that hellhole.

    “burning asbestos and lead”? “Checking for homeless people?” What is YTK smoking?

  • Stephen

    There are rules for house burns that the NFPA publish and area jurisdictions follow. The rules consider distances from other houses and asbestos. These training fires are a vital training for the firefighters and the community. Real life training keeps firefighters alive and teaching the public may save someones life.

  • PurpleFlipFlops

    I think if its true they were given less than 24 hours notice (5pm previous night) then I agree with their resolution.

    I’d be pissed if I lived nearby.

  • Set the controls

    Those siding tiles are made of asbestos, carbon copy of tiles on my house that more than one contractor wouldn’t touch, much less BURN. I have to question the sanity of the crew that burned those tiles along with the house. I would not hesitate for a second to call out anyone who says a regulatory body approved of this burn. God f’ing blessit. Green Arlington la-de-da-de-da.

  • Hawk

    How does anybody know that the county did not have the asbestos tiles removed before the burn?? And secondly it is the best practice that fire fighters can get. These exercises help protect the community that they serve so quit being so sensitive. If you want fresh air move to the country because the air quality around Arlington is no the best even with out live burns.

    • Set the controls

      I can see them engulfed in flames in the photos, and water being poured on blackened tiles. They’re being burnt.

  • Skeptical

    To me the critical issue is simply the lack of notice. I can imagine 100 reasons why you would want to know that someone planned to burn down a building in your immediate vicinity, far enough in advance to work around the event. Say you have asthma or have offered to baby sit for an asthmatic kid. Say this is the day that someone is coming to replace your windows, leaving your house open to the fumes and cinders. Use your own imagination.

    I can respect the fire department point of view, but a little notice would go a long way in cases like this.

  • Anon

    Has anyone seen the CBS Early Show segment they filmed posted online yet?

  • Set the controls

    http://www.airquality.utah.gov/HAPs/ASBESTOS/info/IntentionalBurning.pdf :

    When Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is damaged or disturbed, as in burning, it releases fibers into the air. Once inhaled, the small, inert asbestos fibers can easily penetrate the body’s defenses. They are deposited and retained in the airways and tissues of the lungs and cause lung scarring and lung cancer.

    People downwind of this burn are standing on substantial legal ground.

  • The Truth Seeker

    Passing a resolution doesn’t hold anyone accountable. Appealing to the ACFD or the Arlington County Government is no better. What was done here was absolutely wrong. There are questions that need to be answered but they need to be asked by those with superior authority to the Arlington County Government. Do you want to keep this from happening again? Here is how you do it:

    – Contact the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (http://www.deq.state.va.us/). Have them look at the smoke in the video. There is no question that the house was filled with materials not suitable for burning. The asbestos shingle siding is clearly visible as well.

    – Contact the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (http://vafire.com). Have them look at the video. Who was following NFPA1403 (recommendations for live fire training in acquired structures)? Was it the multiple firefighters wandering around taking pictures? I think not.

    – Contact Virginia Occupational Health & Safety Administration (http://www.doli.virginia.gov/vosh_complaint/vosh_complaint.html). All of the ACFD firefighters working on the fire ground without breathing apparatus were exposed to asbestos and toxic fumes.

    The residents of Barcroft are pissed and they have a right to be. This wasn’t about training firefighters; this was about getting Arlington County Fire on national television. This entire event was a bad idea from the beginning. The ACFD failed to plan for the safety of their personnel and the best interests of the community.

    This isn’t a question of whether we support our firefighters – they are brave men and women who would trade their lives for us if called upon. The issue is the poor judgment of ACFD leadership, who places their ego ahead of the interests of the community.

  • Bringmetheyuppies

    They fogged a house across the street from me to ge the same result. Training for fire fighters without the burning fallout. Seems like a good compromise.

  • Set the controls

    I understand the need for frequent and varied fire training exercises. There is a piece of land with thousands of acres of wilderness on which artillery exercises are conducted by the hour, twenty-five minutes from here-Quantico Marine Base. Why not build a few houses there, like they did in Nevada for nuke tests or elsewhere for movie sets? No neighborhood counteraction, you can be sure of the materials being burnt, and it is a much more controlled environment overall.

    That said, the risk of lung cancer to children and others in the neighborhood trumps ANY argument about training.

  • ACFD Vol

    @The Truth Seeker…Boy you can’t be mo wrong. Any fire must follow NFPA guidelines. The ACFD would not just burn down a house with out taking the necessary precautions and any house that burns will cause black smoke. Both structures on either side were safe.

    Plus fire fighters that were part of the burn were not wandering around taking pictures. If they were, they were not part of the actual burn.

    The house was vacant and empty. This was part of a fire safety demonstration and the ACFD used it for training. If firefighters don’t adequately train, they not only injure themselves, but could injure you and your family. Smoking a house with fog does not provide the same level of training that an actual burn does.

    You should be happy that they do train. God forbid your house catches on fire, you would want them to have the most realistic training possible to save you and your family.

    This doesn’t happen very often and like I said earlier it would probably not happen again unless someone donates the house to the ACFD.

    I challenge you to do what we do. Wear 75lbs of gear and pull a charged hose line into a burning building that is about 1000 degrees.

    • The Truth Seeker

      You act as though I have no idea what I’m talking about. I know more than you think.

      You say that NFPA must be followed during any fire, but that isn’t really true. A quick check of YouTube will show literally hundreds of fire departments doing it wrong. NFPA issues recommendations, not laws, and they don’t have to be followed (even if they should be). In Virginia, the Department of Fire Programs has stated that NFPA1403 will be followed for live fire training, but it isn’t the law.

      NFPA1403 was not followed here. Don’t try to snow me, I know what I’m saying. The shingling on the side of the housing is asbestos. You don’t even need NFPA to tell you that burning that stuff is a no-no. Also, it appears that there are several contents in the house that are burning, such as window coverings. These items do not have known burn characteristics, and therefore, are outside of NFPA1403. That is the cause of the tremendous volume of black smoke in such a short period of time. For a firefighter, you don’t seem to know a lot about fire behaviour.

      What were the learning objectives of this so called ‘training event’? This was not a training burn in any sense that I can tell. Have you seen the YouTube video? Why are there only two people on each of the hose lines when Arlington staffs a crew of 4? That doesn’t seem very realistic. Where is the truck company and why haven’t they ventilated the structure? The reason is, they weren’t training — they were simply creating and controlling a fire for television.

      Why is the cameraman wearing an Arlington turnout coat? Is it because he needed protection from the fire? If so, then why isn’t he wearing bunker pants, a helmet and an SCBA? It’s ludicrous.

      I’m not opposed to live fire training — it just needs to be done the right way. NFPA needs to be followed, and it wasn’t here. There needs to be clear learning objectives, and there weren’t here. Citizens need to be kept informed, and they weren’t here. There needs to be a plan to mitigate hazardous materials, and there wasn’t here. Following the burn there needs to be a prompt demolition of the building, and there wasn’t here.

      I fully support the idea of high quality training for our firefighters! I recognize their tremendous dedication and sacrifice. In this instance, they did as they were told, as they always should. The issue isn’t the men and women on the hose line, it’s THEIR MANAGEMENT who needs a reality check!

      • Mr. Mesothelioma

        I dont know firefighting but I do know that house, it was my grandmothers. The shingles were asbestos, the attic was FILLED with asbestos insulation, all of the plumbing was wrapped in asbestos… And everything, I mean EVERYTHING was saturated with lead paint!

      • My experience

        You are right, having two people on a hose line is crazy. Most often you may be alone. Having 4 people man such a small line is crazy and a complete waste of resources. The officers did their job as well as the pump operator. If you want ACFD to have MORE people on each hose line, ask to increase minimum, staffing to 5.

    • REALfirefighter

      First off, ACFD Vol is “volunteer”. ACFD volunteers and most others in the Northern Virginia metropolis do not perform front line firefighting in emergency settings, so please don’t use the “carry 75lbs and do what I do” line, because YOU don’t DO what the ACFD does, stop pretending. Arlington County is fully staffed with CAREER fire and EMS, so when you call 911, that’s who you get. That’s also who’s carrying 75lbs of gear up the stairs of River Place or the Marriott. Secondly, please everyone stop calling this “valuable training”. This was a demonstration for the media. Real training means the firefighters go in and fight the fire interior, like we do in the real world… Aggressive interior firefighting. That’s how lives and property are saved. Standing outside and spraying in a window is not real training.

      • Anon

        @REAL — Appreciate your candor, however harsh. However, I have to clarify that there are fire departments within the NoVA region in which volunteers operate as minimum staffing and do everything ACFD/Fairfax/MWAA/etc. career firefighters do because if it’s not them, no one else will mitigate the incident. Specifically, both Loudon and Prince William Counties have true combination FD’s that are primarily staffed by volunteers running their own suppression and EMS apparatus. This may not be what you consider the “NoVA metropolis,” but these “true volunteer” opportunities do exist in this area.

        Stay safe.

        • REALfirefighter

          you are correct ANON. Just not in Fairax, Arlington, or Alexandria. Fairfax once in a blue moon will put up volinteer units, but they won’t replace career units on a run card or perform any major firefighting functions.

          • Arlington, Northside

            The Arlington County Fire Department has volunteer Firefighters that supplement career staffing on the frontline firefighting apparatus. Many are certified at the Fire I/II level and a few are even certified Fire Officers. They perform just like any other County Firefighter at the scene, throwing ladders, pulling windows, entering the building on the hoseline, and/or anything else the unit officer orders done. They primarly operate out of stations 3, 5, and 6 but have been known to ride elsewhere. The career firefighters they serve beside seem to appriciate the added manpower. The County Volunteers also operate the Light and Air Unit owned by the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (Station 3) which responds to all second alarm fires and when requested by an incident commander or the fire marshall. The Volunteers in the County also operate a BLS Ambulance on weekends and during peak call periods freeing up the County ALS Medic Units by taking BLS calls off their hands and assisting on ALS calls by providing extra hands and resources. County Volunteers even operated at the Pentagon on 9/11, and since then many have actually carried 75lbs of gear up the stairs of River Place and the Marriott.

          • REALfirefighter

            What you said Arlington, Northside, is only about 50% true. Volunteers do operate a BLS unit, which is much appreciated when it is up on an occassional night. They do sometimes have 1 person riding on units from Station 6. They do operate a Light unit to provide scene lighting and sump pump service. They also (which you didn’t mention, but I will) provide additional EMS services for large scale events (July 4, MCM, etc). They were at the Pentagon. They do host birthday parties almost every weekend at Station 6. They do escort Santa Claus around the city of Falls Church on a volunteer owned fire engine. What they don’t do however, is primary FIREFIGHTING operations. Please don’t give anyone a false understanding. Your services at special events, Amb 102, the light and air unit, and riding 5th on T106 are appreciated, but please don’t come off to the county residents that your providing critical services. They pay taxes.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Volunteers do not completely staff any suppression equipment, and career firefighters provide minimum staffing on all pieces of suppression apparatus in the county. That is correct, however, volunteers DO take part in primary FIREFIGHTING operations and have carried that 75+ lbs of PPE, tools and hoses up many many stairs in hot and smokey conditions. It is not a “fantasy”. While many of the volunteers have full time jobs that leaving would mean a serious financial hit, in recent years a few ACFD volunteers have gone on to Career Firefighter Positions at Montgomery County and Alexandria Fire Departments.

            Volunteer Firefighters and the County CERT program, while maybe not needed during the average day to day routine, will be a great asset to the county when the next 9/11 or Katrina happens here, and who knows, they just might be the critical help that is needed by an Arlington County resident or a fellow firefighter when riding 5th. No one is trying to take anything away from the dedicated career staff, no one is saying that the tax payers are not getting their full value out of the career firefighters of Arlington County, but don’t try to minimize the effort, training, commitment and contribution on the volunteers either. The intigration of the Career and Volunteer Firefighters in Arlington is pretty unique and works very well. Volunteer Firefighters and the County CERT program, while maybe not needed during the average day to day routine, will be a great asset to the county when the next 9/11 or Katrina happens here, and who knows, they just might be the critical help that is needed by an Arlington County resident or a fellow firefighter when riding 5th.

    • REALfirefighter

      one more thing ACFD, turn that fantasy into a reality. The hiring process just opened up.

  • Set the controls

    Dear ACFD Vol.,
    You wrote: “The house was vacant and empty.”
    I should hope so.

    On Monday morning I will go to the county offices and pull the permits and relevant paperwork pursuant to this burn, if there are any. Next I am going to conduct asbestos tests one hundred feet from this burn in no less than four directions. And if this neighborhood appears to have been contaminated, issues of large-scale abatement and accountability will be pursued.

    No one is asking fire personnel to work untrained, and it is glib of you to suggest that the public should trade asbestos-free air for fire safety. Why not bring up my humble suggestion about Quantico at the next meeting? No one is trying to hamstrung the fire department-on the contrary.

    • jan

      Good for you! Doing something instead of moaning.

      Burning asbestos? Good grief! Warning residents so late? Inexcusable!

    • G::NativeArlingtonian

      It would cost way too much to build a real house just to burn down in training. Its more than putting up some studs, covering it in some plywood and drywall. How a house is built and the materials that are in it contribute to the nature of the fire that you will encounter when you go into it to put it out. And yes, go in. Fogging a house (filling it with just smoke) does not adequately approximate the level of heat you will encounter. As mentioned, we are talking 1000’s of degrees in some cases. Also, the last time I checked Quantico was a military base. I do not believe they will happily give up a few acres of their test/firing ranges for civilians to run around on.

      The bottom line is that ACFD is not going to just light a fire willy nilly, and not think of the consequences nor ignore proper safety procedures. Theses aren’t hicks, but professionals who take their job seriously. This may have been filmed but it was far from a publicity stunt… it was real world training as best that can be had. This won’t happen often in Arlington any more as most of the houses available such events are long since gone and replaced town homes and high rises.

      Instead of being incensed maybe a little gratitude should be shown for the efforts made by the ACFD be prepared for protecting you and your loved ones. And yes, if it was in my neighborhood I’d be saying the same thing.

      • HOT Suit

        It would also cost way too much to defend and settle lawsuits from this incident- the asbestos and lead paint lawyers are probably licking their chops. How much would the legal fees alone compare to building a shell structure without hazardous materials in an unpopulated area? Is this what happens when the training budgets get cut so much they go penny-wise pound foolish? The rank and file firefighters are not the ones to blame here, it is the closed circle of county management who makes these decisions without community involvement.

        • Dollars and Sense

          HOT Suit – on what facts do you base your accusations – or is it just convenient to attack “the closed circle of county management”? The fire dept budget figures were posted by Thes on another thread the other day, and are re-posted below, along with funding growth rates. The Fire Dept has been largely immune from recent budget cuts, and has seen its budget double in the last decade. If training has suffered it isn’t for lack of resources.
          Year Expenditures Rate of Growth
          2002 $24,440,000
          2003 $27,767,000 13.61%
          2004 $31,012,000 11.69%
          2005 $32,349,000 4.31%
          2006 $36,190,000 11.87%
          2007 $41,312,000 14.15%
          2008 $43,948,000 6.38%
          2009 $45,010,000 2.42%
          2010 $47,128,000 4.71%
          2011 $48,710,000 3.36%

          • HOT Suit

            As stated in the BCSL letter, the neighborhood was kept in the dark on the decision to plan and execute the burning. I don’t know for how long they had been planning it, but it’s pretty likely it was well before 5 pm the prior afternoon. For this to be an open decision, at the minimum they could have let citizens know with enough time so they could make a counterargument or at least plan to keep their children out of the area, and shared any documents stating that the asbestos had been removed beforehand. This assumes that Arlington has a similar requirement to Fairfax County http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/academy/Home_Owners_Package_master.pdf which requires documentation of asbestos removal/abatement prior to accepting a house for training. Maybe Set the Controls will find such documentation in the permit search. In any case, if you have information that non-management firefighters made the decision to execute the burn, that information would be welcomed.

            As for the budget, over 80% goes to personnel costs and I have not seen anyone argue publicly for a cut in uniformed personnel. Training shouldn’t have suffered for lack of resources, but here are some decisions from recent FD budgets: FY11 “…reduce contracted training services…” FY10 “…eliminated a Batallion Chief position at the Training Academy…reduced employee training…” FY09 “…reduced funding in a variety of accounts including training…”. I could not find any detailed documents, but over the range of years you posted, the listed 2002 personnel costs were $20,757,446 covering 283 employees and the adopted FY11 personnel costs are $42,671,322 covering 316 employees. Any training cuts would probably be focused in the most recent few years but there is no training line item listed on the website.

  • LaceyForest

    As a former firefighter, I heartily second the comments regarding the importance of “live fire” training in facilities that you are not used to. Fighting the same type of fire in the same house-like training facility can lead to complacency when real-world situations are encountered. That being said, arrangements should have been made to quickly demolish and remove the burned house. No neighborhood wants a burned-out house hanging around for weeks. ACFD does need to make sure what is left of the house disappears quickly.

  • Let’s Be Free

    Same week as this burn took place I saw one of these exercises occuring on a multiacre Great Falls lot along Old Georgetown Road, a step in clearing the land for a mega-million dollar McMansion development. There were probably twenty to thirty emergency vehicles and a dozen fire stations from all over Fairfax County and into Loudon County represented.

    It would sure as heck make a lot of sense to cooperate with neighboring jurisdictions who are conducting exercises in sparsely populated areas instead of incurring the fire and health risks of an urban burn on a small residential lot.

  • steve

    unless you stuck you head in the burning house. There are no health risks. Stop your uneducated whining.

    • Westover

      Pretty much true.

  • S.Arlington

    Two to three years ago Fairfax County held multiple house-fire-as-training exercises right on the border of Arlington next to Wakefield HS. Multiple jurisdictions got to participate in the burning of six houses and it was well worth any risks that might have been involved.

    Our N.Va Fire Departments are among the best in the country and deserve our support. Unlike some jurisdictions, like D.C. or P.G County, they are staffed and run by highly trained professionals dedicated to saving our lives. I’m quite confident all the appropriate safety measures were put in place, having watched the burn exercises in my neighborhood, either in Barcroft or any similar exercise.

    As for the bizarre comments about the ACFD’s budget, what do you expect when they are the first responders to disasters like the Pentagon on 9/11, and provide valuable safety and medical support during such annual events like the USMC Marathon, or the thousands of people watching the fireworks from Arlington along the Potomac each 4th of July. They should be and are well equipped to be the first responders our lives depend on, and as such deserve the budgets they get.

    Until someone can provide actual physical real evidence that some sort of health hazard was created during the Barcroft burn, I suggest we all give our heroic firefighters the respect they deserve. Until then I put the sky-is-falling braying of such loud-mouths in the category they deserve, lumped in with those Tea Party idiots. Lets try to focus more on those famous Dragnet words: “just the facts Ma’am.”

  • Derek Spector

    @ Dollars and Sense. Your figures are correct, but let me give you a little history of the ACFD and its funding from the county. As a 20+ year employee of the fire department I can assure you that times weren’t always so grand. In 1989 when I started with the ACFD, the department was in a struggle with a county manager who every year wanted the ACFD to give up 5%-10% reductions every FY. This meant that equipment (engines, ladder trucks, ambulances ect) went well beyond their replacement dates. So much beyond that it required crews to have makeshift equipment and vehicles when the regular equipment went out of service for repairs. So much of a reduction that the department routinely ran out or had money taken away well before the end of the FY. This required the ACFD to stop buying things like paper products for the firehouses, delayed replacement of important equipment (see above) and eliminated 8 staffed units (pumpers) thus reducing the staffing of 8 engine companies from 4 to 3.I can give you a lot more examples if you’d like. So yes, the posts 9/11 years have been good. (Thank you Citizens of Arlington County very much) To say we’ve been immune from budget cuts to not totally true.

    Now as for the “house burning” allow me to add my two cents. As a department, every sworn member is responsible to provide life safety and property protection to the citizens and the visitors of Arlington County. Part of life safety is fire prevention and education. The purpose of this house burning was to provide insight to fire spread in a “typical” house fire (i.e. fire education). Now were mistakes made? I wasn’t there so I can’t speak for the ones that were or the ones that planned the event. Have we made the people we serve pissed off, yes we have. To the leadership of the ACFD, you have a department of men and women who will carry the fright for you when asked, please don’t put us in a position that violates the public trust. We need them just as much as they need us.

    • Dollars and Sense

      Derek – thank you for the thoughtful post and the history – and for your service to our County. My initial budget post wasn’t to say that the fire dept had never known budget cuts – only to counter the claims of some posts that implied that the FD had seen its budget cut in recent years and that the ACFD budget was causally related to the Barcroft burn. But thanks again for your post – its the sort of community dialogue that the Arlnow site offers, but often falls short of when the comments veer off into attacks and inflated rhetoric.

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