Sunday, June 12, 2011

Deerfield Beach Concerned Citizen's Email to City of Plantation's Fire Chief

Please find below an email I sent to Plantation Fire Chief to actually hearwhat he has to say about this situation of career vs volunteer that Deerfield Beach Chief Chad Brocato, DHSc has mentioned.  Maybe with your experience and education you can give us an educated view on the subject since some think that Brocato's education makes him end all be all on whatever subject he talks about and even when presented with actual facts disputing what he is saying the only argument they come up with is..well the facts came from someone who looked them up on the internet and doesn't have a degree...I have a degree som ignore the facts and listen to me...Isn't that the Wizard of OZ dispute???

Anyway, I am dying to hear what Chief Harris has to say on the subject since he actually runs a combination fire department.  The kind that many in Deerfield believe would work here if implemented in a graduated process which would save us a boat load of money on our Budget and possibly eliminate the need for a Utility tax, that combined with common sense spending practices by our City and Commission would lower our property tax and also prevent the need for lay-offs or possible privatization.  Let's look at it, what lives would be lost to look at it and actually make the report available for all concerned citizens, so we can make an informed decision.  Like I said before, it's obvious that Lamberti and BSO have looked at a reduction of staff over at DBFD to save monies, so why hasn't the City looked at that type of restructuring before turning over the reigns to BSO.  Heck, if we had we may not have had to lay-off 106 General employees last year to stop the hemorrhaging of the City last year.  We might be able to save more than $3 million if we restructure first and then send them to BSO.  

Let's look at the option, while look at the BSO option!!!

I will update this once I get a response from Plantation 

Dear Honorable Chief Harris, Plantation Fire Department;

I am writing to you because I am a concerned citizen of Deerfield Beach.  It has recently come to my attention that the City of Plantation has a full volunteer Fire Staff and paid Emergency Rescue which provides a considerable cost savings to the City of Plantation.  Many citizens here in Deerfield Beach have become aware of this fact and have asked multiple times for our City Commission and City Manager to look into doing a comparative study between the two cities departments.  As we have noticed that Plantation has a larger population density and more land area to cover and yet still has the same ISO rating as Deerfield Beach who has a career fire staff at a considerably higher cost to the City of Deerfield Beach's tax payers.  As you may now last year our City laid off over 106 hard working employees from the General Employee Union and did not lay off anyone from the public safety departments that the City controlled Fire Department.  Some of us citizens believe that there could be a cost savings there if we changed the model of our Fire Department.  Maybe not to a full volunteer service, but maybe a combination of different staffing methods to that are available that would  achieve the same goal and level of service that our Citizens have become used to.  

This was brought up to our City Commissioner where Chief Brocato openly stated during a City Commission meeting on May 17, that for some reason the volunteer fire system woudl not work in Deerfield because of the delays and risk to life and property associated by volunteer fire fighters.  City Commissioner Ganz has also been noted as saying that "vollies" kill people and therefore he would not risk a life to save a buck.  

So, since we simple citizens keep hearing about Plantation volunteer fire department and paid career rescue side, we were wondering if you could chime in on the dangers mentioned by Chief Brocato and possibly explain to us with your background and knowledge as to how you have managed to obtain an ISO score of 2 and continiously maintain the extremely high property values in Plantation without causing major risk to life, as insinuated by both Brocato and Ganz.

This would help us very much as all we have asked our City Commission to do is look into the model, not actually change it, but commission a report that applies some structural changes that could lead to cost savings based on the fact that your department is doing so well for three times less money.  

Thank You!


I have attached copies of a post from a local blog where Broccato advises of the dangers of volunteer department as compared to Deerfield Beach.  I have also included the minutes from City Commission meeting where Broccato insinuates that volunteers cost lives and major property damage.

It must be understood that all we concerned citizens want is for our city to look at all viable cost savings options and we believe that a restructuring of the DBFD to not a full volunteer service, but partial volunteer, part career and part intern training could lead to cost savings that would benefit our city.  As of now, Mayor Peggy Noland, Bill Ganz, Marty Popelsky are unwilling to even consider these options and maybe you know some horror stories that we don't know about volunteers, that they may be aware of that the regular citizens, like myself, are unaware of.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson

Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him  Daniel 6:4 NASB

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