$240,000 that’s it. To keep a fire station open and not lose 3 firefighters. As on July 2011 our population was 78,853. That amounts to $3.08 per resident. The cost of a good cup of coffee, a happy meal, or a gallon of milk.
Guess that is too expensive for the Mayor of Racine. Humble Park Fire Station may be forced to close, response times that have already risen since the City of Racine shut down the Marquette Station will rise even more.
The City talks of Quality of Life for residents, zoos, beaches, Festival Hall. For the Racine Fire Department quality of life to them, means saving someones life, possibly stopping a house from burning down.To first responders the most important time is the first 5 minutes not what happens after 5 hours.
In this day and age a persons house during a fire can flash over in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Not a lot of time, even more of a chance for loss of life and total destruction to your home or business if Mayor Dickert has his way with the cut. The Racine Fire Department did a time study, their study shows that in normal traffic for a RFD unit to get from Lombard Ave to the Southside of Racine 18 minutes. Does anyone want to wait 18 minutes in an emergency?
During the meeting. Mayor Dickert complained about MABAS Alerts that were abused by Caledonia and Mount Pleasant, they said that it drains our resources and that the city is number one. If we close a station… What do people think will happen? MABAS Alerts (Mutual Aid Box Alarms) to those other jurisdictions that he complained about tonight would rise for them to come to the aid of Racine residents.. We contract services to other areas including Elmwood Park, they would have to pay more and get even less if Humble Park station closes. The area affected is heavily populated with schools, residences, businesses including areas out to Regency Mall and south to Chicory Road. 85% of calls are rescue related, the other 15% is fire related. If a person is having a heart attack, those response times go up, in reality you may not make it, if your house starts on fire, the damage could be extensive or a total loss now with an increased response time. Why? Because Mayor Dickert doesn’t want to spend $240,000.
They can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on new bathrooms, hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep Festival Hall running with an estimated projected loss of $278,000, and they will spend $250,000 on new playground equipment. Some may say “Well that’s in a different part of the fund”. Last I understood all that money comes from OUR POCKETS that funds what runs City Hall.
When questioned by aldermen, as to if having the three fireman was a WANT or a NEED, the Racine Fire Chief responded it was his professional opinion that it’s a need. Alderman Dennis Wiser, never questioned anything during the three hour budget hearing, his district is 100% affected by the proposed changes. Alderman Greg Helding is also affected in his district 100% but he feels that it would be beneficial to spend aprox $145,000 buy a new ambulance for Humble Park and still get rid of 3 fireman. It was also noted during the presentation that one year the Racine Fire Department had a surplus and have to transfer $100,000 to the City Attorney’s office.
There are many alderman that appear or have come right out and stated that they are opposed to jeopardizing the lives of Racine residents. My personal observations would be that the following aldermen would vote no to the budget as it stands no : Weidner, Hart, Shields, Fair, DeHahn, Helding.
Guess it will be on to the next meeting to find out the next step.Share on Facebook