• JS

    Wow, a City Council that stood up to the unions and succeeded in balancing its city’s budget? What a concept! Sadly, I doubt that Alameda’s firefighter union would agree to forego raises or cut benefits down to a more reasonable level even if the alternative was job loss. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying, though. That would really force the firefighters to show their true colors and seriously imperil their public support.

  • http://savealamedafirehouses.com Dom Weaver

    Hi Eve,
    For the record, Alameda Firefighters have not received a raise since June of 2007. There are none scheduled at this time, and we have been willing to entertain settling a contract without raises included, one that would limit future liability, and would control costs.
    We have not received any parameters or even clear direction from any City Officials, on what they are looking for.

    I believe it is unfair to draw comparison of the City of Alameda and the City of Chico. There is a completely different set of circumstances present in Chico, including being in one of the most rural counties in the state.

    What truly is at issue here is the COMMUNITY’s LEVEL of SERVICE. The level of service has been established for many years with several studies completed to show the capabilities of YOUR Fire Department. These were studies commisioned by the City as well as by the union. Now, the City is commisioning yet another one to evaluate both Police and Fire. This study is being completed by the International City Managers Association, and being led by someone from New York State. The title of the presentation ICMA gives to city leaders is “How to get your Chiefs to say the right things”. This is a perfect example of paying someone to get them to prepare a report that says what they (city leaders) want it to.
    With the current Fire Company Closures, it is not a matter of if something bad is going to happen, but when.
    Stay Tuned!

  • Eve Pearlman

    Hi, Dom. I hope you are well. I agree with you that the core of the issue is the level of service provided to the community: We all want the best emergency services possible. But also at issue is how much providing that service costs and what the city can afford. There are big- and little-picture issues that go along with this. Does it make sense to have a paramedic driving an ambulance, for example, as is the current method in the fire department. Or does it make sense to have the driver be a less highly-trained person who is paid less? Does it make sense for Alameda firefighters to transport patients off-island? Or does it make sense to have a private company, who can provide the service for less money while keeping Alameda firefighters in Alameda do it? And, more long term, does it make sense to drive a fire truck to each and every medical call, when a smaller vehicle might make more sense in a cost-benefit analysis. Business as usual and preservation of the status quo just isn’t okay given the economic times we’re in.


    Also, Dom: I don’t know if you’re aware, but Pat Bail and Don Roberts talk at length about what they think about the current firefighter situation on this week’s Alameda Daily News web cast.