Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Actually, I found this more than sobering, I found it depressing.

I found it first on Rhett's site, The Fire Critic, then on Dave Statter's site, Statter911.com. As I have a lot of non-fire service readers, who might not read those sites regularly (though they should,) I decided to run it too.

It is a video concerning the City of East St. Louis IL. and their fire dept. It a a very well shot and produced video that has some incredible fire and artistic scenes in it. However,  it is more about what happens to a community when socioeconomic conditions produce an environment where the "takers" outnumber the "makers" and it can no longer generate the resources to maintain itself. It's a freakin' tragedy, sadly one that is not unique to East St. Louis.

Enjoy. Wait it is actually not an enjoyable video experience, so watch and contemplate.

Kind of makes you feel grateful that you live/work where you do, doesn't it?

Thanks for reading,



  1. It's one of the grimmer ironies that the same factors that reduce the availability of firefighters and apparatus also increase the need for them. And watching that reminded me of some of the video I've seen coming from Detroit. Another department stretched dangerously thin and working hard to hold their own.

    My own city has felt the bite of budget cuts but so far has managed to keep the fire service healthy. If a FF calls off sick his company will have to run a 3 man crew and the new heavy rescue put in service a few years ago doesn't have a crew of it's own (E-1 and E-2 are both based out of Central station and if the Rescue is needed whichever crew is in quarters runs it.) But all things considered we're in good shape around here. Even hired two new FFs a few months back.

    By coincidence as I was typing this up E-4 ("my" first due company) blew past the house on their way to someone's bad day. Glad to see they seem to be keeping up their habit of beating both PD and the local ambo service to the scene. And four in the cab so they'll have plenty of hands.


  2. BGM - We are lucky as well and most of us know it. There is a sad irony in your observation, I just don't know how to get the pendulum of service vs funding in the devastated areas to swing in the other direction.

    Obviously it's a complicated issue or it wouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the comment.

  3. It's sad that those consuming emergency response services, rarely contribute anything to sustaining them.

    I am fortuante to live in Thibodaux, La with an all volunteer fire department rated as one of the best in the state.

    Dspite resources, demands or funding; staying safe is job 1

  4. Chief - I too am fortunate, my municipality has always placed a high priority on funding public safety. They have also usually managed the city in a manner that has provided adequate funding.

    I think that the biggest factor has been planning ahead. I hope the trend continues.

    Thanks for the comment.