Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

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Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

Post by FireDawg314 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:37 am

After some dialogue with Timeout, I went ahead and made the decision to start a new thread due to the other one being fairly well beaten and streched from its original intent. I also want to take this in a little bit of a different direction.

If you had already read the post on the other thread this will be a little bit of a redundancy, but I think it would be best to separate them and continue here.

I think that much of the planning and implementation of any regionalization/consolidation of fire departments should be done by those in the fire service because they are the ones that have the internal knowledge. I do however also think that the thoughts of the customers, the citizens and business owners, are also important. That's what I am seeking out. What are your thoughts, what do your family and friends have to say? I'll pose a few questions that I would like to see answers to.

What is your overall perception and opinion on the topic of regionalization of the area fire departments?
What do you see as potential benefits?
What do you see as potential problems?
How should a new organization be set up and controlled?
How should funding from the involved communities be determined?
What is your greatest concern when it comes to public safety in the area?
Do you think the service currently provided is sufficient?
Do you think that the current budget is too high, sufficient, or not enough?
As an individual what do you consider to be a reasonable amount to pay yearly for your fire protection?(cost per capita)
If you could only choose one which would it be: enhanced service or reduced cost? Why?

I fully understand that your responses may differ from mine and that is why I ask. I am also quite sure that I know what some of your responses may be based on previous posts, that is why I ask that you solicit answers from your family and friends as well. It may seem that some of the questions are very broad, but I wanted to be able to entertain a wide array of responses without limitting to a particular type of response.

Thanks

p.s. C, I know you had a nice response, if you wouldnt mind reposting to this or even adding on based on some of the other questions.

FireDawg314

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Re: Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

Post by Captain on Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:10 pm

The potential benifits are more people to respond immediately. the problems are how do you split the cost? I think it should be set up with a board of directors similar to Med-Care and funded the same way. I think my concern is the response times to the out lying areas. I feel cost should be determined by benifit.

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Re: Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

Post by C on Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:19 pm

FireDawg314 wrote:
p.s. C, I know you had a nice response, if you wouldnt mind reposting to this or even adding on based on some of the other questions.

repost:

I think the big stumbling block is some of the taxpayers feel like they are going to pay for something they shouldn't have to. They are still
looking at themselves as separate entities, instead of looking at the combined population of both towns sharing the responsibility of the
area as a whole.
For example: if we were to combine public works- some residents of one town would feel the other town has more
roads than than them and should have to pay less. Often, that type of thinking is "cutting off one's nose to spite their face", they don't
even want to know if it will save them money in the long run. No matter if both towns save money it will be deemed unfair by some if it is a bigger savings to one community than it is to the other.

The longer I live here the more often I see that type of mindset. If they can't see it and understand it immediately- it's no good. With many, the benefits need to be reaped today, if it will save them money over extended years or show rewards in a few years it is no good to them, they don't care about the future and they will vote it down. It is a form of closed mindedness that if you have to show them, teach them, or explain it to them they either turn suspicious or cannot be bothered and will turn you down flat unless they are given no choice. Sadly, as long as a majority of the people are stuck in (or are content in) a rut that leaves the rest there as well.

When the Rumford and Mexico schools were consolidated was that initiated on a municipal or state level? I can imagine some similar perceptions and attitudes would have been displayed back then. How were they overcome?

C
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Re: Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

Post by public slave on Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:44 pm

In towns like these it is common that the majority of the people have a hard time seeing or comprehending anything beyond five years out and for many it is less than that. The majority of people live day to day, check to check, and are satisfied with that and to place something upon them that discusses 5 - 10 - 20 year plans is too much. Regionalization has few immediate financial savings but a lot of increased delivery positives; in the future and on large purchases is where the majority of the savings come from. Bulk purchasing and administration is usually a second area that will reap some benefits but you are correct it is no longer us and them it needs to be "we".

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Re: Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

Post by C on Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:59 pm

I think all the benefits and financial savings of regionalization need to be identified and put into a brochure type format and circulated throughout both communities for at least a year before hoping for an improvement in support. That gives people the information and time to learn and "digest" the facts. It also gives them time to realize how all this will benefit them. I think that way it doesn't seem pushed upon them. We need to market this concept heavily if it is something we want.

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Re: Public Perception of Regionalization/Consolidation

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