Some Worried the City's Truckin' Around By Relocating, Storing Some Fire Engines

Categories: City Hall
DFD11.jpg
Earlier this afternoon City Hall sent out the video you'll find after the jump, in which City Manager Mary Suhm walks you though the proposed FY2011-12 budget presented to media last week and council on Monday. And it reminded me: One of the smaller but more controversial items contained therein is the shuffling and mothballing of fire trucks: Right now, the budget calls for relocating nine engines and putting one "in reserve," at a guesstimated savings of about $9 million.

Suhm told the council Monday that this is far from the donest of done deals; she yet to talk to the various fire-rescue associations about the proposal, a task she's left to First Assistant City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, lucky feller. When asked about the proposal Monday by Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano, Suhm said, look, "We have not looked at workload versus equipment for the past 25 years, and we need to do that every two, three years or whenever you add a station." An initial review indicated some trucks weren't where they needed to be, and that one could be put into storage for now.

So far, no one's mentioned at those City Hall meetings which trucks are going to be moved, and which one will be put in storage. But word's circulating amongst Dallas Fire-Rescue workers that the ladder truck scheduled to be mothballed is Truck 23 out of Oak Cliff, in Dwaine Caraway's district. And one of the truck's scheduled to be moved is ladder Truck 11 out of the Cedar Springs station in District 14, which would go to DFD Station No. 40 near Duncanville.

Hence the website Save Truck 11 and the accompanying Facebook page, started by some of the firefighters in Oak Lawn who are, in the words of one fireman with whom I just spoke, "vehemently opposed" to moving the truck down south.

"They didn't get any information from the guys in the field," he told me. "Their feeling is overall they can improve response times, but we feel it's ludicrous to move a truck from 11. We have easy access to Stemmons, Central and the tollway, not to mention all these business and residences around here."

The firefighters are trying to get Angela Hunt involved. No need: She tells Unfair Park she's already on it.

"I've been getting calls and emails form residents and business owners concerned about the possible loss about this ladder enginer, so I have requested city staff investigate this issue and how we can make sure we protect our many mid-rises and high-rises in the area," she says. "They don't need to lobby me for it. They don't have to convince me it's a good idea to have fire protection for District 14."

Messages have been left for Gonzalez and Suhm, who you're free to hear from below. And if you have questions after, why, just go here. That goes for you too, firemen of Dallas.

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14 comments
BCulbreath
BCulbreath

Why would anyone move a ladder truck from area with multi story buildings and hotels to Southern Dallas flat land ,and most office retail is no more than three stories ,other than one hospital ,on Wheatland Rd. I'm with the fireman it's not a good move. Also how could putting a truck in storage save 9 million dollars? Truck is only used in special circumstances.Why did we purchase Truck if it was not needed? Someone at City Hall been smoking weed and drinking MD 20-20.

Alan
Alan

That development in the vicinity of Station 11 consists of new buildings with state-of-the-art sprinklers, fire-preventive design and wiring.  That means fewer fires, and self-snuffing fires.  It's too simplistic to say that fire trucks are the only measure of fire protection.  Give the city manager credit for improving protection without spending a public nickel by writing better fire codes.  And don't succumb to the motto of the firefighting industry:  "200 years of tradition untouched by progress."

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

The great majority of buildings in Oak Lawn and its surrounding neighborhoods is stick without sprinklers.  So the highrises do.  Great.  But sprinklers only lessen the impact of fire.  They don't stop fire.  And highrise buildings still need ladder trucks.  Station 11 is centrally located.  Easy and quick access to the central business district, design district corridor, UTSW medical corridor, I-35.  It's the perfect place to locate a ladder truck. Seems like that should be a big consideration when placing public safety assets. 

NewsDog
NewsDog

Don't shutter the spare engine, sell it like they did the spare DPD helicopter.

Does OCP contract for Fire/EMS as well, or is it just police? 

Guest
Guest

Yeah Angela Hunt also said that she would look into the plans to move the ambulance out of Lakewood/M-Streets to far Southwest Dallas earlier this year.  That ambulance which served the entire West side of White Rock Lake to McMillan, down Gaston up to Lovers Ln. now makes most of its runs in Duncanville out of Station 12.  Angela Hunt ask to have the move postponed until after the City Council Elections were done and that ambulance and been there since 1972 when the EMS system started in Dallas.  If the people in Lakewood can't keep their services, it will be interesting to see if the people of Oaklawn can.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

As someone who lives 2 minutes (at best) from the Cedar Springs Station, and has met several of the firefighters assigned to it over the years, I am stunned (or not) that Mary Suhm would ship one of our trucks to DUNCANVILLE.  Really?  I had not paid attention but I am now.  Unbelievable. My neighborhood is kinda busy, has lots of high rises, lots of businesses, lots of multi-family.  Those trucks get lots of use.  Mary, leave us alone.  Or we will strike back.  And no, that's not a threat, that's a promise.  We have tolerated your ability to ignore our streets while they go to shit, and do everything you can to dismantle public facilities in our neighborhood. But this will not be tolerated.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Don't worry.........FIRST ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER AC Gonzales is in charge........it ain't gonna happen...........

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Is that said with tongue firmly planted in cheek?

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

We could Fund Truck 11 and a few more  if there was a $ 500.00 Surcharge on disregards / FALSE ALARMS involving  commercial alarm companies .This would be charged to Alarm companies as  operators of emergency alerting equipment  that needs to be kept in proper repair.

The surcharge would go up 500.00 a POP if the False alarms happened more than once a shift. After hours midnight would start at 1000.00

 

guest
guest

The plan that the fire department heads have come up with is flawed from the beginning.  The data that they plugged into their new computer program is incomplete.  They only looked at reported and working structure fires.  That is only part of what the fire department does.  They left out car wrecks, medical calls, people trapped, and all the other calls that are made on a daily basis by the fire department.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Station 11 serves the fastest (only?) growing area of Dallas--- Cedar Springs, Uptown, Victory Park, etc.--- why would they choose to reduce service there? It simply defies logic.

On another note, as Ms. Suhm points out, ""We have not looked at workload versus equipment for the past 25 years, and we need to do that every two, three years or whenever you add a station."  So--- why hasn't she had some one do this?  Is this yet another example of her wide-ranging incompetence?

NormandTod
NormandTod

Shouldn't the City Manager delegate this task (or any others associated with the Fire Department) to the person she hand-picked to be the Fire Chief? After all, the person she picked obviously demonstrated superior leadership and management KSAs (or why would she have chosen him or her), right? Oh, wait a minute... she picked Eddie Burns - the guy who had no experience running a large fire/EMS organization, couldn't keep his pants zipped up, and has subjected to City of Dallas to literally millions of dollars in litigation and settlements before he "retired".

Eddie Burns is not to blame - the idiots who hired him are. Queen Mary has taken an organization that was a model for fire departments nationwide to mirror themselves afterwards and she placed a talking head at the helm and, after five years as a rudderless ship, he turned it into one of the worst organizations in America. If you don't believe me, google "Eddie Burns" and "worst boss in America" and see what the result is.

The first step to healing an organization after the reign of incompetent leadership is to determine how the idiot at the helm got there in the first place. Since Mary Suhm hires and fires department heads, maybe she knows the answer?

replay
replay

.......or just a very weak justification for her latest brainstorm to balance the budget......somehow, it always boils down to cutting services.........last year, they raised taxes so they did not have to cut services.......oh,,,,,,,sorry,,,,,,,that really wasn't an increase in taxes, was it?

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