My particular complaint has to do with the fact that the city council, like the school board, has been the tail wagged by the dog. It isn’t like council doesn’t know the woman has been a holy terror. It isn’t like they don’t know she’s called Madame Umbrage – some of them probably have used the terms themselves – but the fact that they still do not take control of the situation rankles my taxpayin’ little self.
When they can’t fill city government positions because nobody is nuts or desperate enough to go to work down there, then maybe, like the school board, they’ll wake up. Meanwhile, the talent drain will continue. Experienced staffers who are excellent at their jobs are tired of the BS and are, like the teachers, voting with their feet or counting down until early retirement.
Roanoke Firefighters have made their opinions clear concerning the proposed budget but I thought there was a reason we have a position with the title ‘Fire-EMS Department Chief’. Roanoke City Council asked Department Chief David Hoback for recommendations concerning budget cuts for Fire-EMS. He gave Council his recommendations.
Six Firefighter jobs should be eliminated.
And of course say hello to The Firefighters Union…
They reject this idea saying the public will suffer with fewer Fire Fighters.
I can’t speak on the mathematical correlation between total number of citizens, density of living space, placement of Fire Stations, necessary equipment and personnel to secure and safely protect a city of Roanoke’s dimensions but I bet I know someone who does.
I would ask The Department Chief.
I thought you might like this article on driving simulators. I do not know if this is what Roanoke City is getting with the new grant, but it is a worthwhile read.
Rarely Forgotten, Always Respected
Every fire department has it’s legends. Chief among them is the firefighter who stood up for what was right despite the cost in personal stature or promotion. When talking about these people firefighters smile because these people are the bedrock on which any department is built.
Sorry, I put up a bad link, however I have corrected it.
Basically, it is a one stop shop for all things news related in Roanoke.
Eventually I plan to add a message board and/or allow comments on the entries. And I’m absolutely wide open to suggestions of any sort.
I have two goals:
1) create the most useful possible Web site for residents of the area, and
2) to draw attention to as many local bloggers and other news sources as possible.
The website updates automatically when a blog is posted or news hits the websites.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
So just how do you become a Firefighting Blogger? Well the simple answer is to sign up using Blogger (my format), or WordPress, typepad, or one of the other many blogging templates. Most are free, some you will have to pay for. There are even websites which have a blog feel to them. YourFirstDue.com is one of these. It offers the RSS feel while still rounding out the site with a lot of content possibilities.
Now that I have provided you where to start, let me tell you how to prepare.
- You need to know your audience and topic. Whether it is Local, Statewide, National, or International you need to know who you are catering to and what they want to read. Basically, you need to keep them coming back to read more. VentEnterSearch.com provides an excellent blog that is specific to truck company operations (ventilation, forcible entry, and search and rescue). They seldom waver, yet are willing to expand the scope of writing to include building construction and product information/review. They do an excellent job of staying on task.
- You need to know what you are talking about. You will get torn apart by readers if you just ramble on about a topic in which you don’t have a clue. Be sure to do the proper research before talking about something that you know little about.
- You need to understand what you are talking about. I have found that I may take the time to research a topic and make a statement in a post. The second I post it, someone else is making a comment about an angle of the story that I didn’t even think about. Try to cover all of your bases.
- You need to stand up for what you believe in. If you say it make sure you mean it. I have written posts in the past (the blog is 2.5 years old) that I still have to answer for. Remember that people can still go back and read what you said a long time ago and hold you accountable, unless you are an anonymous blogger.
- Make sure you don’t mind someone else posting what you said. The thing about bloggers is that they feed off of each other. As more and more blogs pop up, more blogs are linking to each other and syndicating each others content. Other bloggers will take what you say and link to it, copy it, and either agree with you or tear you apart. You have to be ready to be ridiculed.
- Don’t forget that you can be held accountable. I learned early on as a “blogger” that retaliation is something that can happen. I have a first hand account of how what I wrote pissed the wrong guy off. The problem is that he had the power to make my life hell, and he did not hesitate. That is life, I am wiser now and I still believe in what I wrote.
- Write to your audiences level of understanding. How many firefighters do you know who have a Master’s Degree? Not too many. You don’t need to write like you are addressing Harvard’s graduating class. Firefighters do not like $4 words that they don’t understand and have never heard before. They aren’t going to look it up either so you might as well omit (leave out) those words. I am not saying that firefighters are dumb. It is kind of like a team being as strong as its weakest player. If you want to write to everyone, leave out the $4 words.
- Make sure you have original content. Some blogs are strictly original content by the blogger (Roanoke Fire.com has a lot of original content, but some copy/paste happens). Other bloggers frequently comment on other bloggers posts. Whatever you do, make sure you offer your own standpoint, opinion, or information if you are copying and pasting a story from somewhere else.
- Listen to your readers. One of the biggest benefits of comments is to see what other people are saying. Allow your readers to comment. Remember it is their opinion, just as you offered yours in the post. DON’T TAKE CRITICISM TO HEART.
- Increase the amount of readers. The single biggest thing you can do to attract readers is to link to other blogs. Link to other blogs you think your readers will like. Contact those blogs and ask for a reciprocal link.
- Last but certainly not least, USE SPELL CHECKER. I absolutely hate reading misspelled words. There isn’t an excuse for it. I don’t want to read misspelled words. Disclaimer: I have forgotten to use spell checker before and I will in the future, but it is not intentional.
It is great to see so many bloggers out there on firefighting. I really enjoy getting around to reading most of them daily. Keep up the good work guys.
If you have any other questions feel free to contact me by email.
Good luck blogging.
There are a few new blogs out there and I have added them to the blogroll to the right.
One of them really stands out though.
Sometimes I’m asked if it’s really that bad at the city. Well…yeah. But, the moron continues, everything appears to be in top shape. My response is that Germany looked well to some people under Hitler, China under Mao, and Cambodia under Pol Pot.
See, if you take a dump and spray paint it white, well, it’s still shit. You can dress up stuff just so long and then the dam breaks. Just like Milli Vanilli. That’s us. The Milli Vanilli Fire Department.
He is writing about the Charleston Fire Department. This is his department, although I think he is retired. The blog is his rant space. The rants are not in vain though, and not necessarily due to the terrible loss of life that the CFD just experienced. More so, it has been developed because there are things that apparently many members have been screaming about for a long time. Issues that need to be fixed and haven’t. These issues have come to light because of the 9 LODD firefighters and the fact that the department is under a microscope. HOWEVER, their Fire Chief is claiming that all is well in Charleston.
His writings are somewhat hilarious at first, but the problems he speaks of are no laughing matter. Check out the comments too.