Saturday, March 28, 2009

New ISO rating

Mineral Springs Fire and Rescue has received its new ISO rating.We are now a class 5 in the city and a 8b in our rural coverage area.

I want to say thanks to the fire department members, and especially to former chiefs Randy Phillipps and Chris Hostetler.Also Carol O'Donnell and Franki Darr for their help in keeping me legal and within budget.

By having a lower ISO insurance rates will go down.It is my hope that the community will realize the benefits and support the department.

I hope the citizens out side the city limits will understand they are benefiting from the department and pay the yearly dues.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My reply to AESN

Before You read any further know that Bob Edwards the man behind AESN is a close friend of mine.He is a gentleman and very knowledgeable of the fire service.He and I may disagree but it is only when I am right.The following is my reply to comments on AESN.If you are not on the AESN mailing list,get on it.It is the best source of info for emergency services in the state of Arkansas.
Regarding the training issues You and Captain Fred have commented on,I would like to make a comment of my own.I do not know of anyone who wants to have less training.I do know of some who want more flexibility in training,Let me give an illustration,one of the best young guys on our department works as a millwright and is subject to call as well as his regular shift work.This past year he attended 2 separate 16 hour classes,however because of work he was not able to attend the final night of each class.Therefore he had no documented training.Now this same young man and I have spent quite a bit of time in going over pump ops,fire flows,apparatus ops,I guess you could even call it a mentoring relationship.This is training but it is not certifiable.Now I am sure some one will say "you can submit this for training".I have been told this by several people but no one seems to be able to tell me the process.I have been asked several questions by fire fighters that I haven't been able to get anyone to answer.Questions such as #1 If I don't get my training this year can I still be on the fire department?I did get this question answered-with at least 3 different answers from 3 different"officials"#2 If I don't get my training this year what do I have to do to get back active? I got this one answered to 3 different ways by 3 different "officials"#3 What if I have a lot more than 24 hours training,can I carry them over?#4 Why did that department get that many hours training for xyz course and I only got half that many?I have noticed that the people who are most rigid in their view of training have a background quite different from most of the people who are firefighters in this part of the state.Any time some one says cut off their act 833 funding I get suspicious.I wonder where their heart is ?do they really want to help the little rural departments that are struggling to survive?I think some people believe that a community would be better of with no fire or first responder coverage than have it with out their idea of being well trained.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A moment of clarity

Any one involved in EMS will understand this.
My partner and me in the ambulance on Sunday afternoon.He needs something from a quick shop ,we stop,he goes in.A truck pulls up a person gets out,he is cool and wants every one to know it.He has on a T-shirt with the sleeves torn off and it has the number and name of dead sports figure on it.Then on his shoulder I see it,the symbol of his pride,what makes him cool,what is going to give him everything in the world,he has the dead guys' number and name tattooed in dark bold lines.
My partner gets what he needs gets back in the 'lance.We began the discussion why would you have a dead guys' name and number tattoo?.The dead guy is never going to know it.Dead guy got paid millions of dollars to play a game.Dead guy never knew the guy with the tat.Guy with the tat never met dead guy.
Then we see it tat guy has dead guy tat,dead guy T-shirt and dead guy sticker on his truck.Then that moment of clarity We are working,we are wearing uniforms.He isn't working and he is cool.We need a dead guy tat.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My home defense preference

I love handguns,I like shooting them and seeing how accurate I can be.I've got several handguns but when things go bump I reach for a shotgun.
There are many reasons for this :
1-the stopping power of the shotgun is greater than any pistol could ever be.
2-the lower penetration of a shotgun (with the loads I shoot)vs a handgun round
3-the intimidation factor,yes I believe there is one nearly everyone is intimidated by the appearance of a short barrelled shotgun.
The shotgun I reach for when BUMP happens is a Remington 870 12 gauge with a 20 inch barrel and a magazine extension.It is a little of a glitz gun,Folding telescoping stock with a pistol grip,barrel shroud,flashlight,pistol grip for end,and at times a laser.
For a good defensive shotgun all this is not needed, I did just for fun.My personal idea of a good defensive shotgun would be a 20 inch barrel and a magazine extension,and some way of carrying a few extra rounds and a flash lite on it.
12 gauge or 20 I don't care when you began to look at shotshell performance tables you see only a small difference in the two.My thought has always been if the BUMPER survived a good hit with a 20 gauge I probably couldn't DEBUMP it with a 12.I do insist on a full stock,I can't shoot a pistol grip only shotgun.I have never seen any one who could.
For home protection I use #6 shot.I can hear people screaming "you got to use double aught buckshot for defense".Bear with me a minute,with my shotgun at approximately 50 feet I am looking at only a 2 foot pattern with #6s.In my house 48 feet is the maximum distance I can see.That means with #6 at the maximum shot distance in my house is going to give a 2 foot pattern.Now the 48foot distance is theoretical,it is from 1 wall to another to make the shot I would have to be standing on chest,with the targets back pressed against another wall.If I move two feet horizontally in either direction the shot drops from 48 feet to only 40.
If I move from the wall at my back the longest shot in my house becomes less than 30 feet.When you look at it from this viewpoint #6 becomes more reasonable.
My final reason for #6 is penetration,my interior walls are sheetrock to shoot from one room into another you only have to penetrate 2 layers of sheetrock. #6s are somewhat stopped by this,Double aught isn't even slowed down.
This is what I have for a BUMP IN THE NIGHT GUN,it works for me.It might not for you.I hope I made you think though.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The way to make gun people mad

These are questions I get asked pretty often and the answers I give.
What kind of gun do I need to buy for home protection?
I have to know more,do you shoot now? Do you own any weapons now?
Who else is in your house?Are they comfortable with a weapon in the house?How much do you want to spend?Do you have a CCP?Is your house rural or in town?Are you paying me for this advice?
No i don't ask the last one but I want you to see that there are many facets to the question.Generally it comes down to this,"I don't have much money but I really would like to have something for home protection,What do you recommend?"
For the time being lets just talk about handguns, later we will talk about long guns.The sole purpose of a handgun is to level the playing field between you and an aggressor.It doesn't have to be pretty or artistic it is meant to be used for saving lives.
If you have a concealed carry permit and want one weapon to serve as a ccp and home defense weapon and you don't have a lot of money there is a good choice.It is the Keltec P-11.I know there are some gunnies out there right now saying "there is no way I'd trust my life to anything other than a smith,Beretta,Walther,colt,glock,ruger".They are screaming you can get a good used smith or whatever for the same price as a new keltec.Maybe they can I never have been able to.
The keltech as it comes from the factory holds 11 rounds of 9mm.This is probably the most widely used handgun cartridge in the world. However the Keltec will accept smith magazines which will increase capacity to 14.
In the concealed mode use the keltec magazine in the home defense mode slip in the smith magazine.
You are going to pay around 300 bucks for a keltech.For this price you get a functioning , reliable handgun.To make the gun even bettter go to the keltec website ,and do a search for keltec owners group.Here you can find some very helpful information and people.
If the 300$ is too much for you and if you are not really concerned about carrying concealed-this is where all the people who own high dollar guns go ballistic-you might try a High Point.These guns are heavy and awkward looking,the finish looks like krylon but they go bang when you pull the trigger.
For less than 200$ you get a gun that fits my hand well , is more accurate than I am and in my experience is as reliable as any gun ever made.I don't know the shooting life of a HP but mine has over 2500 rounds through it and appears to be just like it is brand new.
There is only 1 reason I would hesitate to make an HP my daily carry and that is the weight of the thing.It is heavy.
HP are called gang banger guns but if you don't have a lot of money and don't care what it looks like and want to keep your family safe,it works.
When the time comes when you need a weapon in your hand , the super hi performance do it all race gun for 4000$ that you don't have because you can't afford it,will not do you much good.The ugly cheap High Point, people laugh at, in your hand might save your life

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The stories we tell

My friend says that some times you just have to say "There I was all alone in a Strange City.I say the stories I tell are true , I know because I make them up myself.
I hear that all the Ambulance services in Arkansas have finally gotten paid for the hurricanes.
Thousand of anxious readers are harassing Budd wanting more ICS advice.I am honored to say I am attending "Decision Making and Problem Solving" and "Incident Response foe Emergency Managers".
DM&PS promises much to Budd.I think that the class will be very beneficial in establishing Forward Operating Bases.
It is rumored that Budd will be teaching ,at EM conference this year,MOBILE COMMAND CENTER PARKING AT EMERGENCY INCIDENTS AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH CRACKHEADS.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm just not convinced yet

The stimulus package, grants (money)going to the same places that get it in every grant cycle.I thought things were supposed to change.
Health care investment, No money going to first responders and EMS.Maybe we are not part of health care.I am just not convinced that this whole thing is going to work.
Besides who pays for this?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a funeral

I lost a friend this week,no that's not quite right I had a friend killed in an accident this week.
I am not quite sure how to write about it.The preacher was the pastor who volunteers as chaplain for the jail.He read a note from my friends mom that said all he ever wanted to do was to be a police officer.I can identify with that.
I noticed the people there volunteer firefighters,EMTs,and cops , a prosecutor, a former judge ,an attorney or two.
The uniforms: from midnight blue to gray and black to southern sheriff brown and tan,to EMT white.Cops out of uniform and plain clothes cops in the plain clothes uniform and young guys who didn't know what to wear. Volunteer fire fighters who have no uniform . There were some who had never been to a funeral before and some who were scared because this was too much like church.
They played Vince Gills "GO Rest High on the Mountain which somehow seemed really appropriate.
My Fire Department guys knew him and had worked with him and helped extricate his body.They will have a tough time for a while but they did their job and they did it well.They will do it again and again,when ever they are paged to do it.
He made mistakes and a some bad decisions but I am glad I knew him. He didn't hold my mistakes and bad decisions against me . He for a while got to live his dream.I told him once "man I consider you a friend".
I would say the same thing again.
We always shared a laugh about a time we were out of town for training and some of the things he had done.
I'll miss you .