Ucci on fire call stats

According to PC Ucci – with whom I’ve not always agreed – the majority of the fire calls of the Pensacola Fire Department aren’t fire related. They are medical related. What are we really paying for?

Is the proposed fire tax, and really the fire budget itself, a hidden universal healthcare plan by which the taxpayers are paying for the medical care and “help me I’ve fallen” care of our senior citizens? The community voted down Access Escambia – many of the voters were senior citizens – because they didn’t want to be taxed to help the working poor and the young who don’t get medical insurance from their employers.

However, those same voters want the taxpayers to pay for their medical needs. Seems to be an inconsistency here. Of course, this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it amazes me how some people fight fees and services unless they personally benefit from them.

I will try to verify these stats today and see how the Pensacola fire department is actually spending its time.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: P.A. Ucci
Date: Feb 6, 2008 7:17 PM
Subject: Fire Department Consultants
To: Tom Bonfield
Cc: City Council

During FY2007 the City Fire Department responded to 5726 incidents. The average raw cost to taxpayers for each call is $2702. Only 1.2 percent of all calls (70) were residential. All other fire related incidents amounted to only 4.5 percent of the total. Medical related accounted for 66 percent of all calls.

False fire alarms (485) were 8.5 percent. That these calls cost the City $ 1.3 million dollars can be debated. It is my perception that the majority of false alarms are the product malfunctioning home/business private security systems. Does the city make any attempt to recoup (i.e. penalty fee) the cost of these alarms? Similar fees should be considered for Hazmat Responses (86), and Other Hazardous responses (165). “All other responses” (914) represents 16 percent of all calls. The latter require definition for possible inclusion in assessing penalty fees.

All possible means must be explored before Council accepts carte blanche any accepting any Consultant recommendation to add another fee to overtaxed residents.