I am a part time firefighter for a town of 4000 souls, and a full time dispatcher for the Quebec Provincial Police. One night I receive a call for an MVA with possible injuries… A car that tried to climb a tree, but didn’t succeed… I call my FD to get a team to respond. Our fire department has no one in station, so we take calls through our radio system with a phone patch. That night the radio system broke down, and only a single firefighter, who happens to live right next to the station, was able to hear the call. He tried to get the pagers going, but was left alone in the firehouse.. He had no choice but to call the chief on the phone, who then had his wife go down the phone list to get firefighters on that call. There were no serious injuries on scene, thank god… Our radio system had had repairs in the 2 prior months with less than adequate results… We were afraid that this would happen, and it did.
Many fire departments have to deal with budgets that just aren’t enough. So we all go for the lowest bid, and when we do for emergency services, well, let’s just say you get what you pay for. we have to remember that in everything we do, lives are depending on us… the lowest bid isn’t always enough..