Radnor Fire Company

Fire Funding Crisis for Berwyn, Paoli & Radnor Fire Companies. . . the ‘real’ story!

I am always appreciative when Community Matters readers send me local articles or links that I may have missed.  I received a great article today – the new edition of Main Line Today contains the article, ‘The Price of Rescue – Financial alarms have begun to sound at area fire and ambulance companies. What happens if the dollars dry up? (Can we afford to find out?).

The well-written article by Jim Waltzer highlights what many residents in Tredyffrin and other local municipalities have known for a while now, and what we have been hearing from our volunteer firefighters.  Our local fire companies are coming up against the money crunching of local township budgets and quickly facing a funding crisis within their organizations. Below are some of the highlights excerpted from of ‘The Price of Rescue’, click here for the complete article. Once again, on behalf of the Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor fire companies . . . please remember our volunteer firefighters (particularly during the holiday season) with a generous contribution. These men and women put their lives on the line every day for each of us!

“ . . . money is as critical as water to firefighting, an essential service built on a powerful volunteer tradition that, hereabouts, dates to Benjamin Franklin. And since cash flow is so uncertain in the current climate of economic tightening, fire companies are transmitting distress signals. A 5-percent reduction in Tredyffrin Township’s portion of fire-company funding triggered a strong response from the firefighting community late last year, though private contributions restored the shortfall. “[But] what happens next year—and the year after?” poses Matt Norris, chief of the Berwyn Fire Company, which fields about 2,000 ambulance and 1,000 fire calls a year.

Rip Tilden, the company’s president, believes the day is coming “when we won’t be able to fund emergency services in the ways we have.”

That day may not be circled on the calendar just yet, but the long-range trend isn’t promising. The growing public perception is that local governments fully fund fire companies, resulting in less-than-robust donations of late. Other culprits include the widening gap between ambulance billings and payment, greater demand for advanced life support, reduced insurance reimbursements, rising personnel costs, expanded training requirements, dwindling volunteerism, increased government regulation, and grant funding that’s been slashed. In short, revenue is flat—or reduced—in the face of rising costs and need for services.

Berwyn’s 13-year forecast spots trouble halfway through. “Based on what we know today, six to eight years out, we’ll be strapped financially,” says Tilden, who estimates that the company will break even this year per its operations budget of $1.4-$1.5 million.

Meanwhile, Berwyn’s capital expenditures have been significant this year. A peek behind the bay doors of the 100-year-old firehouse on Bridge Avenue just off Lancaster reveals $5 million worth of rolling stock that needs periodic replacement: A new $950,000 tower-ladder truck and a $100,000 ambulance will soon join the fleet, and the company continues to repay $300,000 in state loans for two fire trucks.

Construction of a new firehouse is a long-term capital project—one that will require a campaign to raise $7-$10 million. “We’ve done the architectural work,” says Tilden. “We’ll have to buy the real estate.”

The company applied much of its 2009 surplus of more than $300,000 toward the purchase of the two new vehicles. More than half the tab for the ladder truck was paid with Pennsylvania Relief Association funds. The rest is covered by additional state loans and a combined annual capital contribution of $140,000 from Tredyffrin and Easttown townships.

Tilden characterizes last year’s budget surplus as “not sustainable,” attributing the excess to belt-tightening in anticipation of the new vehicle purchases. Berwyn generates more than half its operating revenue from insurance payments for ambulance-related services, while the townships’ contributions account for about 20 percent and public fundraising 15 percent. The company receives $125,000 a year in rental fees from five mobile phone providers for the use of the tower on its property, and another $50,000 from grants and other rental income. Its principal expenses are salaries and benefits for paid personnel; other costs are associated with facility and vehicle maintenance, service delivery (e.g., disposable drugs), and day-to-day administration.

Nine full-time employees—including firefighter emergency medical technicians and paramedics—staff Berwyn, whose workforce is bolstered by 60 volunteers. In providing services, “there’s no line between paid staff and volunteers,” says Norris. . . .

Berwyn typically receives about a 20-percent response to its biannual fund drives, buttressed by a November turkey raffle (which raises about $10,000) and an April dinner at Berwyn United Methodist Church. Fundraisers and other efforts to plug budget gaps can place a burden on fire company personnel who may lack the aptitude. “[Firefighters] didn’t sign up to raise money,” says Norris.

In this economy, even small funding cuts seem ominous, which is why fire and EMS officials protested Tredyffrin’s 2010 budget, in which the township reduced its funding of its three fire companies—Paoli, Berwyn and Radnor—by about $20,000 combined. The 5-percent cut was part of a 15-percent budget reduction, says township supervisor Warren Kampf. A volunteer citizens board assisting the budget process had recommended deeper cuts for the three fire companies. Supervisors and residents subsequently raised more than enough money to make up the difference.

Tredyffrin has tripled its fire-company funding in the past six years, notes Kampf, who adds that “the future is going to include increased contributions” due to rising costs. “In the end,” he says, “fire protection is a critical part of living in our township.”

Tilden certainly shares that perspective. “Maintaining a high quality of [emergency] service has an impact on property values. If insurance company ratings [for a given locale] are high, homeowner’s insurance costs less,” he says. With the proliferation of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems, major fires in this day and age have decreased. But when one strikes, equipment and manpower must be tuned and trained. Every company has a timetable for replacing vehicles. “The average life of an ambulance is three years, because you want a decent trade and have to keep up on technology,” says Norris. And as safety regulations multiply, so do costs. Likewise, service delivery costs are rising, especially for EMS and stepped-up use of paramedics (to provide advanced life support), a trend that Tilden attributes to an aging population and a more cautious approach by county dispatch. Expanding ALS has a direct effect on the bottom line, as companies that offer the service in-house (e.g., Berwyn) must add staff, and those that contract for it absorb a substantial difference between their cost and reimbursement.

. . . So while they all fight fires, Berwyn and Malvern provide in-house basic life support and ALS, while Paoli, Radnor and East Whiteland offer BLS only, and Valley Forge fire only. Some townships—like Radnor and Lower Merion—pay most of the purchase cost of new vehicles, while others pay for a relatively small portion through capital allocations. So the percentages of the budget contributed by local and state government, EMS/ambulance revenue, and public donations may vary wildly. It’s a far cry from the notion that government pays for everything. . . .

. . . . The Paoli Fire Company has six full-time employees (four firefighter/EMTs, two administrative), six part-time paid staffers, and 45 volunteers who mostly fight fires and provide EMS. It makes about 2,000 calls a year and expects to break even in 2010, says business manager Dan Green. He anticipates a $10,000 increase in net income next year—one that may be more than offset by a projected 15-percent bump in medical insurance premiums and additional higher costs.

Beyond 2011, the outlook is murky. Though Paoli does take advantage of 2-percent state loans to buy new vehicles—and Chester County money at a rate that’s a few points higher to help finance site renovations—its funding is always in a state of flux. “We’re teetering on a delicate balance of these revenues,” says John DiBuonaventuro, a Paoli firefighter/EMT and a Tredyffrin Township supervisor.

“These revenues” come from ambulance/EMS reimbursements, local government funding (aside from Tredyffrin and Easttown, Paoli receives a smaller contribution from Willistown), the state’s insurance relief program, and public donations. The amounts and proportions vary year to year. DiBuonaventuro opposed Tredyffrin’s funding cut for Paoli, Berwyn and Radnor last year. “Few politicians have the perspective of responder or victim,” he says. “New residents think their taxes pay for these services.” If volunteer levels continue to fall, says DiBuonaventuro, taxes will pay for firefighting and EMS—additional taxes, that is. Meanwhile, Green emphasizes that the 25-percent response to Paoli’s annual fund drive keeps the company rolling.

Money to the rescue.
How to Help Even if you don’t like hot places and high vantage points, you can help your local fire company level the playing field. The simplest and most effective way is to respond to annual fund drives. This is not, after all, a direct-mail campaign pitching the latest rejuvenating skin cream. Toss the mailer aside now, and one day in the not-too-distant future, it may well come in the form of a fee —with a higher dollar figure. “People can also help by joining the fire company,” says Berwyn chief Matt Norris. While battling blazes and providing EMS require rigorous skills and stoutheartedness, almost all firehouses welcome additional help with administrative and fundraising tasks.

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Yes, The Fire Companies Do Fundraise . . . Radnor Fire Company’s Italian Buffet this Sunday!

Fundraiser for Radnor Fire Company

Yes, the fire companies do fundraise — I encourage you to come out and support them. The Radnor Fire Company Auxiliary is hosting its semi-annual Italian Buffet this Sunday, April 25th.

Radnor Fire Company Italian Buffet

Sunday, April 25th
4:00 – 7:00 PM
At the Firehouse
121 South Wayne Avenue, Wayne

Dinner includes Rigatoni, Meatballs, Peppers and Onions, Green Beans, Salad, Bread, Beverage and Dessert.  Bring your own wine.  Adults $9.00, Children under 10, $5.00 (under 2 free)

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Supervisors Olson, Lamina & Kampf’s Firefighter Holiday Drive is Complete . . . Will township or fire company provide a final report?

At the December Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors Olson, Lamina and Kampf announced the ‘Firefighter Holiday Drive’ with a ‘cardboard check’ in the amount of $23,200.  As the solicitation committee, these supervisors were committed to providing the fire companies with contributions totally the amount which was removed from the firefighter funding in the township’s 2010 budget.  To balance the township budget, the $23,200 represented the contribution cut from Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor fire companies.  There was much advertising of the cardboard check and the holiday drive provided on the local TV news, in local newspaper articles and also on Community Matters.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote of receiving a phone call from Paul Olson on March 31, reporting that the fire company solicitation drive by himself and supervisors Lamina and Kampf was complete and they exceeded their original goal; giving approximately $25,000 to Berwyn Fire Company.  I appreciated receiving Paul’s updates during the 2010’s first quarter but did have several additional questions.  In response to my questions, he suggested that I contact Berwyn Fire Company’s president Rip Tilden.

Based on the public commentary to, In Forty Years There Have Been Many Changes in Tredyffrin – Unfortunately Some Things Never Change . . . Fire Company Funding , post this week, I contacted Rip Tilden of the Berwyn Fire Company.  I sent Rip an email (and copied the Board of Supervisors) and asked for his response to the following questions:

(1)   What was the total amount received by Berwyn Fire Company as a result of the solicitation efforts of supervisors Olson, Lamina and Kampf?
(2)   Has Berwyn Fire Company distributed the money to Radnor and Paoli fire companies?
(3)   Can you provide a complete list of the donors, individuals and corporate?
(4)   Are there any contributions that the fire company can not accept and therefore must return?

Although I have not heard back from Berwyn Fire Company directly, it is my understanding that the fire companies will be providing a joint statement in response to these questions. Providing official closure on the firefighter funding drive is important to the community;  I look forward to providing the details.

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In Forty Years There Have Been Many Changes in Tredyffrin – Unfortunately Some Things Never Change . . . Fire Company Funding

This topic is Community Matters at its best.  I received an email yesterday with an attached Suburban and Wayne Times newspaper article dated Thursday, July 15, 1971.  A reader was cleaning out his attic and came across this article and forwarded it on to me.   No comment or request to post on Community Matters . . . he  just thought I might find it of interest.  The title of the article is, “Volunteer Firemen’s Financing is Critical”.  (A link to the article at the end of this post.)

The article is based on local volunteer fire companies along the Main Line and Valley Forge, including Radnor, Berwyn and Paoli.  What is both fascinating (and sad) at the same time  is the plea for the volunteer firefighters funding  in 1971 is exactly the same as in 2010.  The tone of the article begs that more support needs be offered by the municipalities served.  In discussing firefighter funding, a fire chief is quoted in the article as saying,  “It has to be done on a municipality basis.  It’s the township’s or borough’s responsibility to provide protection for persons and property. . . . They don’t take the responsibility . . . The volunteers do it.”

In 1970, Tredyffrin supervisors allocated $15,750 to the Berwyn fire company.  Forty years ago, the Berwyn Fire Company had a deficit $1,632, due to lack of volunteer firefighter support.  With populations exploding on the Main Line and aging equipment in 1971, all the fire companies were appealing to the local governments for adequate funding.  There was agreement among the various fire companies, that greater support was required from the service areas.  Here’s a fascinating 40-year old quote, when talking about residents, fire chiefs observed, “Many encounter surprise from new residents that the fire company isn’t a municipal service.  Some persons have never even heard of a volunteer fire company, particularly those from metropolitan areas.”  I am guessing that our local fire companies still encounter the same kind of remarks in 2010!

There is discussion in the article as to “What can residents do to back the volunteer fire companies”?  The response was “Join!”.  In 1971, the yearly dues were $1 for the Valley Forge company, $2 in East and West Whiteland, $5 per family in Berwyn and $12 per family in Paoli (which included family and ambulance service).

This post should be more than simply a walk down memory lane.  It needs to be a wake-up call to the supervisors and residents.  Although I have posted that Paul Olson called and told me that his solicitation committee (which included him, Lamina and Kampf) have made good on the cardboard check they presented to the Berwyn Fire Company in December, . . . there has been no official statement from the Board of Supervisors on the subject.  If you recall, the cardboard check of $23,200 represented the amount the supervisors removed from the fire companies in the 2010 budget.  Guess my question is where do we stand on the 2011 budget process . . . will the fire companies see their total budget reinstated?  And if the township reinstate the contribution to the fire companies in the 2011 budget, what will the supervisors cut from the budget to make that happen? 

We are in to the 2nd quarter of the year; has the Finance Committee begun working on the 2011 draft budget?  I’m thinking that there are associated winter costs (snow removal, stormwater problems, repair of potholes, etc.) that could be considerably higher than was forecasted for in the 2010 budget.  The 2011 budget process needs to be underway or there is going to be major problems come November.  With the loss of Dave Brill as the township finance director, I am assuming that the supervisors need to take a very active role in the economic forecasting.

Here is a link to the 1971 newspaper article, if you would like to read it in its entirety.  Funding of our fire companies is an important issue and a topic that needs to remain at the top of our priority list.  Comments from the readers . . . ?

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Support Radnor Fire Company . . . Come Enjoy Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Radnor Fire Company on Sunday!

The Easter Bunny will be stopping at the Radnor Fire Company for his annual breakfast — you don’t want to miss this opportunity and support our local firefighters!

Date:  Sunday, March 21

Time: 8:00 AM  – 12:30 PM

Price:  Adults – $7; Children under 10 – $4; Under 2 – FREE

Pancakes, Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Orange Juice and Coffee are just some of the items on the menu.

Breakfast will be served buffet style and will be all you can eat!

This event is sponsored by the Radnor Fire Company Auxilliary.


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Our Fire Companies Should Not be Political Pawns

Working together, the volunteer firefighters of Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor fire companies serve  Tredyffrin Township.  Many of our residents and their families are involved in the volunteer firefighting effort and proudly serve our community.  Firefighting is demanding. There are hours of training involved, requirements to be met, standards to uphold, and volunteer firefighters are not compensated in the traditional way. There is no big paycheck or large monetary bonus to work harder.

John DiBuonaventuro has served as a volunteer firefigher for the Paoli Fire Company for many years and is passionate in his support.  In his position as a member of the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor DiBuonaventuro also serves as the fire company liaison.  As an audience member in this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting,  I witnessed an uncomfortable exchange between Supervisors DiBuonaventuro and Warren Kampf in regards to the fire companies and their funding.  Understanding DiBuonaventuro’s long-standing support of the  fire companies vs. Kampf’s vote against full-funding of the fire companies in the township’s 2010 budget . . . one might question Supervisor Kampf’s sudden interest in our local fire companies and their funding. 

Our volunteer firefighters deserve our community’s support . . .  but I think we would all agree they should not be used as pawns in a political campaign. Today’s Main Line Suburban newspaper includes the following As I See It opinion article, The continual politicization of our fire services, which speaks directly to this topic.

    As I See It: The continual politicization of our fire services

By John V. Petersen

As if the big cardboard-check moment during the Dec. 12, 2009 Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors meeting wasn’t enough, we had another play at Monday night’s BOS meeting involving the fire service as a political football. As we all know, Warren Kampf, current Tredyffrin BOS member and previous chairman, is seeking to challenge Rep. Paul Drucker for the State Representative seat for the 157th Legislative District. At Monday night’s BOS meeting, Mr. Kampf stated that he met with members of the Berwyn Fire Company and the topic of a stable long-term firefighter-funding source was discussed. What Mr. Kampf failed to tell the public was his visit to Berwyn was in connection with his 157th candidacy, not in his capacity as a Tredyffrin supervisor. For the record Supervisor and Paoli firefighter John “J.D.” DiBuonaventuro serves as the fire liaison.

 In that capacity, Supervisor DiBuonaventuro has had such meetings concerning the fire task force and funding with Berwyn and Paoli FDs and updates on that progress have been shared with the public, most recently at the March 1, 2010 meeting. On that same day Mr. Kampf sought the Montgomery County endorsement for the 157th and therefore did not attend the March 1 meeting and clearly was not aware that the matter was already discussed during the previous meeting.

What I find disingenuous is Mr. Kampf on one hand stating the importance of finding a stable long-term funding source for the fire companies and on the other hand, most previously in his role as BOS Chairman, supporting cuts to the fire service and at the same time retaining funding for the annual July 4 fireworks display. These two viewpoints are completely irreconcilable. It should also be noted that earlier in his tenure on the BOS, Mr. Kampf served on fire task force. Accordingly Mr. Kampf has already had an opportunity to address the issues that are currently being addressed by Supervisor DiBuonaventuro. It is clear that the only motivation here is Mr. Kampf’s pursuit of higher political office. And to that end he is seeking to use the fire service as a pawn in his political chess game. Between the big cardboard-check event and last night’s meeting, it is clear Mr. Kampf is using a public forum dedicated to township business for his own political purposes. In a word it is inappropriate.

When the firefighters and EMTs perform their heroic work, they don’t ask about party registration. To be used as a political football of sorts is to denigrate that heroic work. Ultimately Mr. Kampf is free to run his campaign as he sees fit. As citizens we have forums like this to hold candidates and office-holders accountable. All I would ask is that Mr. Kampf campaign on his own time, not during the time when the business of Tredyffrin Township is to be addressed. Further, I would ask that all candidates leave the fire service out of their political calculus. There are plenty of other matters ripe for politics. The fire service is not one of them.

John V. Petersen lives in Paoli.

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Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor Volunteer Firefighters . . . Our Hometown Heroes!

Strafford Station Apartment fire, photo by Berwyn Fire Company photographer, Jim DeStefano, Sr

Saturday morning, with frigid temperatures in the teens, a fire broke out at the Strafford Station Apartments, which is close to the Strafford train station. The initial 9-1-1 call came in to the Berwyn Fire Company at 9:25 AM. Berwyn’s Engine 2-3 raced to the fire, arriving at 9:31 AM, reporting that fire was coming from the 3rd floor. Also rushing to the initial first alarm call were firefighters from Paoli and Radnor fire companies. The Tredyffrin Police assisted with the evacuation of the first and second floors of the apartment building, as the blaze quickly went through the 40-unit building. A ‘working fire’ was dispatched at 9:28 AM . . . A second alarm was requested at 9:35 AM . . . and at 10:02 AM a third alarm was requested for the Strafford fire.

As dark billowing smoke shot into the morning air, residents had very little time to get out, grabbing what they could as they raced from their apartments. Thrust in to the cold, the residents were grateful for their lives but were left trying to cope with their sudden loss.

Local firefighters battling Strafford Station Apartment Fire, photo by Berwyn Fire Company photographer Jim DeStefano, Sr

The landlord and the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania are coordinating help for the victims. The Red Cross assisted 60 people who were forced out of their homes by the fire. They distributed money and food to anyone who was in need, and their medical personnel refilled lifesaving prescriptions for several tenants on the scene. The landlord aided the displaced tenants with temporary relocation to local hotels.

By the time the third alarm was requested for the Strafford Station Apartment fire, Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor fire companies were joined by volunteers from an additional thirteen fire companies*. Fire company apparatus responded from Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. The fire extended into the roof and then traveled the roofline horizontally from one end of the building to another, gutting 24 apartment units in its wake.

Interior photo of gutted Strafford Station Apartment, which displaced 60 residents. Photo by Berwyn Fire Company photographer Jim DeStefano, Sr.

 At the height of the fire, over 100 volunteer fire/emergency service personnel were on the scene. The fire brought under control around 11 AM and the final fire units cleared the scene just after 3 PM. The Strafford Station Apartment fire is under investigation by the Chester County and Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshals. Early comment is that the accidental fire may be the result of a second floor heating unit. Damage is estimated at $1.25 million.

It was a stroke of fortune that no one was killed or injured as a result of yesterday’s three-alarm fire. Please join me in saluting our local volunteer firefighters from Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor fire companies . . . thank you for your quick response and for protecting our residents.

____________________________

*In addition to Berwyn, Paoli and Radnor fire companies, the following compaies also responded to the Strafford Station Apartment fire: Malvern Fire Company
East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association, Newtown Square Fire Company, Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company, Goshen Fire Company, Bryn Mawr Fire Company, Gladwyne Fire Company, Lionville Fire Company, Narberth Ambulance, Lafeyette Ambulance (Upper Merion), Good Fellowship Ambulance (West Chester), and Phoenixville Fire Department Ambulance.

 

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Fire Company ePetition Administrator Speaks Out

I am hoping that this will be the last entry on the firefighter’s ePetition.  Last week, I posted TTRC Chair CT Alexander’s Letter to the Editor in which he stated that he signed the firefighter’s ePetition.  Research on the ePetition showed that his name was not on the list which caused a major debate about whether or not Mr. Alexanders’ name was simply removed.  Only one person who could answer those accusations – Laurie Elliot, the firefighter’s ePetition administrator.  It only seems fair that I post her response on the subject – a Letter to the Editor which is in this week’s Main Line Suburban Life.

Included in her statement, Laurie includes a link to the ePetition if anyone wants to check the signatures.  Laurie created the ePetition as a vehicle for residents (like herself) to show their support of the fire companies and to encourage the supervisors to reinstate the fire companies budget cut.

On the same subject, it has been a month since the unveiling of the cardboard check at the December 21 Board of Supervisor Meeting.  To bring you up-to-date on the promised contributions, yesterday I emailed Supervisors Lamina, Kampf and Olson for an update on money collected.  My latest information is that the supervisors have collected $8,950. I am hopeful that more money has been turned over to the Berwyn Fire Company for distribution, but as of today I have no further updates.  On the $5K in matching funds from the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee, Mr. Alexander’s last correspondence indicated that just about all that money has been delivered to the fire company.  In my last phone call from Supervisor Olson, he stated that the $23,200 total would be delivered to the fire company by March 31st. 

This is all about making sure that the volunteer firefighters receive their promised money — nothing more, no political agenda on my part.  Since the township’s 2010 budget was passed with the fire department cut, I take it seriously to make sure that these volunteers receive the total contribution as promised by Supervisors Kampf, Lamina and Olson.

Fire companies need support

To the Editor:

This is in response to a letter in last week’s paper by Tredyffrin Republican Party chair John C.T. Alexander. In it he claims to have signed the “Internet petition in favor of reinstatement of the Berwyn Fire Company’s budget cut from the [Tredyffrin] township’s 2010 budget.”

As the administrator of that e-petition, I monitored it during its 10-day online life and closed it on Dec. 21 when I presented a copy of it to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting that evening. The petition and all those who signed it can still be viewed at tredto.epetitions.net.

In total, 534 people found their way to the Web site and signed the petition. But John C.T. Alexander’s name is not among them.

Further, it is difficult to understand why Mr. Alexander would claim he signed it. His very public position that the long-term needs of our volunteer fire companies can be met through ad-hoc private donations misses the whole point of the petition and clings to a Band-Aid approach.

The fire companies not only needed their 2010 funding restored, but they need a comprehensive, long-term solution that provides support for their operating and capital expenditures in the future. And not until such a plan is in place can the community “move on” as some are suggesting.

Sincerely,

Laurie Elliott, Wayne

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Do CT Alexander's "Actions Speak Louder than his Words"?

Do Actions Really Speak Louder than Words?

Maybe we can apply that phrase to  TTRC Chair CT Alexander’s Letter to the Editor in this week’s Main Line Suburban Life.  Mr. Alexander claims that  he signed the ePetition for the reinstatement of the firefighters budget cut, when we now know that his name does not appear on the list.  On one hand, Mr. Alexander publically speaks of his support for the firefighters at the December 21 Board of Supervisors meeting and in his position as Chair of the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee he commits $5,000 in matching funds to the firefighters.  (It appears from my correspondence with Mr. Alexander, that his organization has almost completed their $5,000 committment). So, . . . do we want to believe that Mr. Alexander was not using his position as Chair of TTRC in a politicizing manner but want to believe his actions were pure and out of support for the fire department? 

Then on the other hand, in his Letter to the Editor, I quote Mr. Alexander, ” . . . From earlier shows I remember Bill’s encouragement to sign an Internet petition in favor of re-instatement of the Berwyn Fire Company’s budget cut from the [Tredyffrin] township’s 2010 budget. I signed that petition and added that I had a plan. . . “   We know now that Bill DeHaven never spoke of  the ePetition on any of his Good, Bad and Ugly shows.  But we have further learned that the Firefighter’s Support ePetition does not contain CT Alexander’s name as he claims in the Letter to the Editor.  Not to “beat an old horse” myself as Mr. Alexander suggested of Bill DeHaven, is there significance in the words that Mr. Alexander wrote? Does it matter that Mr. Alexander apparently did not speak the truth when he wrote his letter?  Or, is it just important that he made good on his promise and delivered most of the TTRC’s $5,000 donation to the firefighters? 

I am trying to understand the  motive behind Mr. Alexander’s words  but maybe the motive doesn’t matter . . . You decide.

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TTRC Chair CT Alexander Updates on Contributions; Bill DeHaven Responds

As I mentioned in yesterday’s posting, I was going to contact TTRC Chair CT Alexander concerning his organization’s pledge to the firefighters.  Mr. Alexander responded to my request with the following information.  Based on his email (and my math), it would appear that the Berwyn Fire Company has received $4,325 from the TTRC, with the remaining $675 expected by the end of February.  One question I neglected to ask Mr. Alexander but I guess that it does not matter — what exactly the $5,000 in matching funds meant; matching to what?

” . . . I am posting today a letter with three more checks to Rip Tilden. Of the $5,000 pledged by individuals, so far all but $675 has been paid in, with “checks in the mail” to me of an additional $500. I have but $175 to collect. My goal is to get that amount to the Fire Company by February 28th. . . “

For those of you who did not see Bill DeHaven’s comments to Mr. Alexander’s letter to the editor, here they are.  I just love Bill’s community spirit and humor!  And it’s good to know that he has not beaten any horse, dead or alive! I have watched Bill and Dan’s Good, Bad & Ugly show in question and as far as I could tell those remarks related to the negative campaign mailers were made immediately following the election, back in November.  Also to set the record straight, Mr. Alexander’s letter to the editor stated that he personally signed the ePetition in support of the reinstatement of the firefighter’s budget cut . . . however, no one can seem to find his name on the list.  The only other loose end is an update from Supervisor Olson (on the total contributions to date) which I hope to have before Monday night’s Board of Supervisor meeting.

Bill, on January 14th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  • Never have i beaten any horse, alive or dead. Can’t see the connection between the cardboard check and the stupid republican mail piece. The show on which we discussed that was taped in November. Didn’t mention the petition on the GB&U but did send an e-mail to all local addresses including Mr. Alexander with the petition address asking recipients to please read and sign.

    Local Fire Companies should be funded by tax dollars when necessary. Firefighters should not have to raise money. This is a volunteer position that requires significant training and 24hr. coverage.

  • As part of the above: Mr. Alexander was contacted before this post. He will continue to assist B.F.C. raise money and stands by his comments.

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