Belton Fire Fighters Plead For Help On Social Media
The City of Belton's Firefighters has taken to social media to plea for help! Let's take a look at the message from a post shared by Belton Professional Firefighters.
Belton firefighters met with City Manager Sam Listi and Fire Chief Bruce Prichard last week to discuss the emergent safety issues that are facing the Belton Fire Department. Empirical data was presented on how staffing, compensation, and retirement benefits could solve these problems. Listi emphasized that there is no money to fix any of these issues in the near future. When asked for details about the city’s plan to fix these issues long-term, he gave no response. Listi sent a clear message that he did not consider the firefighter’s safety an immediate concern.
In March, we went to City Council predicting this scenario, advising them that these events were about to unfold, and encouraged them to be proactive about preventing this from happening. City Council did nothing with this information, and our predictions came true.
We currently have FIVE vacancies. We have not been able to fill them with our recent application process. As we’ve continued to seek solutions to these issues, FOUR more firefighters have voiced their intention of leaving Belton to go to neighboring departments for the same reasons we have discussed with Listi and City Council. When these four firefighters leave, there will not be enough men to operate as we currently do. We will be in an emergency state of operations and will have to make cuts. These are the only two possible outcomes:
Firefighter will be forced to work 48 hours at a time. This is NOT sustainable and firefighters will not be able to work in this condition.
One fire truck will be shut down, leaving HALF of Belton without a fire truck in their response district. This will leave life and property exposed and unprotected.
As it stands today, nothing is being done about this. We are asking you to be informed and talk to your city officials about this, and continue to stand with the Belton firefighters. Thank you for your support!
The firefighters are asking Belton residents to be vocal with city officials about the issue. Putting firefighters at risk by asking them to work 48-hours is going to get someone hurt or worse. Having half the city without a fire truck to respond to emergencies is also unacceptable.
This is something that is becoming a bigger issue all over America across all kinds of professions. People are asked to do the job of 2, 3, or 4 people by themselves. These are usually the same companies that act 'stunned' when their best people inevitably move on to other situations. It's also another reason people say they do not feel valued by their employers when they are treated like short order cooks. If you are lucky and work for a great organization then working hard probably comes naturally especially if you have the resources to do the job. Fighting fires is dangerous work and firefighters need to be sharp and frosty when the bell goes off. We hope that these guys find an answer to these issues before it further inhibits their ability to protect the community in other ways. It's definitely worth having a conversation with city officials if you have the opportunity.