The title says it all, really, but here's the article.
Fire chiefs are reportedly blaming health and safety regulations for the decision to send 40 firefighters to rescue a single sheep.
The emergency services received a 999 call when the animal got trapped on a ledge above a flooded quarry in Bacup, Lancashire.
The sheep's owner was amazed when seven fire crews were sent to his aid.
They performed a delicate, two-hour operation involving a team using wetsuits and an inflatable boat.
I really wonder how much this cost the departments that responded. I just don't know enough about their expenses, exchange rate, different country,
all that, to venture anything other than a guess.
I figure it's quite a bit - that's a safe bet. Figure 160 man hours at least, plus fuel. I don't know about over there, but over here some
professions get time and a half or double-time when they put on a wetsuit or a hazmat get-up, it's considered a hazardous situation and warrants
Anyway, the FORTY men managed to rescue the sheep - so it's a happy end for everyone except the folks who have to pay for that nonsense.
I see it all the time in the states too. Sometimes four squad cars will show up to deal with one fender bender. Other times you get an ambulance, a
pair of fire trucks, and half a dozen cops to deal with a malfunctioning fire alarm.
To an extent I understand, better safe than sorry is usually a motto I take seriously...
But hasn't there got to be a point where we say "hold on a second, is all this really necessary?"
As I understand it, this mandatory over-reaction is a way to insure the budget remains the same or is raised every year. If the official documents
show that X number of man hours were used in a budget cycle one year, and X-200 man hours were used in a budget cycle the next, the department might
get their allotted hours cut by 100 the following year. In an effort to keep their budget high, these folks often seem to use resources that aren't
necessary in response to non-emergencies.
For example, if a deparment doesn't use their helicopter at all for a few months, or a year, they might lose that chopper.
So what's the solution? There's got to be a better way than the current paradigm, which is really no different than road crews putting down
inferior patches to guarantee that they've got plenty of overtime hours coming to them in the spring, after the frost heave has ruined their shoddy
work. Lemme tell ya', those annual potholes bug the crap out of me...
I live in America, and every state is experiencing huge budget shortfalls. Stunts like this one take place here all the time, I've seen enough of
them to be sure of that - obviously there's a logical disconnect here. We haven't got enough money, so let's make sure to spend as much as we can
I thought I'd use this thread to brainstorm solutions, if anyone is interested.
Just two weeks ago, there was a chopper in the sky above my neighborhood, and AT LEAST half a dozen cop cars were squealing tires up and down the
streets (I wasn't even aware they had that many guys on duty, so I suspect they brought some in from neighboring towns). The cause? A domestic
dispute that ended with a man leaving the house drunk - on foot. It's not like he killed his wife/girlfriend/whatever, he just yelled at her and
broke something. It struck me as so incredibly unnecessary.
Last winter we had very little snow in my area. Still, every time a flake appeared in the sky, the salt/sand trucks were out in force, making a mess
of the perfectly clean roads. You know those perfectly clear, somewhat cold days, where flurries fall but nothing accumulates? We had a bunch of
those last winter, and every time there was a fleet of plow trucks rumbling up and down the PERFECTLY CLEAN streets (which are, incidentally, damaged
enough year to year without having to suffer the avalanche of plow trucks with their poorly-positioned blades)
Am I being too stingey here, or is there a lot we, as citizens, can do to spend less money without having an enormous effect on the quality of public
Help me out here...