Thursday, 23 June 2011


Labour's Statist and centralising ambitions knew no bounds. The Fire Service, for example, works quite well and is valued by the public. Good reason to leave it alone, one might have thought, but no. Despite the distribution and despatch of fire appliances being one of the most local services one can imagine, Labour decided that what the Fire Service really needed was a multi-million pound national computer system and the reduction of the 46 county fire control centres to 9 regional control centres. Cassidian, or EADS Defence and Security before it adopted a silly name, was the lucky firm looking forward to profiting from the years of delays and massive cost overuns that define government computer projects. Sadly for Cassidian, the new government has cancelled the lot.

In my favourite exemplar Localist town of Vail in Colorado, the Fire Service is also on the agenda. Vail has two fire stations with seven appliances between them (plus two fire cars - one each for the station commanders). The Fire Service also provides Emergency Medical Assistance in the US, rather than a separate Ambulance Service. Vail also has its own police service, with 31 police officers and 32 support staff.  The town's emergency services are paid for from local taxes, mainly a sales tax, and commercial charges. Because there's a direct link between the wallets and purses of Vail's townspeople and the pay packets of the police and firefighters, the services provide good value and are responsive directly to the needs of the town rather than to distant political posturing in Washington DC. They also have their own very local control centre, just for the town area, which is currently advertising for a new controller. The job description alone tells one more about how services can be managed and funded locally than a whole ream of Cameroonian drivel;
Ensures community safety through effective communications duties via phone and radio systems in support of county-wide Police, Fire, and EMS agencies. Dispatch duties include, but are not limited to receiving and analyzing 911 calls as well as non-emergent and TTY phone calls for Police, Fire, and EMS service; performing Emergency Medical Dispatch when appropriate; operating and utilizing the Computer Aided Dispatch Computer System (CAD) throughout all calls for service; distributing calls for service via the 800 MHz radio system; receiving and monitoring alarms throughout Eagle County; performing various requests on the CCIC/NCIC system including warrant entries; responsible for updating the media broadcast information on road conditions; initiating the Emergency Alert System when needed; training new dispatchers; and being responsible for individual projects.
Excellent verbal communications skills necessary. Computer skills helpful and typing skills necessary. Multi tasked oriented essential. Polygraph, typing and spelling tests required. Rotation through varied shifts. Holidays and week-ends are often required.
The Town of Vail offers an excellent benefits and compensation package, including health/dental coverage, town-funded retirement, 457 pre-tax savings plan, ski, tennis, and golf passes and other wellness benefits. Employee housing may be available.
Salary Range: Starting - $20.19/hour


greg tingey said...

"polygraph test required"

The polygraph is a STRESS detector.
NOT, as many fondly imagine a lie-detector.

If anyone is supid enough to want this, the job isn't worth having

Anonymous said...

Advert for Fire Service in UK:-

We welcome applicants from all sections of society but would particularly welcome blacks, asians, criminals, people who cannot speak English and islamic fundamentalists with extreme views. Anyone with English Grandparents need not apply.

We are a multi-culti employer and therefore physical fitness and fitness for office are not prerequisites.

Any abilities that you do have should include experience in out-reach working; psycho-babble government speak; chairing pointless meetings and disciplining those that show any form of initiative and self governance. Tests on job description writing in the Guardian will be held at interview.

This is a statist-centralist role which aims to pay as much as possible for as little effort as can be hidden from the tax-payers view. Benefits include (but are not limited to) stuffing your mouths with tax-payers gold.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

Polygraph, typing and spelling tests required.

Gosh. They are tough.

In the UK, "sustainabilty" would be the key job responsibilty.

Anonymous said...

The cancellation is mildly encouraging, but no cause for a party! Watch for it coming back again in another of the famous U-turns for which this rabble are getting a reputation.

The magic number is 9, the number of parts into which England will be cut when the EUssr assumes full statehood. Funnily enough each of those 9 control rooms was in the regional capital from which the "First Minister" would rule his fiefdom. NuLabour were trying to make this fragmentation of England seem inevitable and necessary. As this ruling rabble are EUrophile to the core, they too will do the wishes of their masters in Brussels. [What do you mean that the electorate should be their masters?] These proposals will be back, probably when Britain has been bankrupted a bit more and the people have more fight knocked out of them.

English Pensioner said...

This is how job advertisements used to be written in this country. Why it is now considered necessary to put in all the other rubbish in our advertisements about sexual orientation, ethnic origins, disability, etc is simply beyond me. The law requires employers to be non-discriminatory, so why does the potential employer have to re-iterate this? Are they suggesting that those who don't put it in their ads are breaking the law?

Incidentally the pay for the job doesn't look that great, although I suppose that the medical benefits could be worth quite a bit in the States.

Demetrius said...

According to Wikipedia Vali at present has just under 5,000 people. In the UK there are many places with that sort of population figure who never see a copper.

Mr Ecks said...

Yokel: The people of this country have got no fight in them--that's the trouble--Greek default/economic collapse and having to struggle for their next meal,unemployed, in an unlit, unheated house (not having been evicted for non-payt of the mortage only because millions of others are in the same boat and there is no one with any money to buy foreclosed homes)might just put some fight into them

Cascadian said...

Anonymous 08:19 has it about right, except for one glaring omission.

The incumbent will be required to join the brotherhood of tea-makers and hub-cap polishers union. Please note that is not a requirement in Vail hence the flexibility implied by the job description.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Vail is a pretty busy up market holiday spot, that sales tax on tripper trinkets and services must really rake in some very serious dosh.

Vail might have only 5000 residents but loadsa people vacation in the immedaite (Vail district) vicinity, 12,000,000 last year... that's a *lot* of trippers.

But the point is valid, make the public services locally controlled - however, here in the UK that's like trying to ski up a Vail black run - mainly due to the determined resistance of our state appointed public servants to anything resembling accountability and transparency.

Anonymous said...

But how much unemployment and / or super redundancy has Vail got to be able to command these working conditions?

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

very little.