Statistics just released by Brockport Fire Chief Mike Henry clearly show that Village residents make up a disproportionately high percentage of the Brockport Fire Department’s active members.
This is the exact opposite of what the people who want to form a fire district, such as Larry Vaughan, have been saying in public.
According to Chief Mike Henry there are 111 active firefighters in the Brockport Fire Department: 54 of them live in Brockport, 28 live in Clarkson, 22 live in Sweden, and 7 live in other places (Churchville, Greece, Hamlin, Holley, Rochester, and Spencerport).
This means that:
- 49% of the active firefighters live in the Village of Brockport,
- Only 25% of the active firefighters live in Clarkson,
- Only 20% of the active firefighters live in Sweden,
- And 6% of the active firefighters live elsewhere.
In other words, Clarkson and Sweden are not providing their fair share of the volunteer firefighters. The towns, especially Sweden, are living off the backs of the active firefighters from the Village of Brockport.
Here are the figures for the number of active firefighters in the Brockport Volunteer Fire Department, broken down by municipality.
Active Firefighters in the Brockport Fire Department
Total Brockport Clarkson Sweden Other
111 54 28 22 7
100.00% 48.65% 25.23% 19.82% 6.31%
31 13 9 6 3
41.94% 29.03% 19.35% 9.68%
12 8 1 2 1
66.67% 8.33% 16.67% 8.33%
56 25 17 11 3
44.64% 30.36% 19.64% 5.36%
12 8 1 3 0
66.67% 8.33% 25.00% 0.00%
19 10 4 5 0
52.63% 21.05% 26.32% 0.00%
According to the Fire Chief, residents of the Village of Brockport represent a disproportionately high percentage of the volunteers in each and every category, especially the leadership positions.
So why is Larry Vaughan misleading people by telling them that there are only 20 active firefighters from Brockport? Is Larry willing to say and do anything to get a fire district?
And why do the Clarkson and Sweden Town Boards continue to blame the Village for all of the Fire Department’s problems?
“I thought it was madness, …and now I begin to fear it is a disgrace.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
No matter how you slice the figures, the results indicate that Clarkson and Sweden are not pulling their fair share of the load with the Brockport Fire Department.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates, here is the population of the three municipalities.
Brockport 8,338 41.19% (2009 Census Estimate)
Sweden* 5,539 27.36% (2009 Census Estimate)
Clarkson** 6,367 31.4% (2005 Census Estimate)
* The figures for Sweden exclude the population of the Village.
** There is no 2009 U.S. Census Estimate readily available for the town of Clarkson.
If you compare these figures with the figures provide by Chief Henry for the active firefighters, you will see that, by population, residents of the Village of Brockport are providing much more than their fair share of the active firefighters in every category.
What are the towns complaining about? They not only get the least expensive fire protection in Monroe County, residents of Brockport subsidize the towns of Clarkson and Sweden by providing the active firefighters that the towns have failed to provide.
Some people will dispute the population figures because some Clarkson residents receive their fire protection through the Hamlin Fire Department. However, since there is no 2009 U.S. Census estimate readily available for Clarkson, I the 2005 estimate was used for Clarkson’s population. Therefore, the population growth in Clarkson since 2005 cancels out the portion of Clarkson residents who get fire protection from Hamlin.
The only way to get the actual population figures is for the Village Trustees to demand from the towns the number of people currently served by the Brockport Fire Department in the Towns of Clarkson and Sweden.
But the Trustees have already shown numerous times that they are too lazy to do that. They simply don’t do their homework. And when someone else does their homework for them and provides them with the hard data, the Trustees ignore it.
The Trustees are like college students who buy their research papers from Authors’ Research Services, Inc. and then wonder why they bomb the final exam.
Other people will protest that the list of active firefighters provided by Chief Henry includes people who don’t actively fire fires. But that argument was taken into account beforehand.
Chief Henry was specifically asked to provide a list of active members, “who are on the ACTIVE village rolls (Interior, Exterior and Support members) and are ACTIVE in responding to a high percentage of the annual calls for service.”
If there is anyone on Chief Henry’s list who does not actively fight fires, then Chief Henry supplied inaccurate data. Take it up with Chief Henry.
Others might question Henrys figures for a different reason because the list of firefighters who have pagers (the active members) that was provided to the Trustees includes the names of one firefighter (who has to be at least 85 years old) and another firefighter who has told a Village Trustee that he does generally not fighting fires on an active basis.
Once again, if Chief Henry included these people on his list, then he did not provide accurate data, so take it up with Chief Henry.
But more than that, the Trustees should be asking the Fire Chief in public session why the Village is providing pagers to members who DO NOT actively fight fires. It’s a waste of the taxpayer’s money.
Worse than that, Chief Henry says he sent the data to the Village Clerk on Friday July 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM. But the Village Clerk did not release the data until Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:04 AM.
Why did the Village sit on the data for almost five days?
Because the Village did not release the data for five days, the data was NOT available Monday night when Chief Henry asked the Pro-Brockport executive committee to support the formation of a fire district.
The data was also not available on Wednesday night when the Village Board illegally entered executive session to discuss the fire district in violation of the Open Meetings Law.
The data was emailed to the Village Trustees on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM, before the illegal secret meeting with the Clarkson and Sweden Town Councils, but there is absolutely no evidence that any of the Trustees bothered to read the data.