Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The hobbit-like Fire Station

Planning Commission  April 17th

I see that Madison Alders have their own little area on the city website - for instance, this is David Ahrens site on the City of Madison website.  This would be a great way for people to stay in tune with his or her alder.  There is also a way to subscribe to Mr. Ahren which is excellent.  I will have to look into this.      

One thing Columbus REALLY needs and something I have had more then a few calls about is transparency and the need to know what is REALLY happening in Columbus.  When meetings are and what were the results. Hopefully the Columbus Calendar can help to fill some of that void.    

NEWS - this is what the new American Packaging will look like with their 37,000 square foot, $22.6 million expansion on West James.  

BOOM - THAT'S what I'm talking about! 

I took a tour of the Fire Station last week and I did not get a helmet or get to take the hook and ladder truck for a spin. sigh!! So much for THAT bucket list check off point.

When I was a tiny kid and a grown-up asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I said I wanted to be a fire truck.  Well, that dream was certainly dashed when reality happened (unless I'm Johnny Depp in Transcendence).

So I toured the hobbit-like structure of our Fire Station and the big thing I came away with was - WOW - we really do need a new fire station.  Not just because a fancy station would be cool but because the one we have now is dangerous.

For instance - there is a fire and there are 14 rather large muscled firefighters running around putting on 80 pound of equipment . . . . all in this row.  Now remember I'm using a 10mm lens for the below photo so it looks a lot wider then it actually is.  And look out for those power cords hanging from the ceiling for every truck to stay charged. It's probably about 3 feet wide.

 Did I mention that there are no back up generators if the power goes out?

And once a fire is over and things need to be cleaned their washing machine is smaller then the one I have at home.

Gotta dry your hoses???  If you drive by any REAL fire station they have a drying tower where they hang hoses.  In Columbus, wet hoses lay on the floor slowly rotting because . . . where else can you put them.   

Notice how close the trucks are to each other.

You know that game with the tiles where you have to move the back tile around all the other tiles to get it to the front?

Yea - that is what the Fire Chief does every fire.  I have heard he is a puzzle master (I've never actually heard this).   OH - and most REAL fire Stations have two sets of doors, front AND back.

We have one back door.  And if for some reason the hook and ladder (hook???) has to go out the BACK door because the front door is blocked? it will have to squeeze through that tiny gray door.

This is the Lake Mills Fire Department. 

Since there is no room at the current location and thinking outside the box I came up with a multi-story (perhaps 4 or 5 stories) fire station with the trucks in the top 3 or 4 stories and a handicap accessible entrance on the ground floor (currently there are no handicap entrance for pancake breakfasts and so forth).  What could possibly go wrong  :-) 

We really need to come into the 2000s and get a new larger fire station. 


Next up is the Police Station where I'm hoping I can be involved in a high speed chase of some sorts.

Here is a problem that I believe ALL Police Departments have.  If you are doing a great job and there is no crime, politicians will say "Why do you need so may officers" when it's BECAUSE you have officers that the crime is low.

This year, compared to ALL of last year Columbus is down 36% in Criminal Incidents, but, holy cow what happened the last 2 weeks.  Weather related??  Ne'er-do-well's are not afraid to go outside anymore?

I like seeing the Police Reports in the paper and I appreciate the Cops and Coffee thing.  I personally would love love to see a patrol officer walking the downtown area twice a day.  Not that he or she would catch bad people but if you were in a car driving through Columbus the vision of a walking officer would be outstanding.  Being visible is a good thing.   

Like ALL government departments, by doing a good job you get your budget cut.  People always say treat government like a business but you can't.  It just doesn't work that way. In government if you do not use all of your budget, politicians seem to think you don't need it.  Wrong.

According to Baseball Prospectus the Brewers now have a 60.3% chance of making the playoffs and will end up 86 -76. We would be 1/10th a game behind St. Louis at the moment.