Thursday, December 17, 2015

Binder Lift Grant



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Christopher Maeder, Chief
Fairview Fire District
258 Violet Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

The Fairview Fire District is pleased to announce the receipt of grant funding in the amount of $1250 from the Cardiovascular Fund of Dutchess County of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.  

Funds were used to purchase patient lifting devices otherwise known as Binder Lifts.   Oftentimes, Fairview Firefighters and EMT’s are requested to assist individuals who have fallen and are unable to get up.  These devices will make assisting these individuals and responders safer by preventing injuries to the individual, as well as our responders. 



The Fairview Fire District would like to thank the Cardiovascular Fund of Dutchess County for their support of first responders and the public they serve.  

For more information about Binder Lifts go to www.binderlift.com 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Response to the Poughkeepsie Journal Article Dated 12/2/2015



For a number of years, Marist College has identified the value of the services of the Fairview Fire District.  As a result, Marist has made financial contributions to the district.   Today’s article in the Poughkeepsie Journal is an attempt to discredit the relationship with Marist and make it appear that the Fairview Fire District has done something improper.   We have not!  To put it simply and clearly, Marist College has financially supported the district when there is no legal obligation to do so. 

As the article relates, Marist College has been a willing partner with the Fairview Fire District for a number of years and has contributed annually.   The agreement memorializes these contributions and as a result allows the board of fire commissioners to apply funds toward the budget resulting in a decreased levy (AKA taxes) for residents.   It could be argued that these agreements are models for other large tax exempt institutions that use valuable community services.  

The comments by Steven Leventhal are well placed in the article as an attempt to discredit the agreement or to perhaps persuade the reader of the article that the Fairview Fire District will turn a blind eye to dangers or risks of new construction on the Marist property, The Fairview Fire District will always oppose projects that are unsafe or pose a risk to those who live in our community or to our personnel.   The record will show that the Fairview Fire District has consistently asked for and promoted safe construction with sprinklers in building projects. 

In fact, the new dorms at Marist College will be constructed of superior construction then what is being replaced.  Additionally, there will be sprinklers and modern fire detection equipment in these new buildings, therefore safer for the students as well as firefighters.  

In reference to Ms. Fries FOIL request, she could have been more specific in her initial request or in her follow up email once provided the Marist and Dutchess Community College agreements.  The Fairview Fire District has a history of transparency.  This can be seen by visiting our website where there is ample information on the operations and administration. 

Ms. Fries could have done a better job in “investigating” the three projects than just reporting the number of units.  What really is the root of the problem is the number of beds.  When comparing the the three projects, it would be a fair and proper if all of the noted projects were measured in the same way.  Why would Marist be reported in beds and both Dalia and Fairview Commons be measured in units?  Ms. Fries should have been more conscientious in the presentation of these projects.    

The leadership of the Fairview Fire District was hopeful that the Poughkeepsie Journal would provide a fair representation in this article.   Once again, we are disappointed and have to waste time and energy on preparing a response instead of focusing on our primary mission of being prepared for emergencies. 

The Fairview Fire District wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.   Remember that your Fairview Firefighters are here when you need them.  

For more information please contact Chief Christopher Maeder at cmaeder@fairviewfd.net. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

FFD Response to Poughkeepsie Journal Article re: Town Supervisor



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Christopher Maeder, Chief
Fairview Fire District
258 Violet Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

October 20, 2015
It is election season once again and as per the norm, those seeking to be reelected are spouting off about fire taxes without actually revealing the facts.  It would appear that talking points are more important than acknowledging the real issues of the Fairview Fire District (FFD).  

 In today’s Poughkeepsie Journal, Town of Poughkeepsie Supervisor was asked about the fire taxes in his town.  His response was that fire taxes were “unsustainable” and that the fire districts lacked “oversight.”   What he fails to mention is the real issue here at the FFD.  

For decades, the FFD has been open about the issue of properties in the fire district that do not pay fire taxes in spite of receiving these valuable services.   According to the Pace Study, 52% of the districts assessed value is off the tax rolls.  In addition to Marist College, Dutchess Community College, Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, there are properties that are critical pieces of infrastructure owned by the Town of Poughkeepsie.  Town of Poughkeepsie owned (and non taxpaying) properties in the Fairview Fire District value in excess of $37 million.  Over the years, the FFD has asked for assistance in addressing this issue with little help from the same elected officials who vilify the fire districts.  

Unlike towns and other municipalities, fire districts are only able to generate revenue through taxes on property.   We are unable to levy fines, fees, or use other tools that the town is able to.  

In response to Mr. Tancredi’s comment of lack of “oversight,” it is important to note that the FFD has made every effort to maintain as conservative of a budget as possible while at the same time seeing our costs and call volume increase.   In the year 2008, the levy (amount billed to tax payers) was $3,005,700.  In 2015, the levy was $3,375,750.  This represents a 12.3% increase over 7 years or a 1.75% increase annually.   One has to question if the Town of Poughkeepsie can report the same limited growth in their levy during the same time period.  

The FFD understands the strain on the taxpayer, but at the same time recognizes the need for our valuable services.  Call volume continues to increase with the call volume expected to exceed 2000 alarms this year in a response area of 4.5 square miles.  We will be expected to continue to provide an excellent level of service to a number of properties that are currently in the planning stages or already being built.   

The FFD also takes exception to Mr. Engelhardt’s foolish comment of “misappropriated” funds.  The FFD takes multiple measures to make sure that all funds are used appropriately and consistent with best practices.  Additionally, the FFD is audited as required by law each year and these audit reports are located on the FFD website (www.fairviewfd.net).   It is just another false election year claim by someone seeking office and has never reached out to the FFD leadership for answers to questions.  

It is growing tiresome that every election cycle the FFD’s leadership has to waste our time and energy correcting the misinformation by individuals who seek office.  Any and all who are interested in the facts or learning more about the FFD are encouraged to call or email Chief Christopher Maeder.  His office line is (845) 452-7453 and his email is cmaeder@fairviewfd.net.