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Fire Commissioner Loigman: Lakewood Fire Department Moving Forward

lfd tls (2)Fire Commissioner Larry Loigman tells TLS the recent election of Glenn Bradford and Ralph Portnoy will help the Fire District in moving toward a more businesslike approach to its operations.

The Board of Fire Commissioners, which is responsible for setting policy and the budget, will ”work on long-range planning, rather than dealing with problems only when they arise.”

Loigman offered some insight into the ongoing efforts of the Commissioners:

–We have made some progress on recruiting new members during the last year, but much more needs to be done to attract volunteers.

–Fiscal controls put in place have improved our ability to be more efficient in spending, so that we can provide more of the equipment needed by the Fire Department in a timely manner.

–In the last few months, we have purchased replacements for the fire chief’s car, AED’s (automatic external defibrillators, to revive cardiac arrest victims), and thermal imaging cameras. The support of the public in approving both the budget, as well as the budget transfer referendum, will allow us to purchase a new fire engine as well as other needed equipment.

–I haven’t yet had in-depth discussions with the new commissioners, but I know that they are eager to get to work. Each brings a background that will help us analyze problems from a different perspective, and help build the support of Lakewood residents and businesspeople to improve the effectiveness of the Fire District.

–We will be making some major changes during the next few months, as the paid component of the Fire Department increases from 6 full-time firefighters to 12. We will have to deal with personnel issues, such as scheduling and the command structure, while maintaining the excellent working relationship between the career and volunteer units.

“I welcome the opportunity to have Glenn and Ralph give us the benefit of their experiences and ideas,” says Loigman. But at the same time, Loigman says “the Board is always open to suggestions from the Lakewood taxpayers whom we serve.” [TLS]


There are 24 Comments to "Fire Commissioner Loigman: Lakewood Fire Department Moving Forward"

  • Curious says:

    What background do these new Commissioners have with a fire department and/or business? I have never heard of either one of them until recently. What is there professional background.

  • Old Timer says:

    Mr Loigman, I wish you Juan, Mike and the two new guys good luck moving forward. Too bad that the many of the recent budgets were voted down and the long range planning and research that each board completed each year was thrown to the wind because of the lack funds. We all know that with ONE phone call the budget can get passed and I guess that call was placed this year. Kudos to whom ever made that call. Please don’t try to reinvent the wheel with the volunteer fire dept because it was never the problem. You have what you want now, PLEASE don’t screw it up. The Volunteer are dwindling because of politics, no member of the community coming forward to assist and those who did moving out of town. I really hope the 5 members can turn the ship around with the membership problem because that is your biggest issue that you face. We all know what will happens if you can not.

  • let's see says:

    To #1 curious … thank you for asking, I was going to submit the same and I also like you have never heard of either one. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  • Anonymous says:

    what experience does mr stillwell have in being a commissioner??

  • lkwdfirst says:

    Glenn is a pastor at a local chruch and is a leader in our community. Mr. Portnoy was involved with little league and was helpful with the lmua. Both men are solid citizens that love there town and want to serve.

  • FF Friend says:

    Oh Boy

  • LFD says:

    Me loigman if you and the board are so concerned with fiscal responsibility why did the board pass a budget that gave the commissioners a 40 pct raise??? This makes little sense to me as a firefighter who has had to beg for equipment over the years! Can someone explain this ??

  • Bubby to be says:

    Why did the fire department need to buy AEDs when the first aid squad responds to every fire?
    How does being a dedicated pastor or involvement with little league qualify a person to be a fire commissioner? Seems to me that former firefighters would make the best fire commissioners because they understand what it takes to do the job properly.

  • Anonymous says:

    FYI get your facts clear mr firefighter the board did not get a raise! The chairman introduced the idea to raise salary from 2000 a year before taxes to 4000 a year before taxes and Mr loigman voted against it as it won’t look good to double salary even though if you calculate the hours its very minimal per hour as the get 2000 a year yes a year and then loose some for taxes

    Also mr loigman mentioned that the board doesn’t have the authority to vote on their own raise that would need to be done at the township committee and the board attorney mr smith agreed

    So once again mr firefighter go stick your head back in the mud and stop spreading rumors and false information

  • LFD says:

    That money was allocated in the current budget ! It is there. Mr loigman and the other commissioners approved the budget ! They all voted for it. ! Is this a new trick? A politician can say I don’t like that idea but the. Vote for it ? So if anyone questions they can say I said I was against it seems funny to me ! The money for the raise is in the budget. If any of the commissioners were against this they should have voted for it or encourage others to vote for it !

  • Anonymous says:

    The money was allocated in the budget as 4 out of 5 commisioners were pursuing it so they needed to make sure the money is there in case but mr loigman clearly stopped and it will not go thru untill the township committee approves it which I can’t imagine will ever happen

    Pull the minutes of the meeting and you will see the facts

  • Anonymous says:

    For those that are asking Mr Stillwell is a current and active Firefighter for over 25 yrs in the twp as well as a local resident. I have known him for several years and he is an honest guy..if you ask him a question he will give you the answer no matter if you like it or not he will be honest with you.

  • Anonymous says:

    The question about mr Stilwell was what experience he has as commissioner not as firefighter

    In case you didn’t realize there is two separate job descriptions

    Mr Stilwell is a very devoted firefighter for many years but was never elected to the position of fire commissioner and doesn’t really have the administrative or elected experience

  • in the know says:

    so as number 11 is confirming all 5 commissioners voted in favor of a budget ! if any of them were against the pay raise the did not have to vote in favor of the budget ! wow so much for fiscal responsibility ! maybe we need to vote out all 3 remaining commissioners

  • John Stillwell says:

    I thank everyone for the kind words that have been said over the last few days, how-ever the election is over I was not re-appointed and it is what it is. I am asking everyone to move forward for the sake of all the volunteer’s who give up hours and hours of free time to protect life and property.

  • John Stillwell for Mayor says:

    Thank you Mr. Stillwell!! You are one of the best!!

  • Anonymous says:

    So Mr 14 if that’s the case i think we should abolish commissioners and put it under the township as the commissioners allotted funds for raises for the firefighters too and i don’t think firefighters should make the money they make most towns don’t pay that much

  • Anonymous says:

    What I meant to acknowledge is this who does have experience as a commissioner until you get into the seat, but being a firefighter in Lakewood you know what the members needs are; training, equipment, trucks, and everything else they do on a daily basis..and available at a moments notice incase a problem arises. That is what I was getting at. I apologize if I was not clear with my last statement.

  • Maskim says:

    Thank you Mr stillwell for manning up. The volunteers have never ever been denied a request for necessary equipment. They should do what they do best…fight fires, and not get involved in the administrative asspect of the department/district.

  • lakewood ff says:

    number 18 MASKIM how can you say that we have never been denied equipment ? that sir is a bold face lie… we requested multiple items over the last 3 years that we were denied. and how can someone with no firefighting experience make a decision on what equipment is necessary for doing our job. if you have never fought a fire how can u decide if we need a new automatic nozzle or not ? or if we need a chain saw ? or if we need more spare air bottles ? or new thermal imaging cameras ? these are just a few items denied to us over the past 3 years because the money was not “in the budget” these are documented facts sir……. in fact why don’t you go down to station 68 and see how many spare air bottles we have !!!! so now you want to tell me how men with no firefighting experience are better at deciding what necessary firefighting equipment is ??????

  • jbw says:

    …and once again we have a lot of talk between people (most) who obviously don’t have a clue what’s happening in the LFD. Please stop making comments based on remote reasoning and opinion. I don’t think anybody would appreciate outsiders forming their own opinions and ideas about how their businesses should run. Granted, the LFD is a public organization, but please educate yourselves and talk us, get involved, before forming personal opinions. Contrary to some above comments, the firefighters themselves are one of the best sources of information. Another point, the commissioners’ job may be different from the firefighters’ job but they still go hand in hand, cooperating and supporting each other. Telling the firefighters to do their job and not mind the politics/commissioners is like people not to vote for elected officials and let somebody else decide who should be governor etc. Everybody wants a boss who understands what the hired job is all about. Nobody has experience being a fire commisssioner before they get the job but every firefighter with quality experience under their belt is much more qualified for the job than any non-firefighter will ever be. Please understand that we want people who understand us and who are not just concerned with passifying an uneducated public. One more point, on the salary raise, really people?? You’re arguing about a pittance of a salary, a few dollars for a difficult job. Lastly, thank you to all who voted for the budget and to all who continue to support the LFD.

  • Maskim says:

    To lkwd FF
    No one on the twp committe is a police man, public works employee,inspector, engineer tax expert or any of the many departments the twp has. They get recomandation from department heads and then decide what to approve and what no to approve. the fire commissioner gets recomandations from the chief and then they decide what can be bought with the money they have overnight. One assistant chief once came complaing that a piece of equipment wasn’t working,instead of going back to the manafatuer to replace it(it came defective)he wanted to buy a brand new one. The commissioner need to make such desions. They don’t need to be firemen

  • lakewood ff says:

    Maskim , I love the way you did not address the comments about us not getting equipment we need. nice way to side step that ! all I know is the dept has struggled for money lately but the commissioners ” all 5 ” voted for a budget with what was quoted on here as a 100 pct raise ! that sir is disgusting. And if you think that is fiscal responsibility then it is a waste of time talking to you ! 2 new ones elected lets get 3 more in. preferably with dome sort of FF experience

  • just saying says:

    I for one am surprised at some of the comments.People should understand that the volunteer firefighters give up so much to serve us and deserve our thanks.

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