Friday, August 31, 2007


Firefighters at Elyria Station 3 on Bell Ave today received a little present from City Hall. Lieutenant Dave Street, President of the Fire Union, said 3 city employees pulled up in a truck and dropped off a 21” cut lawn mower with a note attached. The note in part said; “Per Jim Hutchson, cut your own lawn from now on.”

Lt. Street said that when the station opened the Firefighters cut the lawn themselves as they have done at each of the 4 stations, but over the years the lawn mowers became beat up and broken down. Last year the city said they could not afford to purchase any new lawnmowers so they would just have city employees swing by and cut the lawn at Station 3. Lt. Street said that when the city would come by and cut the lawn they used a zero turn large riding mower and with that it would take about one hour to cut it all.

Lt. Street said that shortly after the mower arrived Gary Dickerson, the man in charge of the city Street Department, arrived. “Mr. Dickerson wanted us to know that he was just doing his job and following the orders of Mr. Hutchson. He also told me that it is possible that the city may not be able to provide plowing services for us this winter due to low manpower in his department.”

When reached by phone this afternoon Jim Hutchson, Assistant Safety Service Director, said he was unaware of the note that Dickerson had left with the lawnmower. After reading the note to him over the phone Hutchson went right to Station 3 to see it for himself. Hutchson said that the lawnmower was dropped off because the part time help that the city had hired is heading back to school. “We hire a lot of college and high school kids to work over the summer and even here recently with all the rain they have been out cutting a lot more along the highways. I asked Mr. Dickerson to drop a mower off to the Fire Station so that they would be able to take care of their lawn; it is something that they have done for years."

When asked about Mr. Dickerson’s comments to Lt. Street about the snow removal this winter Mr. Hutchson wanted to make it clear that the city will absolutely continue to take care of removing the snow for all of the Fire Stations. “Mr. Dickerson had no right to make those statements and I will be investigating that today. I intend to speak to him after I leave here and I am returning to City Hall because the Mayor wants to see the note that was left behind as well.”
Mr. Hutchson said that in no way was this retribution from City Hall to the Fire Department. “It is just the end of the summer and we are losing our part time help that use to cut the grass here.”


Blogger Dave said...

That is some funny stuff! I guess one department is showing another how to operate with a smaller budget!
It's for the love of the job right? Not about the money right? Make some lemonade and fire that bad boy up!

3:47 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Way to act like adults! It's no wonder that Elyria is the jewel of NE Ohio.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Glad to see some of the things i have said in the past are coming true... I know a few people are going to talk S#it but its cool the fireman are starting to get what they needed.. they cry about there job well cut your own damn lawn... WELL SAID..

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know where I can get a copy of the city's budget? Online anywhere? Would love to see it!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Loraine Ritchey said...

Glad to see Lorain is not alone in the less than adult behavior :)
misery loves company

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:27 PM  
Blogger Ladalang said...

Are they trying to say a college student left the note on behalf of Jim Hutchenson? Give me a break!

The firefighters get cut to unsafe levels, (City Ordinance 137.01 says we should have 88-we have 66) and when they protest because they care about our city and want to make sure they have enough man power to save our homes, they get little petty nasty grams on their front lawn. The sad thing is they aren't asking for 22 guys which is city ordinance they are asking for 10. Who isn't compromising here? Let's hope a firefighter isn't busy mowing a lawn when he's needed at a fire. They are already way short staffed. This looks like retaliation. Our lives and our safety should never be a matter of politics. Getting all the city departments against each other isn't going to make this serious issue go away. We need to honor our city laws and get our number of firefighters back to the legal number of 88 and stop this petty crap!

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Wow...Elyria is starting to sound like East Cleveland!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice it took 3, yes 3 city workers to drop off a lawn mower!!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Eric L said...

This was pretty funny. Dave said it best. This fiasco is really turning interesting. Gotta love politics.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are missing the point. The firefighters do cut the grass at the stations when they have working equipment. Instead of getting station #3 a new mower they told the part time summer help to cut it. Why not spend a few hundred dollars and get the station a new mower? Damn even Lorain has mowers for the stations. They barely run but they have them. And when they break, someone makes an attempt to fix it. R Haas

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Mark from Lorain said...

Wait a second..... who cuts the grass for the firefighters at their home? Wait a second.... which firefighters don't balance their budget at home so that they don't go broke.

Wait a second...... this sounds like another opportunity for us to hear how wonderful firefighters are (which being one, I can tell you how stressful the work can be) and how they should sit on a pedastal and not have to do things.

Come on guys......roll up the sleeves and get dirty like the rest of us do each day!!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Paulette W. said...

Is the city of Elyria being run by a group of 1st graders?
Lt. Street was not complaining about having to mow the lawns, but was pointing out the pettiness of city officials downtown to the residents. Are there people so dense out there they couldn't figure that out?! These men have done this for yrs., why would they complain.?
Also, I am so tired of reading comments tearing down the FD of Elyria! I suggest before you post a thought, please get all the facts straight. If you want to know about the dept. , then go to the source, the men themselves. They welcome any sincere inquiries and will tell you the truth. Not like the politicians!

By the way, my husband was a Lt. on the EFD and recently passed away from cancer, due to the low budget the city head deemed necessary when he hired on. They couldn't afford , (for 7 yrs.) the protective gear they needed. Yes sir, no face masks and oxygen tanks for you! Your not important enough to have your life saved. But you better take this little salary we pay you and save ours.!! Yes, he and many others have died because of poor decisions the leaders of this city have deemed necessary and cost effective. Are the men of our FD less important than the citizens they save? Is the money truly being spent properly and priorities in order, and not being divided up in such a manor as so one child doesn't say "Hey! he got more than Me! Not Fair "
Lastly, no one joins the FD to become rich! That's a joke! Most men have to take on 2nd or 3rd jobs just to support their families.
In conclusion I would like to say no one could pay me enough to run into a burning building to save anyone, especially someone I don't even know! How many of you would be willing to do so? Not many I imagine. Be thankful we have the men we have and if we keep them safe (with the budget they need to operate in a safe manner) then we all can be assured they will save us when and if we need them. Think about these things and maybe you will change your way of thinking about the FD. They are not your enemy, but your friends or family. We are in this life together...

9:14 PM

edit comment publish this comment

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, re-read the article, and you are not a Firefighter because if you were, you would not be on here bad mouthing them.. Stay in Lorain. Elyria will, and always has taken care of their own. Fire Marshall Bill

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Lorain said...

Well, well, well.

Let's see, Fire Marshall Bill. Nepotism at it's finest!!! Yes, I am a firefighter with oh, my goodness a full time union fire department. Come on buddy, stand up for a change and just don't go with the wind and which way it blows. It really is ok for firefighters and paramedics to question each other and their motives. It is very interesting as I have watched for months the postings here, how many people are shot down when they question someone else. How dare anyone say anything! We all must stand together, no matter how much of fools we look like.

Paulette, I am very sorry to hear about the death of your husband. But, to blame it on the City of Elyria? Every person has a decision to keep their job or not. If the conditions are that bad and that dangerous, leave. Find a new career and leave. Yep, that's rough, but their is no mandatory thing that says once you are on a fire department, you can never quit or change departments. The one thing nobody seems willing to admit is that at the end of the day, the citizens of Elyria ultimately are responsible. This is a democracy and we have choices and alternative approaches when we are not happy........

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark--Im saddened that you refer to being a firefighter as just a job to go to, put in your time, collect your pay and go home. You of all people should know it's not like working at a factory, easily changed to something else. Being a firefighter is a calling, and devoting your life to it and its cause, In my opinion, when you decide to become a firefighter, it's a lifelong commitment.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Dan O. said...

Manning a fire dept. is ALL about politics. It's a govt. entity, how could it be about anything else?

Kiss the politicians' asses, get the needed staff and equipment.

10:37 AM  

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