It’s time to get back into the Solutions Business. Maybe this time someone may listen. With the threat of my department being consolidated out of existence, ‘the fire is under my ass’ to step it up. Recent events here in Camden, NJ would make one assume job security is in effect. Think about it, how often does a hard hitter arrive second due on a 12-alarmer warehouse job in the city? On a 97◦F day. Followed by 2, 3, 8 alarm jobs in the same month? And just when you’re feeling a little safe about your job, the governor cuts all the state aid to my city. So no balanced budget. Again. Welcome to the new times. A lot like the old times except we are approaching End Game. Featuring dwindling budgets, politicians publicly hate on union firefighters (and teachers too, it’s a New Jersey thing), and not to be left out, the firebugs have heard the call and are running around. Must be those Super-moons that’s been in the news lately. Or maybe something in the air because I’m getting my ass kicked. Both engine companies on either side of me were closed so my firehouse is automatically doing more with less. Add heat-waves and all day and night burning chemical plants and Super Fund jobs, and so far…..no solutions or even a decent plan proposal set forth by anybody with the power to do something. Does this sound a little like your situation maybe. Do you think that if maybe we (that includes you too!) don’t do something about it, it may be over soon? Well, I like my job and I like the idea of retiring with a pension that is reasonably healthy. Don’t want to be entry level on at any new employment going into my 50’s. Got to give it all I got and leave nothing on the battlefield. So let’s get ready for the opening salvo.