Barry Discusses EMS And Fire Funding, Roads And Traffic During Cantonment Town Hall

May 15, 2019

Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry held a town hall meeting Tuesday in Cantonment.

Most of the comments and questions from the audience deal with roads, bridges and traffic, but Barry did discuss Escambia Fire Rescue and EMS funding.

He said that during the six budgets he has worked on during his time as a commissioner, funding for fire, EMS and their number of employees has increased by about two-thirds.

“I’m not going to say it wasn’t needed, but I think the argument is a little bit disingenuous when it’s made out that we haven’t put resources there. That is a considerable increase in those two departments,” Barry said.

“There’s going to be more resources just because of the discussion that’s gone on in the last couple of months…I don’t know that putting more money and more and more personnel makes either department more efficient,” he said.

“There are resources to be successful, but I haven’t really heard a good plan for how just putting more money or more people is going to make it work better,” Barry added.


10 Responses to “Barry Discusses EMS And Fire Funding, Roads And Traffic During Cantonment Town Hall”

  1. Wise Years on May 18th, 2019 11:04 pm

    Sounds like Barry thinks more money will NOT help. So what is your idea?

  2. CJ on May 16th, 2019 2:59 pm

    I can only speak from my personal experience. When I lost my house due to a fire, the wonderful volunteers from Molino were right there, fighting a fire that was difficult to deal with because of the weather and other things. They were assisted by other volunteer stations as well as 2 career stations. But those 2 stations are so far away, things could have been a whole lot worse if the career stations were the best we could get. I don’t have a problem with paying taxes for fire and ems services. Those Molino volunteers are pretty well trained to do the job. Please don’t down play their value. SO thankful for those “Volunteers”

  3. Duke of Wawbeek on May 16th, 2019 8:46 am

    Change brings about change!

    Time for change!

  4. Truth on May 15th, 2019 5:25 pm

    Resident. Your comments are not accurate. Most volunterrs only meet the minimum standards for volunteers which is a lot less than career firefighters. And the response times for most volunteer departments are slower than stations manned with career firefighters 24/7. Can’t really blame volunteers who have jobs and can’t respond during work days. Just check out the statistics provided by dispatch.

  5. Truth on May 15th, 2019 5:21 pm

    I believe previous public safety and fire leadership set up the commissioners for the position they are in now. The hire numerous additional career firefighters without asking for a budget increase. It has now caught up to them and forced the commissioners in the position they are now in. This is not the first time public safety has done this. It seems comm9n practice.

  6. Molino Resident on May 15th, 2019 9:15 am


    Just to clear the smoke in front of you, firefighters in this county whether volunteer or career are physically fit and trained equally to the state standard. Some may have more specialized training in specific areas like hazmat, special ops, or water rescue. And the most majority have the state minimum standards, career and volunteer. But you rest assure a truck will be there on a scene of an emergency with highly trained personnel whether it is volunteer or career.

  7. gene on May 15th, 2019 7:28 am

    ***He said that during the six budgets he has worked on during his time as a commissioner, funding for fire, EMS and their number of employees has increased by about two-thirds.

    Mr Berry, That statement is a Little misleading… Aren’t We transitioning from an All volunteer Fire dept. for the last twenty years it has, but the EMS is not the bulk of this increase. where the Controversy has been . the public is not stupid.

    This county has grown to need a full time fire dept. Thank God for every volunteer but I am afraid those days a going quickly.

    Yes we need better training… but that needs to start at the TOP.

  8. retired on May 15th, 2019 7:26 am

    @ensley boy
    it is not a nitemare just future thinking for more kick backs when we have to go back and fix our blounder. should have been 5 lanes all the time

  9. Resident on May 15th, 2019 7:11 am

    Wait so the fire tax in district 5 is the same as the fire tax in district 3.. but district 3 gets around the clock police fire and ems coverage.. but district 5 does not? Tell me how funding wouldnt fix this? More career around the clock coverage is better than the voluntary “when we are avilable” coverage, when i call 911 i want 4 guys who are highly trained, athletic, problem solvers not 2 guys and a truck. Isnt all this mess from fires and fatal fires volunteers didnt respond to forcing the bcc to staff fire stations with no increases? Dont let it happen here in district 5. We deserve the same as the rest of the county!

  10. ensley boy on May 15th, 2019 5:49 am

    I wasn’t able to attend but I hope the Pine Forest Road nightmare northbound from Detroit to 9 mile road was brought up.

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