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Thread: How is your dept set up? City or are you on your own?

  1. #1
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    TheIrons84's Avatar
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    Jun 2014

    Default How is your dept set up? City or are you on your own?

    Curious as to how many depts are city backed or an actual city entity, vs. just a community organization.

    I'm currently in a situation facing some issues with a city government and its involvement in the fire dept, and not sure what individuals have what powers.

    From what I gather, the city council has ultimate decision authority over the dept and the mayor is basically a supervisor to be sure everything gets done right.

    The chief, of course, has ultimate authority over the dept. He is the only member of the dept appointed and removed by vote by the city council, as far as I understand. He, then has authority over all officers and rank positions within the dept.

    Does this sound correct?

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    For your set up

    Some places the city manager runs the city. , but answers to city council, and city council cannot go directly to any city employee and tell them what to do

    Than there are other set ups

  3. #3
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    Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    Sounds like you need to do some research into finding out what your city ordinances state. It is most likely spelled out in there.
    slackjawedyokel likes this.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    My department is set up as a non-profit that provides fire and rescue services, as such we don't get taxes and get all our funding from dues. The department is run by the board who appoints the chief and answers to no one but God. I personally think this is a improper way to run a department that's seen as a public fixture because there is no accountability to the public but that's just my department and my $0.02.

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    SW Oregon


    Interesting question for sure. Yep, excellent answers already given. Each state may be somewhat different. Sometimes some counties within the state are different. Different parts of the nation are also different. Example; Texas, California and maybe Florida may, (may) be based on Old Roman Law. Oregon is based upon English Common Law.

    Then you have Charter Cities and other cities. I am not sure what the difference is. Charter Cities have more wiggle room working for/against state laws. My old home town in CA has a City Charter--City Manager system. Elected Council people. Elected honorary Mayor who has council tie breaking power only. The pecking order usually is out here....

    ....Registered voters. Notice not tax payers. Then elected City Council, then appointed contract City Manager, then a City Manager appointed Fire Chief, then so on and so on. Fire Chief, Deputy Chiefs, Battalion Chiefs, Captains, Engineers, Fire fighters, probationary Fire fighters. Fire Chief is the fire department top dog. The Manager runs the whole city.

    This is old stuff learned in the first week of the Fire Academy. I do not think any of it has changed or I would have learned about it from all my spies who still work there.

    Not a perfect system, but very close. My old home town City Manager has been so for 22 years. Makes Big Bucks. Earns every penny. He runs a very tight fiscal ship. Bakersfield CA is one of the best run, least expensive cities of its size in the entire WORLD. The City Manager is a real piece of work. Captain Bligh. He needs to be. Does a great job.

    The Bakersfield Fire Department is ISO Class 2 and spends less than $88 bucks yearly per resident. 370,000 population, plus over 30,000 contract Auto Aid for County areas. Budget is less than $34.6 million yearly. My old outfit. A very tightly run ship indeed. Nearly perfect water supply. Near perfect training. A good comm. center. Great fire prevention.

    HB of CJ (old coot)
    Last edited by HBofCJ; 08-21-2014 at 08:07 PM. Reason: more accurate data

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