1. #1
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    Default Public Safety Departments?

    This new system called Public Safety, I don't understand very much. Is there a firefighters on duty or is it just the police on duty show up for calls? Are they part ful time and paid on call? I would like to learn more about it.

  2. #2
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    Can you clarify your message--are you not sure what public safety is or what?

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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    There are different varieties of a "Department of Public Safety". One type is semi-autonomous fire and police departments, working under one commissioner. These Commissioners are usually very Police oriented, and you know who will get the "short end of the stick".

    Another type is having a few firefighters and a lot of police officers who are "cross-trained" in firefighting. The firefighters are basically just drivers/chauffeurs/engineers/pump operators who drive the apparatus to the scene. The police personnel "cross-trained" in firefighting have turnout gear in their cruisers and respond to the fire. The big problem I see here is a busy night for the police department, a busy night for the fire department and not enough personnel to handle the situations that arrive. They usually have a "Commish".

    In my opinion, this type of department is dreamed up by the politicians who think with their wallets and not their brains when it comes to police and fire protection. In their misguided quest to save a few bucks, they end up spending even more of the taxpayer's dollars and get less for them.

    Police and Fire can work together, should work together (except for fiascos like Webster), but should not be together!

    Just my .03 worth...Captains have to pay a little more!

    [ 07-02-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    What I've heard about public safety departments is that everyone is trained as firefighters, paramedics, and police officers, and they rotate through the various services. I've also heard that the avg salary is about 20k higher than for firefighters/paramedics and police officers who are in separate departments.

    Sounds like a lot of responsibility, as well as a massive amount of knowledge you'd be responsible for, but maybe it'd be fun to rotate through

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    In this part of the country, public safety is structured like this. They usually have a couple of fulltime members that are apparatus operators. The remaining personnel are all police/firefighter.

    The problem with public safety is that once they turn away from seperate departments, the training neccesary to keep up with both positions is lacking. Most police officers do not want to be firefighters and vice versa.

    The savings is decent at first. The problem lies with the fact that after about 3-4 years the costs go up dramatically. We have about 10 departments around here that are public safety. Most of them are a joke. There's one city here (Highland Park) that almost always uses Detroit to fight their fires. We show up and the cops use to just load up their gear and leave.

    After awhile the chiefs got fed up with this and made the police officers stay and work at the fire scene.

    It is by far a very poor system for cities over 25,000. Most public safety departments use mutual aide to take up the slack for their ineptness and inability to fight fires effectively. There is also the fact that most of their primary job is police officer and as I stated before, most do not care for firefighting.

    Most public safety depts have higher injury rates than if they were seperate and concentrating on one position. They also tend to lose more property than seperate depts. This causes all costs to go up at a higher rate than normal. All the public safety departments here are capable of saving the foundations and thats about it.

    Public safety is not a new idea, it has been in some cities here for over 30 years.

    [ 07-02-2001: Message edited by: FireLt1951 ]

    [ 07-02-2001: Message edited by: FireLt1951 ]

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