Thread: PSO Systems

  1. #1
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    keysim331's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Johnson City/ TN

    Default PSO Systems

    We are a department in East TN, pop. about 60,000 about 50 sq miles with 8 fire station, 8 engines, 4 ladders, 4 officer vehicles, 1 tanker, 1 Haz-Mat and any given day our supression force is 22-28 men and 2 pso's on shift. Our entire dept. has 88 members total right now because of retirements, loss of men, "budget constraints", and a city manager with his head up his ***** who came from Columbia SC, he does't want to hire anyone or promote anyone even our chief position has been vacant since July 02. Sorry back to the point, we operate under a PSO (Public Safety Officer) system, which means that the police officers are also firefighters ( well some of them are). My question is does anyone else run this system or know anywhere else that does, does it work for them and any pro's and con's that you have on it. We have 2 neighboring depts. that also run PSO Bristol, TN which is a city of about 35,000 I think is in worse shape than we are, and Jonesborough,TN which is a town of less than 12,000 I think. Our local association helped get 3 out of 5 city commissioners elected for 3 slots available. With their help we could possibly get rid of our PSO system, the mayor is wanting all the pro's and con's that we can get so any help would be greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is if you have any comments, questions or just want to put a word in.
    Thanks Ian
    The city website is where you can see our staffing which is wrong at this time.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2001
    Clermont County, Ohio

    Default Public Safety Departments

    Here's what I'm aware of:
    - Oakwood Ohio: public safety officers are police, fire, & EMS certified.
    - Amberly Village, Ohio: public safety officers are police & fire certified, not required to be EMS.
    - Miami University, Ohio: public safety officers are police & EMS certified - not fire.
    - North Myrtle Beach, NC: public safety officers are police, fire, & EMS certified, but spend most of their time in a primary role: police or fire/EMS.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  3. #3
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    ullrichk's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Deleted by the forum gremlins


    Martin, Tennessee also has a PS Director, though police and fire work independently. The Fire side is a combination department.

    Might be a good example of how NOT to do it. They fairly define dysfunctional.

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  4. #4
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    Mar 2000
    Sitting in my chair, listening to the scanner while the young kids respond

    Lightbulb Try Kalamazoo Michigan

    I think that Kalamazoo, MI with a population over 80,000 is the largest PSO operation in the country. Everyone is both police and fire. They don't run EMS. The transition was very painfull but some people were grandfathered until retirement. New employees must be state certified in both fields. Things seem to run smoothly now but when there is a fire it would remind you of a small town with a volunteer department where everyone drives to the scene. Police cars seem to come screaming from everywhere. They open their trunk, drop their gun belts and put on their turnout gear.

    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  5. #5
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    Jun 1999
    Cranford, NJ, USA

    Default PSO

    There have been many attempts at PSO dept and most failed because they are impracticle, don't do the job and do not save as much money as the towns think they do. The most noticible failure was the PSD in Durham NC which went back to a regular FD . If you go online or call the Learning Resource Center at the US Fire Academy in Emmittsburg the have many documents and case studies on the subject.

  6. #6
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    Engine5FF's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
    Elmira, NY


    I know that Gladstone MO., a suburb of Kansas City, just dropped their PSO department system for two departments. I don't know much beyaond that.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

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