What type of Political System is Best for FDs
Several comments on other threads, regarding Fire vs Politicians got me to think about which system works best for the Fire/Rescue organizations across America. Needless to say, I like what we have here in Maryland, so I'll explain it:
With very few exceptions, the Government level that deals with Emergency Services of all types is the County. Reasons for this are, most areas are unincorporated, so there is no other local Government; The financial burden of a Fire/Rescue/EMS/Police/School/Public Works Operation is high enough that economies of scale are not possible until you reach a County level. Here's how we do it:
Every square foot of land, every person, every building, gets the closest available help in an emergency. Always. NO political boundary interferes with this, even State Lines.
Every county has a area-wide dispatching center that handles every call for every Fire/Rescue station in that County.
911 is, by law, the emergency number for the entire state.
Each County has a radio system that is used by all Fire/Rescue apparatus operating in that County.
Apparatus and buildings are owned by the Individual Volunteer Fire Department or by County Government.
The same training is available to everyone, statewide, and it's FREE
EMS Services are FD Based, For-Profit providers do not handle emergencies, only inter-facility moves and Routine Transports.
That's some of the way we do things, I'd have to write a book to cover it all, but we like what we have. Perfect? No, but better than a lot of places that I can think of, Niles Ohio and Camillus NY for example. Stay Safe....
Since everyone's reading, but no posts, I guess I forgot to ask for ideas, examples, etc. from other parts of the Country. What works for you and why?? Thanks, Stay Safe....
County wide might not be flexible enough
County wide fire board is the answer in a lot of areas, especially if you have a "homogenous" county. County wide also gives the departments more purchasing clout. More for your buck is always a good thing.
Where county wide falls flat is where you have a "diverse" county.
We go from the northern end of the county, which is more agricultural, to the center of the county/county seat which has the lions share of the countys industry & business, etc, to the our southern end of the county, with has agriculture, industry, and recreation ie camping, canoeing, lake, several state parks, state forest. Our terrain is much different. The two southern departments, (ours and the neighboring) operate a little differently, we have our own EMS Medical Director, and we get into things the other departments don't get into, and vice versa. In our case, local oversight works best.