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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Golzy12's Avatar
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    Default Police crosstrained as firefighters.....

    Alright first off I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death but I'd just like to share whats goin on in my neck of the woods. Another attemt to save money by the man. I'm not a big fan of this, cops have enough training to do as it is.

    http://www.startribune.com/462/story/272318.html

    Woodbury police to try double duty as firefighters
    With not enough volunteer firefighters during the day, the city will train police to help fill the role. The uncommon strategy is used in New Brighton, but has been discarded in Burnsville.
    Jim Adams, Star Tribune
    Last update: February 27, 2006 – 7:26 AM
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    Dan Olson, New Brighton Public Safety Department deputy director, and Tony Paetznick, New Brighton police officer, go through ice rescue equipment which they recently trained on as part of ongoing firefighter training. The New Brighton Public Safety Department is the only city in the area that is using a cross-training model in which police officers are trained as firefighters.

    Joey McLeister, Star Tribune


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    Woodbury police to try double duty as firefighters

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    Facing a common suburban problem of too few volunteer firefighters, especially during the day, Woodbury will be hiring police officers who will be trained to respond to fires while on duty.
    The cross-training approach avoids expensive full-time fire departments, makes better use of officers who are often the first to arrive at fires and gives the city flexibility to address both needs. In New Brighton, leaders say it's effective. Last fall when authorities discovered a body in a fire, a cross-trained officer was able to safeguard evidence while putting out hot spots.

    But some say the officer-firefighter model has drawbacks. That includes the amount of training needed for officers who must maintain both police and fire certifications, said Gary Tokle, of the National Fire Protection Association, a fire standards agency. He said cross-training was more widely discussed and tried around the nation about 25 years ago, but not many cities adopted it.

    Burnsville tried it then, but went to a full-time department after four years. Kalamazoo, Mich., and Sunnyvale, Calif., still use it.

    Tom Brace, executive director of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, noted that officers generally work alone while firefighters respond in crews.

    "On the surface, it seems like there'd be a lot of economy of scale out of getting double duty," he said. "But I think over time there is a distinct difference in how these people work. ... In practice, I don't know a lot of success stories."

    New Brighton is one of those stories, city officials said.

    The New Brighton example

    Seven of its 28 officers volunteered for training as firefighters, along with eight other city workers, said Public Safety Director Bob Jacobson. The city also has 23 paid volunteer firefighters who respond as needed, but all firefighters are required to work at least 25 percent of fires.

    Dan Olson was a volunteer firefighter before becoming a New Brighton officer in 1993 and eventually the fire chief. Cross-training of police officers has "worked better than I ever dreamed," he said.

    Dual training paid off last fall when officer and fire Capt. Tony Paetznick arrived at a fire where a beaten body was found. He was asked to protect crime scene evidence while making sure the fire's hot spots were out.

    "I think citizens are getting a much better value," said Paetznick, who is also president of the local police union.

    Olson said an on-duty officer's first job is police work, but officers are usually the first at a fire scene and, if cross-trained, can assess how serious a fire is and radio firetrucks about how to approach and where to find the nearest hydrant.

    Woodbury plans to phase in 14 cross-trained officers -- new hires or officer volunteers -- over five years. The city also will hire five more full-time firefighters, said Public Safety Director William Hering. He said the city has seven full-time firefighters and 58 police positions.

    The new hires were recommended by a Woodbury task force after a two-year review of fire industry response standards and of Woodbury's fire and police calls. The group of citizens and city officials set a goal that five firefighters or cross-trained police officers would respond to fire or hazardous substance calls within nine minutes in nine out of 10 calls. If a fire is verified, an additional six paid, on-call volunteer firefighters would arrive within four more minutes.

    While Woodbury's volunteer firefighter ranks shrank, population and construction boomed. Fire and police calls rose by about 25 percent between 2000 and 2004. There were 650 fire calls in 2004, including 60 that resulted in fire damage. Police calls jumped to 26,000 in 2004.

    "We realized we had a problem," Hering said. The officer-firefighters model is estimated to save nearly $370,000 over the next five years compared with having a full-time fire department, said City Administrator Clint Gridley.

    Hering noted that enough officers will be hired so that even when those with two roles are at fire calls, there will be sufficient officers on patrol to handle police matters.

    Woodbury police union President Paul Torguson said the model can work if planned staff levels are maintained.

    Burnsville walked away

    Burnsville tried the cross-training approach in the late 1970s, but after four years opted for a full-time fire department, said Burnsville detective Dan Huberty. He was hired in 1978 when police began rotating through fire station shifts. He said some career officers opposed the change because they were forced to work as firefighters on and off duty.

    Huberty said he thinks the cross-training failed because of officer resistance, too little training and too few firefighters to handle increasing fire and police calls.

    Told of Woodbury's plans, Huberty said it might work "if enough training and the desire are there from those that are signing up to do this."


    Jim Adams • 612-673-7658
    Last edited by Golzy12; 02-28-2006 at 08:41 PM.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Up until they were forced to amalgamate, Esquimalt Fire and Police were essentially the same thing. They were the last Canadian dept to be crosstrained. As I understand it their shifts were typical 4 on 4 off, with 2 days fire and 2 days pd.

    That all ended 1 Jan 03 when the City of Victoria ordered them to stand down and integrate with the City of Victoria services. Twas not a happy day in Esquimalt.
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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    The respective departments have a distinct and separate function, and should be approached as such.

    It's funny, but you don't see firefighters ask or being forced to be cross trained as cops, do you?
    ‎"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

  4. #4
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    The respective departments have a distinct and separate function, and should be approached as such.

    It's funny, but you don't see firefighters ask or being forced to be cross trained as cops, do you?
    Talk to George about that one!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    The respective departments have a distinct and separate function, and should be approached as such.

    It's funny, but you don't see firefighters ask or being forced to be cross trained as cops, do you?
    Ahh.....FIU and FPO's.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    MembersZone Subscriber savoy6's Avatar
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    http://www.ashpublicsafety.com/

    This a pretty unique department.

    I am not saying I agree or disagree with it, just saying it's unique.

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    Default Don't bet your check on it

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    It's funny, but you don't see firefighters ask or being forced to be cross trained as cops, do you?

    While I agree they are 2 distinctive roles, I think the PSO system has merit for smaller cities. As budgets continue to tighten, I anticipate much more experimentation.

    Kalamazoo Michigan has been PSO since the mid 80’s. Those that I have asked say they like it. “Never a dull moment.” They started as a PSO and can’t imagine split roles.

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    Forum Member firehick's Avatar
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    Im not sure if this department is still running this way, but a small city in the Greater Cincinnati area used to run a combination department of PO and FF. All on duty partol officers carried their gear in the squad car while the desk officer and others in the vicinity of the station would go to the other side of the building and jump into the apparatus and respond. Off duty officers would be paged if additional response was needed, when off duty their gear was kept in bags stashed in the apparatus. For EMS one or two PO's would respond as first responders and a neighboring city had a deal worked out to provide EMS service as far as transport etc. Again not sure if these departments still work this way but I know Ive seen their old station and saw a story on the news about it in the mid 90's.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Fletch 8903's Avatar
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    Firehick-

    You're thinking of Amberly Village, and they still operate as fire-trained police officers and EMS first responders. EMS is provided by Deer Park-Silverton and Golf Manor.

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    Forum Member firehick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtDPSJFD
    Firehick-

    You're thinking of Amberly Village, and they still operate as fire-trained police officers and EMS first responders. EMS is provided by Deer Park-Silverton and Golf Manor.
    Thats right, thanks for jump starting my brain . My city's department sometimes helps them out too. It had just been a while. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Can you imagine if the NYPD were crosstrained as firefighters?

    I think they would hate themselves!
    ‎"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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    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    This system is pretty common in northeast TN. Most of the people involved that I have talked to do not like it. The firefighters see it as cutting corners and find it troublesome. The cops I have spoken with don't really like it either, and just do it in order to be police officers.

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Can you imagine if the NYPD were crosstrained as firefighters?

    I think they would hate themselves!
    Nah.. the two would cancel each other out and everyone would be one big Happy Family
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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  14. #14
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Can you imagine if the NYPD were crosstrained as firefighters?

    I think they would hate themselves!


    Some of them think they are firemen......
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    The Associated Firefighters of Illinois (AFFI) were successful in their attempt to ban public safety departments in our state. Details can be found at this link. Governor Blagojevich Signs One More AFFI Bill

    January 12, 2006

    Governor Blagojevich Signs One More AFFI Bill
    On Friday January 6, 2006, Governor Blagojevich signed one more AFFI-supported piece of legislation, House Bill 1368, which bans “public safety” departments in non-home rule communities. “Public safety” departments are an archaic concept of fire fighters cross-training to be police officers, and police officers cross-training to be fire fighters.

    This “public safety” concept was experimented with 40-50 years ago. Peoria, Danville, Park Forest, and other cities tried this concept in an attempt to save money by cross-training fire and police, and reducing manpower, however this soon became cost prohibitive, and greatly diminished the pool of candidates for police and fire positions, because, quite frankly, very few people wanted to be both a fire fighter and police officer at the same time. Despite the fact that police officers and fire fighters work closely together on a variety of emergencies, both professions are truly unique in themselves.

    The Illinois General Assembly, by the passage of this bill, and Governor Blagojevich, with his signing the bill into law, have made a strong statement that they believe that the professions of police officer and fire fighter should remain separate and unique.

    The opponents of the bill claimed that the bill would prevent a fire fighter from assisting a police officer at an emergency, and a police officer would be prohibited from running into a burning building, or using an automatic defibrillator or applying a band aid. This is completely false. The clear language of the legislation would not change what currently happens out in the field, but it does ban changing regular work assignments as fire fighters or police officers.

    The AFFI would like to thank the chief sponsors of our bill, Representative Larry McKeon and Senator Jim DeLeo, both former police officers, who fostered the bill through the process with a lot of credibility and passion. We would also like to thank our House co-sponsor, Representative Bob Molaro, who filled in at the last minute for Representative McKeon while he was ill, and led the debate and passage on the floor of the House last spring. We would also like to thank our Senate co-sponsor, Senator Gary Forby, for his support and leadership on our issue in the Senate. The AFFI would like to thank Senate Republican leader, Frank Watson, who met with us last November during the fall Veto session, for his support, and for his leadership. The AFFI also thanks Senate President Emil Jones for his vital support of this bill.

    And finally, we thank Governor Blagojevich, and his staff, who met and worked with us these past few months, and for signing the bill into law. Governor Blagojevich and his staff have shown their unyielding and strong support of professional, union fire fighters here in Illinois. As President Foreman stated in his recent newsletter, no other Governor in the history of Illinois has signed more pro-fire fighter, and pro-labor legislation than Governor Blagojevich. We are forever grateful to him and his staff. Thank You !!!

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Can you imagine if the NYPD were crosstrained as firefighters?

    I think they would hate themselves!
    LMAO!!

    Talk about a conflict.


    I dunno, I always thought that FF's and cops are cut from a different cloth. They have a completeley different mindset and outlook on things. The whoe idea just sounds weird too me...
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    MembersZone Subscriber firepimp's Avatar
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    I can just see it now , Officer Smith in a fire reading the oven it rights and trying to taze the microwave that won't stop spreading the blaze Screaming stop or I'll say stop again .
    " We are not extraordinary people , we are people caught in extraordinary situations. " Chapter 1 IFSTA Manual

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firepimp
    I can just see it now , Officer Smith in a fire reading the oven it rights and trying to taze the microwave that won't stop spreading the blaze Screaming stop or I'll say stop again .

    I can see a well organized gang of bank robbers...
    they hire a professional arsonist to torch "the big one"

    All the cross trained cops drive their cruisers to the scene, put on the fire gear and go fight the fire....

    The robbers hit mutiple banks at once, knowing that they have tied up the PD/FD/PSD or whatever you want to call it for a long time.....
    ‎"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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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace
    Talk to George about that one!
    Well, actually, you do. If I am not mistaken, there have been at least two aborted attempts in North Jersey over the past ten years or so to have FF conduct some patrol functions when they are not engaged in FF activities. The resaoning is, of course, that the FF would just be sleeping anyway.

    I am certain there will be other examples of this brought up here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace
    Talk to George about that one!
    Also, there are a TON of LEO's serving as volunteer fire fighters. I realize it is not the same thing, but the roles are not mutually exclusive.

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