1. #1

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    Default How do you all feel about public safety depts.

    I am a police officer/fire fighter for a dept. how do you feel about depts that are public safety?

    there are a lot of depts surrounding mine that do not like us very much probably because of the pay we received and our equipment.

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    I was a police officer for 12+ years before moving across the street to the fire department. I've been a career firefighter/paramedic for about 8 years now.

    I think the "public safety officer" model looks good on paper, and I don't doubt that many politicians salivate at the thought of being able to lump the jobs together-then cut staffing and, in theory, do more with less.

    In my personal experience, however, attempts to do this have resulted in less than desirable results. I would submit that this, by and large, has been the majority experience of places that do try it. I'm not saying it can't be done; it sounds like your agency has succeeded. Historically, however, I believe most places that have tried it haven't been able to make it work. Look around; how many public safety agencies are there in your area? If it was easy, wouldn't everyone be jumping on the bandwagon?

    Why doesn't it work? I think this could be debated forever and there are no absolute right or wrong answers. I can offer my personal opinion.

    I think that the mindset to be able to work in the two industries are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I'm not saying that it's impossible to find people able to do both-but right now, the police department in my town is having problems trying to find enough qualified candidates, and turnover among new hires is phenomenal. Add more duties and training, and I think it gets even worse. When someone does leave, it'll be an even bigger hit because of all the extra training invested in the person so they'll be able to wear more hats.

    I also think there's a logistical problem that is compounded if your agency provides advanced level EMS. I currently have to stay current for paramedic,
    hazmat, and, of course, firefighting. Others in my department also have to train on such topics as swift water, dive rescue, trench rescue, high angle, etc. Add to that the stuff I had to do as a police officer-firearms qualification, defensive tactics, driving, etc.-and I honestly think to be fair to your people and make sure they have the training to do the job right, they'd have to spend an 8 hour shift a week just in training. As both services get more and more technical in these areas, it's only going to get worse.

    In closing, I think the that the public safety model looks good on paper, but for most just doesn't work in practice.

    P.S. I wouldn't begrudge you the better pay or equipment, I'm betting you earn every bit of it!

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    A servant cannot serve two masters...
    ‎"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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    Just a bad money saving idea. Thank God we have only about 5 of them in Calif.

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    In the private and industrial world where funds do not allow a decent level of either coverage, I think it can work just fine. In fact, we did just that for many years up here with the FD Admin positions (Chief and Deputy).

    After the Fire Dept went public, it certainly required a shift in focus. The scope of operations changed such that it would be tough to maintain the proper level of administration/training/operations while still balancing three roles.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    A servant cannot serve two masters...
    I coulda used you on the FF/Medics thread chief!

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    Huskermedic stated it very well.

    There is only one public safety dept in our state and that is because it was grandfathered in. We have a law preventing police and fire being combined. Some of the pluses, they are medics as well, is that a PSO acting as a police officer can get on scene and start ALS on a pt while waiting for the ambulance crew to get there. Also when transporting a pt, who may be suspected in a crime, any statements they make can be used against them. Where as the pt may think the medic is not a cop.

    On the fire side of things it goes a bit different. The majority of those getting hired onto the dept have a stronger affiliation to the police side vs the fire. As such there tends to be too many commanders at a fire scene than firefighters. Sure that is a generalized statement, but if one's heart isn't into one aspect of the job, it can be tough to do good in it.

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    Default Dps

    We just split in the last 6 years. We still operate as a DPS with a Public Safety Director, however we have a Fire/EMS Department with a Chief and staff with around 150 members and 5 stations, and a Police Department with a Chief and staff....even a Civilian Security Department. I was hired after the split as a Firefighter/EMT. We made the split when we went to 24-48 from the 8 hour shift. We increased our staffing from 1 guy to 4 guys on the Quint or Truck. We still mantain 1 on the Crashtrucks....we need one more! As of right now Fire has no staffing issues. We have a waiting list. Police on the other hand can't keep people. Public Safety in my opinion works to a point, small departments with small coverage areas, with low call volume on all sides. When you increase any of those it doesn't tend to work. Esp....if you are at a fire waiting on a patrol unit that doesn't like or want to play fireman, if they show up at all.

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    Hi Chris725, I work for a FD in the DFW area also. I saw that DFW is hiring for firefighters. Could I pm you to get some information about your department?

    Lane

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    Hi Chris725, in your last post you said that DFW has no staffing issues. I saw on the airport website that you guys were accepting applications. Is this just to fill a list? Are there no positions available? I also heard a rumor that you guys were opening another station, is this just a rumor?

    Thanks, Lane

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    Default Staffing

    Hi lhard77! Where abouts are ya? Feel free to PM. We open up for testing about every 6 months or so. We are getting ready for some turnover and yes, we are going to be building a new station. Station 6 will be located in the warehouse district on the north end. Hopefully will be online FY 09!

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    Default Pm

    Hi Chris, I just tried to send you a PM, but it said that you have PM's turned off and cannot receive one.

    Lane

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    Hi Chris, I have tried twice now to respond to this thread. I am having trouble posting. I tried to send you a PM, but it said that you have PM's turned off. Hopefully this will post.

    Lane

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris725 View Post
    Hi lhard77! Where abouts are ya? Feel free to PM. We open up for testing about every 6 months or so. We are getting ready for some turnover and yes, we are going to be building a new station. Station 6 will be located in the warehouse district on the north end. Hopefully will be online FY 09!
    Hi Chris, this is my 3rd try at a response. I tried to PM you but it says you have not turned on the PM function. I have tried twice before to respond to this thread with no luck. Hopefully you will get this.

    If you don't mind you could email me directly at lhard77@firehousemail.com

    Thanks,
    Lane

  15. #15
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    Sorry about that. I've been in a class the last 2 weeks. I check on the mail issue. And I'll send you an e-mail.

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