Seeking Better Utilization of Resources
THE CITY OF ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, HAS reportedly sent a proposal to neighboring Ann Arbor Township to consider merging their departments and resources. AnnArbor.com is reporting today:
Ann Arbor Fire Chief Chuck Hubbard informed the city's firefighters this week, saying the city has given the township a written proposal and township officials are in the process of reviewing the offer. If and when they make a decision, Hubbard wrote in an email, firefighters will be informed.
Ann Arbor Township Fire Chief Rick Ericson confirmed the township has received the city's proposal and is considering it.
The Ann Arbor Fire Department has 86 full-time employees and a budget that totals about $14 million, which is significantly larger than the township's department.
The township's fire department has a $1.2 million operating budget. Its staff includes the fire chief and six other full-time employees, plus 10 paid on-call firefighters who come from home when called.
The Township fire chief told the reporter that it's been difficult to keep an adequate supply of on-call firefighters trained to do the job, and many of the good ones end up leaving for full-time jobs at other departments. "People just don't have the community commitment they used to have," he said. "People these days just don't really want to do things for free anymore. And it used to be a more relaxed environment, whereas the requirements today for on-call firefighters are much stricter than they used to be."
City Fire Chief Hubbard is well-regarded in fire circles for his forthright assessments of the city's capabilities using their current resources and his innovative proposals to operate efficiently. (See previous Firegeezer articles HERE and HERE.)
The township has two fire stations and the city has five stations in service. Chief Hubbard proposed consolidating the five stations into three better-manned stations back in March, but the city has not acted on his suggestion.
Read the full story in AnnArbor.com HERE.
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