The Alamogordo Daily News reports that a city memorandum indicates that the split approved by the City Commission Tuesday night will produce net savings of nearly $230,000 in the coming fiscal year. Full Story
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Police Fire Consolidation (PFC) is a not for profit informational site offering factual information, substantiated statistics, and clear analysis of effectiveness concerning Police and Fire consolidations. Some other programs offer their version of consolidation while conveniently promoting a self-serving agenda for themselves, all under the promise of savings to the taxpayers of communities considering shared services.
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The PFC offers precise analysis of actual costs to communities, as opposed to inflated savings as contrived by some other consolidation services. PFC also provides a Myth vs. Fact comparison of the role of police officers and firefighters, debunking the fallacy portrayed by so called professionals that consolidation is an easy, cost effective conversion.
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PUBLIC SAFETY NEWS
North Myrtle Beach Joins National Trend Moving Away From The PSO Model.
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (1/8/2020) - Buena Vista Township will not create a combined public safety department -- at least for the near future.
Township leaders announced the decision Wednesday after residents in the township spoke out against the proposal.
Township Manager Torrie McAfee said the township is concentrating on negotiations with police officers right now as they try to hammer out a new contract. She said reducing pension costs is one of the sticking points.
Township leaders had been discussing a plan to merge the police and fire departments into a combined public safety department. Some police officers and firefighters would be cross-trained to do both jobs.
The township was proposing a combined department with seven full-time firefighters, six cross-trained public safety officers, three full-time police officers and 20 paid on-call firefighters.
With Wednesday's announcement, plans to merge the departments won't proceed for the foreseeable future.
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Less than one week on the job and Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green wants the city council to review the city's controversial Public Safety Officer program.
The city has been slowly replacing firefighter positions with Public Safety Officers, or PSO's, which are police officers cross-trained as firefighters.
The move has angered firefighters and was a big issue in the election where Mayor Green defeated incumbent Jim Brown.
Just 15 fulltime firefighters remain on staff in Cedar Falls which is down from 30. Many left, saying they don't feel safe working with PSOs. One is former state senator Jeff Danielson.
Firefighters endorsed Green for mayor, hoping he would bring changes to the program.
Now, Mayor Green says he does not want to cut any more firefighter positions, but he stopped short of promising to reverse the program.
"I don't believe that you can take one person and expect them to be an expert in both roles over the long term,” said Green. “I don't think that's sustainable."
It's one reason why Mayor Green wants to keep a core group of full-time firefighters.
"I think that as firefighters retire or move to other departments, we need to be replacing them with career firefighters again,” he said.
The head of the firefighters union, Scott Dix has another idea: wipe out the PSO program completely and fully staff the fire department again. It would mean letting Public Safety Officers go and having them apply to become either a police officer or firefighter.
"The people who entered this job as PSO's understood coming in the problems with the program, and the divisiveness of the program,” said Dix. “They chose to take the position, so they shouldn't be surprised if the situation arose where they were removed.”
Mayor Green isn't going to that extreme. He admits there are aspects of the PSO program he likes. He wants to have the city council pay a consultant to study the pros and cons, then decide on the program after that.
"With public safety, I was shocked as a council member that there was no real guidance for what that PSO model, what it meant, why we were doing it, and where we were heading with it,” said Green.
Getting the council on board could be a problem.
In a statement to TV9 Councilmember Susan deBuhr said, “I do not believe we need a consultant. Our public safety officers are trained professionals. The program works well (except) for unfounded criticism from a local vocal group who spread misinformation as fact.”
Mayor Green would like to do the study within the next six months.
TV9 reached out to Fire Chief John Bostwick who has been in favor of the Public Safety Officers. He says he hasn't discussed it yet with Mayor Green.
For now, they will continue moving forward with the PSO program.
COLUMN: A firefighter’s view of the Cedar Falls PSO issue
SCOTT DIX, Oct 27, 2019
Under the public safety model the following actions have happened:
1. The elimination of hiring any more professional firefighters.
2. The elimination of any fire physical agility test for public safety officers to become “firefighters.”
3. The city created new public safety supervisor positions that required no professional firefighting experience to be promoted in rank above a fire battalion chief.
4. Only police officers have been promoted; no professional firefighters or fire officers have been promoted under public safety.
5. All fire helmet cameras were removed from the firefighters so no video evidence of incidents would exist, yet police still wear body cameras.
6. The city eliminated the position of the fire training officer.
7. The city added a new full-time public relations position.
8. Public safety budget skyrocketed 24.8% since 2016.
9. The minimum daily firefighter staffing has dropped from seven professional firefighters to a current six personnel who can all be PSOs.
10. Cedar Falls purchased three $8,000 compressed air foam systems for police cruisers. The city filmed an infomercial of the CAF and makes false claims that the CAF is equivalent to 300 gallons of water. UL certification proves the CAF is only the equivalent of 25 gallons of water. A simple $165 hand-held extinguisher has higher UL certification and more versatility than the CAF.
PSOs deployed the CAF at a mobile home fire improperly, which amplified the fire inside the trailer. City officials made false claims the CAF helped knock down the fire. After first claiming the video of this fire had been destroyed it is eventually is turned over and shows at 47 seconds into the video the fire much larger than before the CAF was deployed. The video shows the PSO who deployed the CAF stating, “I shot my CAF on the front and it didn’t do anything.” Only days after the fire, nine fire officers sent a memo to city officials telling how the CAF was “ineffective” as city officials bragged about its actions at the fire and minimized the actions of the professional firefighters who searched the burning trailer and rescued a mother and two children. The city continued for the next 2 1/2 years to make videos, publish articles, and make false claims at City Council meetings about the CAF’s capabilities and how the CAF was influential in the success at the trailer fire, while the truth is exactly the opposite.
11. 14 professional firefighters have resigned or retired due to safety concerns that are dismissed by city officials.
12. The city removed a fire battalion chief with 21 years of experience from shift and reassigned him to performing rental inspections. This created a way to install a public safety supervisor in charge of one of the three fire shifts.
13. The city claims a public safety model with 70 total staff will provide a 10-person fire response, yet the 2019 budget shows a full-time equivalent of 86.9 personnel, not 70. Still the 5-6 personnel that come with the fire trucks continue to be the only individuals truly ready to perform fire activities at emergencies during the first critical minutes.
14. ISO reported the city’s fire rating may be lowered to a “4” from the previous “3” rating. The city sent ISO updates with claims and new policies that the firefighters do not believe are accurate or being followed. Cedar Falls retained a “3” rating, which still places it in near the bottom for cities in Iowa with populations of more than 40,000, yet city officials continue to tout it as an accomplishment. Waterloo remains a higher “2” rating as it retains its traditional separate police and fire model.
None of the above actions make you “safer.” Being a professional firefighter requires a specialization of skills and knowledge, as does being a police officer. These two careers share very few of the same skills and abilities. Combining the police and fire professions yields a responder that is at best mediocre. That is why over 99% of all communities the size of Cedar Falls and larger have separate police and fire, not public safety.
Scott Dix is a 24-year veteran firefighter and president of Cedar Falls Firefighters Local 1366.
Raging fire rips through commercial building in Oak Park, cause unknown
OAK PARK, Mich. - The fire began at about 7 p.m. and left a commercial building in Oak Park devastated Tuesday night. Christopher Huff, the owner of Performance 80 Fitness Studio, watched his business suffer damage from the flames. "I wish something could have been done a little bit better," he said. "Could they have stopped the flames, I don't know, I am not a firefighter. But to watch them not get water on the building for over 30 minutes or something - it is kind of hard to take."
Huff's business is just a few doors down from where the fire broke out. He and gym members had to run out of the building and made it out safe. “They couldn't even get the water going," said Huff. "They didn't have the connection for the fire hydrant, they didn't get anything going. They had to bring Beverly Hills in to get everything started."
Department investigating ‘selfie’ taken at Kalamazoo double fatal fire
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is investigating two officers who took a selfie in front of a fatal fire last week.
The photo was posted on one of the individual’s social media. Chief Karianne Thomas tells FOX 17 she instructed the individual to remove the photo and it has been removed.
The fire started Thursday night in the 700 block of Academy in Kalamazoo. Friday, the bodies of two people were found in the debris of the house.
Cedar Falls Firefighter's Local #1366
No matter how many people the Mayor and City Council say we have trained as PSOs, it doesn't matter if they don't show up for a fire or other emergency.
Watch this video and you will better understand what happens in a real situation in Cedar Falls. This is a real event. View Video
WHERE ARE THE PSO’S ?
CEDAR FALLS, IOWA – In a video of a fire on Beaver Ridge Trail you can hear the Incident Commander repeatedly requesting PSO’s. The Cedar Falls Public Safety Department has recently started replacing career fire fighters with police officers with minimal fire training. The compressed video shows the complete failure of the PSO concept. View compressed video.
Full videos can be seen here:
Cedar Falls council listens to PSO complaints as another firefighter quits.
CEDAR FALLS — Controversy about the Public Safety Officer program spilled into the Cedar Falls City Council meeting Monday.
The discussion came as Jason Campbell — 2018 Firefighter of the Year — resigned, the fifth firefighter to do so in a month. Full Story
Sept. 22--CEDAR FALLS -- Two more Cedar Falls firefighters have resigned, bringing the total to four who have quite the department this month.
James Cook's last day was Sept. 1; Shane Farmer, Capt. Josh Lux and Eric Jansen resigned last week.
Cook and Farmer both cited safety issues for their resignations, directly related to the city's policy of using public safety officers (PSOs) to fight fires Full Story
Two Cedar Falls firefighters resign over public safety officer program
• THOMAS NELSON firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Cook, left, and Shane Farmer
CEDAR FALLS — For about three years the city of Cedar Falls has begun using dual-trained public safety officers — PSOs — to help fight fires. There has been push back. Now two veteran firefighters have quit the force.
James Cook worked as a full-time firefighter in Cedar Falls for 12 years, but left this month due to safety concerns. He’ll take a $20,000 pay cut to work as a firefighter in the Des Moines metro area. Firefighter Shane Farmer also resigned and reportedly plans to move out of state.
Cook had worked in emergency services since 1986 and for 10 years was president of Cedar Falls Firefighters Association, the union representing firefighters. Sept. 1 was his last day. Cook said he left because he no longer feels the Cedar Falls Fire Department provides the safe service people of Cedar Falls deserve. “The safety I’m referencing is my personal safety by not having enough personnel that we’re able to meet national standards for fire response, and the personal risk above and beyond the risk I normally take as a firefighter,” Cook said Full Story
IL Dept. Commanded by Police Chief Now has Fire Chief
Roseville reverses decision to make Police Chief a Public Safety Director
Port Huron erases public safety department
Jackie Smith, Times Herald Published 3:00 p.m. ET March 27, 2018 | Updated 4:01 p.m. ET March 27, 2018
Municipal Office Center, 100 McMorran Blvd.(Photo: File)
Port Huron is formally separating the city’s police and fire departments once overseen by one director of public safety.
Monroe Council shifts public safety spots
Three police spots will be eliminated from the Monroe Police Department yet three positions will be added to the Monroe Fire Department.
Monroe City Council voted to shift the positions during its meeting Monday.
Councilman Charles Evans made a motion at the end of the meeting to allocate three new firefighter positions while removing three from the police force.
Walker to return to separate PD, FD bosses
WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Walker city commissioners on Monday night approved a plan that will return the city to a more traditional public safety management structure.
In a 4-3 vote, the commission OK’d moving forward with an idea to promote the current deputies in the police and fire operations to chiefs of two individual departments. Nothing is set in stone, but the idea is that current Deputy Police Chief Greg Long will become police chief, while current Deputy Chief for Fire Operations Bob Walker will assume the title of fire chief. Full Story
City to Split Public Safety - City of Walterboro
The public safety era for the City of Walterboro will soon be over.
Following a 75-minute executive session during Tuesday night’s regular meeting, Councilman James Broderick moved that council authorize city manager Jeff Molinari to draft a resolution to transition from its current organizational structure of consolidated police and fire services (public safety department) into separate police and fire departments. Full Story
Alamogordo to have separate police, fire functionsALAMOGORDO, N.M.—Alamogordo plans to split its Department of Public Safety into separate fire and police departments.