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City won't hire firefighters, to cross train public works employees instead

To boost its daytime paid-on call staff, the city plans to train its public works personnel to fight fire

By Norb Franz
The Daily Tribune

CENTER LINE, Mich. — The city of Center Line will soon boost its firefighting manpower — without hiring more firefighters.

A new agreement between the city and one of its labor unions allows Department of Public Works employees to be cross-trained as firefighters. Those workers will be counted on to serve as “on-call” firefighters complementing the Public Safety Department.

The city has used paid, on-call firefighters for years. However, several of the 15 individuals currently in that role are unable to respond to general alarms during daytime hours because of their regular jobs.

Full story: Center Line DPW workers to train for firefighting 

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Jeff Allen Jeff Allen Tuesday, November 06, 2012 5:08:46 AM I hope this works for the citizens at stake here. These Department of Public Works employees MUST get all of the required training in order to properly handle what lies ahead, and to cover the City from a liability standpoint. Anything less will be a huge mistake. Stay safe.
Matt Harrison Matt Harrison Tuesday, November 06, 2012 11:48:16 AM wow. I'm not even touching this.
John Borysewicz John Borysewicz Thursday, November 08, 2012 2:38:50 PM So, you can pull the DPW workers out of their jobs to act as paid-on-call firefighters. And if they're deep in a lift station or mucking out a sewer, what will be their response times? And in the State of Michigan, you need upwards of 300 hours of training to fully qualify as FF II with HazMat Opns, who's covering their jobs while they train. Sorry, OJT don't cut it. Since paid-on-call FF's only get paid IF they respond to a call, what's the problem with hiring more and being selective in their availability based on their primary jobs? As a member and training officer of a paid-on-call department, I don't understand this rationale.
Lucio Robinson Lucio Robinson Thursday, November 08, 2012 4:42:37 PM Didn't Detroit do something like this a decade or so back. 20 and out fully retired city employee the next day hire in as a fire pup. Best they could do was watch the fires burn and spray water on the structures next to it. I could be wrong.
Darnell McLaurin Jr Darnell McLaurin Jr Sunday, November 11, 2012 5:55:08 PM No Detroit didn't do anything like this. Ask the families in Northville that lost 3 1/2 a mil dollar homes because of a car fire in the driveway or ask the family in inkster that lost a home and 2 high end vehicles when a power line fell on a gazebo 40 feet away how they feel about firefighters that aren't firefighters doing a very serious job
Brandon Hausbeck Brandon Hausbeck Sunday, November 11, 2012 6:33:05 PM No substitute for full-time, professional firefighters with proper staffing levels! Can't beat having 4 guys to a rig at the station ready to respond at a seconds notice. Preach it!
KR Smith KR Smith Sunday, November 11, 2012 6:33:51 PM you get what you pay for. well said Darnell
Bill WildBill Crosser Bill WildBill Crosser Monday, November 12, 2012 1:24:15 AM City managers rolling the dice....not a good gamble.

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