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The News Ticker

Some Other Items From the News Ticker

SO, WHO NEEDS ONE ANYWAY?  The Saginaw, Michigan, city manager had a meeting with the three battalion chiefs of the fire department to discuss "efficient management" and the still-unfilled fire chief's position.  They all decided that they don't really need a fire chief for the time being, so the BC's will divvy up the workload (a la North Providence) and just not hire a fire chief until financial times get better.

The Midland Daily News tells about it HERE.

FOLLOWING UP ON ANN ARBOR, Michigan, Fire Chief Chuck Hubbard's  proposal to close two more stations and concentrate his firefighters on fewer, but better-staffed units (see Firegeezer report HERE), the Ann Arbor Chronicle published a very thorough and accurate report on Chief Hubbard's report to the City Council  last week.  While the minutiae of the work session might not interest all of you, Firegeezer is very impressed with the Chief's insistence on honesty about the coverage issue instead of blathering politically acceptable double-speak.  An example:

Lumm noted that the move to three stations is based on current staffing levels and she applauded Hubbard’s efforts to optimize the resources he had. She went on to say that she felt a more appropriate question that the community and the city council should ask is: What is the appropriate level of resources needed to meet or exceed the standards? She asked for Hubbard’s thoughts on the idea of determining the amount of resources required, as opposed to simply optimizing what he currently had.

Hubbard understood Lumm’s question to be essentially: What would it take to achieve the four-in-four coverage without closing any stations? He told her he’d have to hire at least 30 additional firefighters. Mayor John Hieftje then questioned whether that approach would actually deliver better service than Hubbard’s proposal. Hubbard’s answer: Yes, absolutely.

Lumm wanted to know why Hubbard thought it was good enough, under his proposed station model, to meet the standard only 70% of the time [490 out of 681 fire locations]. Hubbard said, "It’s not that I think it’s good enough," but rather that staffing levels dictate this approach. He said he was working within his means.

No false promises here, just straight talk.  If only more chiefs would stand up and tell it like is, and if only more newpapers would give this sort of coverage that the citizens really need to know.  John X. sent us the link to this exemplary ARTICLE HERE.

THE EAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO, HOUSE FIRE early Sunday morning that killed a man and his three young children (see Firegeezer HERE) has been ruled to be an arson, according to the Ohio State Fire Marshal office.  Understandably, no other details are being released while the investigation is ongoing.  The East Liverpool newspaper, The Review has this latest disclosure plus some additional details HERE.

DESPITE OUR HOPES THAT the Los Angeles Mayor and Fire Chief would honestly address the glaring short-comings of their current operations of the LAFD on Monday, they declined.   Instead, they closed ranks and "defended" their failed programs.  (See the Firegeezer report on their response time and dispatch problems HERE.)  The Highland Park-Mt. Washington Patch has a good report on this PR deception including this gem:

(Mayor) Villaraigosa said the decision in 2009 to switch to the new computer data system was to create a more stringent assessment of the LAFD. He called the department transparent and said it was one of the few in the nation to publicly release response times.

The voters in Los Angeles might believe that fable, but we certainly know better.  Read the entire report in The Patch HERE.

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