Firefighter criticizes public safety officer plan
October 1, 2012 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Chris Hull, a resident and professional fire-fighter, recently expressed his concern that the Township will end up paying more for lesser trained personnel, slower response times with an inferior township fire service without professionals certified in advanced life support.
To the editor:
The PSO public safety officer plan will never work in Plymouth Township and for the Board of Trustees to get their advice from the Farmington Fire Department is crazy.
Farmington is 2.7 square miles with less than one half the population. The highest speed road they have in their city is 35 mph. By contrast, Plymouth Township is 17 miles with two busy sections of freeway, numerous high speed roads, and over two and one half times the population. Plymouth Township fire department runs average 3000 calls, three times the amount of Farmington.
The PSO system does not work for a larger community.
What happens when the police officers are dealing with a felony-in-progress? Make sure you don’t have a heart attack or fire during those times.
Battle Creek looked into PSO and found that separate police and fire cost 55% of their budget, while a PSO model would cost 65%. Meridian Township went from PSO’s to separate police and fire after finding out the hard way it does not work.
When we have a fire/EMS emergency we should get professional fully trained firefighter/paramedics and when we need the police we should have fully trained policemen to respond.
There is no way this township can afford to send all the police to both fire and paramedic school. So, we will have a major downgrade in service. Not only will we have inexperienced firefighters that really don’t want to do the job, they will have no medical training and we will rely on a private EMS company and hope they show up.
Recent reports detailed Plymouth Township’s police personnel are about to ratify a proposal put forth by treasurer, Ron Edwards. His plans are to combine fire fighter and police duties into public safety officer positions or PSO’s. Informed sources say Mr. Edwards wants to oversee the operation.
The City of Farmington has a PSO-program. Mr. Edward’s brother-in-law is the Farmington City fire chief responsible for their public safety officers. Their PSO program requires support from a private ambulance company under a contract agreement.