Consolidating police fire departments

The ICS system was created by the fire service in the 1970s during wild land fires in the West to assure accurate accountability on the fire ground at all times while at the same time maintaining a proper span of control with one person designated as the Incident Commander (IC). Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.Over the years I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a firefighter say: “I would never want to pull a driver over in an isolated area alone” or a police officer say: “I would never go into a burning building, no matter what.” When somebody builds a new home does one person do the carpentry, electrical, plumbing and masonry? Professional affiliations include the International Association of Fire Chiefs, New England Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Association of Firefighters.A single person without a protective hose line is able to enter a structure for fire safety reasons.

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Events it assesses that could lead to downsizing include legislated consolidation of services, privately-owned police departments, individual officer contracts, the declaration of user fees as illegal, and voter approval of tax increases.

These cross-trained officers generally work for an integrated agency, often referred to as a Department of Public Safety (DPS), although this title can also apply to non-integrated umbrella agencies that house separate emergency services.

The strategy implemented by many cities and towns is to consolidate police and fire services by creating “public safety officers” or PSOs.

What does work is that each discipline recognizes and acquires some of the secondary competencies of its counterpart to supplement a more efficient operation on the scene of an emergency.

This integration (or consolidation) takes the form of cross-training personnel to perform the multiple functions that are required of a police officer, firefighter, and emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic.

Integration may not be the right choice for all agencies, and the decision to consolidate is a significant one.By James Mc Laughlin With the financial strains currently facing many city managers and mayors throughout the country, consolidation of services is a hot topic in town halls everywhere.Because fire and police departments are often two of the most expensive departments in the total budget, it is not surprising that the consolidation of the two makes sense to fiscal managers as a way to save money in the short term.This report assesses downsizing issues that mid-size California law-enforcement agencies may face.Trends it assesses are those related to available revenue, service demands, sharing of law-enforcement functions and services, computer technology allowing staff reduction, and private contracting of law enforcement services.Role conflict is another reality where dual service creates conflict in responsibilities for the public safety officers and their supervisors.