Reader Opinion: Brainerd, RFD
Once again they're after our fire department. The one department that's the least staffed. Why is it our city council is consistently penny-wise and dollar-stupid? Like eliminating the half-day of pay for city staff. Personally, I'd have let them...
Once again they're after our fire department. The one department that's the least staffed. Why is it our city council is consistently penny-wise and dollar-stupid? Like eliminating the half-day of pay for city staff. Personally, I'd have let them have it. That saved so little and was more an insult than anything.
I'm getting information on staffing and the budget, but using what I know, we can eliminate staff, outsource work to the private sector and actually save money, starting with the finance director and other financial officers in city hall. The fire department has under 10 full-time firefighters, the police department has around 25 officers. Why aren't we looking at cutting a few of those? Do we really need a chief and a deputy chief?
The problem with an all volunteer firefighter department is many younger people aren't interested in the job; also employers aren't obligated to allow volunteer firefighter employees to respond to calls. We could find ourselves very short staffed on calls.
Also, the same argument will be made that such and such a city gets by on volunteer only and comparisons with cities that don't actually compare to Brainerd will be made. I remember last time we had this go-around, we were compared to cities that covered 25 square miles or less, while we cover over 300. We cannot be compared to any other area, there simply isn't another area in the state like the Brainerd lakes area.
Of course we could cross train police officers as firefighters. Our last chief didn't go for the idea, then transferred to a police department where officers were doing exactly what I suggested. Mind you, that department was one I used in my research. Ironic, isn't it?