Innumerous parts of the nation, fire departments are have settled onconsolidation. As population increases and communities grow, somefire departments consider joining with different departments with theaim of keeping away duplication of administrations, lesseningexpenses, and a variety of other reasons. Consolidation of firedepartments tends to raise the level of uneasiness in many ways.Consolidation equals change and change is the most difficult for manypeople and professions- particularly those who hold their traditions.Some people view it as the best cost cutting approach or the beststrategy to enhance administrations. On the other hand, others peopleview it as a way to make them lose their employment or power.
DepartmentA, for instance, can be involved in conducting supervision, creatingpolicy, making budgets, and managing the human resources of itscompany. Additionally, Department A can be obliged to offeringprotection and safety services to the public.
Ifthe Department A can consolidate with Department B, the benefitscould be
ISO rating improvements
Saving money – the greatest savings is in future cost avoidance
Joint training facilities of Department A and Department B
Improve services – if two good fire departments (Department A and Department B) consolidates, there should be a better delivery of services.
Improve staff safety while performing at emergency scenes- training the staff of both fire departments can create a safer work setting at the emergency scene (Leland & Thurmaier, 2010)
Theobjective of Consolidation is to eliminate (unneeded or wasteful)duplication of physical plant, labor, mechanical assembly, equipment,political, and financial resource. Motivation to consolidate is thatworking tools and machinery exist neighboring each other, each with acomplete, and commonly, duplicated set of assets from bothDepartments A and B (Schulz & Moorhead. 2009).
Consolidatingtwo departments helps in tackling the funding issue. The alwaysexpanding requests by schools, government and state necessities,subsidizing for water, avenues, police, parks, libraries, sewers, anda large number of different necessities have made the task of theadministering bodies more troublesome. Moreover, annexations turnedinto a genuine risk to numerous Fire Districts and therefore madeFire Protection a potential political issue.
Analternate explanation behind the consolidation of Department A andDepartment B is for the need to duplicate mechanical assembly,workforce and gear while, at the same time, working closely togetherthrough automatic support agreements at crisis scenes. Moreover, whatonce were before two different departments turn into one dynamic,business-oriented entity with the economic power to work efficientlyas well as to help both regions` development (Leland & Thurmaier,2010).
Additionally,Governance and Structure of the consolidated departments becomesstronger in view of the Joint Power Authority (if the Board of theDepartments A and B incorporate both Mayors and a committee from bothCities). City Managers play the role of joint Executive Directors. Onthe other hand, the Board has the power to choose the Fire Chief.However, the board has constrained powers. For instance, the boardserves just as an advisory body to each Department confirming allmajor financial and work-related decisions. Every City keeps up theright to focus independently on the number of fire stations andfirefighters it needs, so one City`s development does not influencethe others fire station`s costs (Schulz & Moorhead. 2009).
Anadditional benefit of consolidating department A and B is CostSharing. Both City`s help both administrations for the consolidatedfire department. Department A gives workforce, personnel, legitimateand budget administrations, while Department B provides dispatch. Thebigger Department helps in administration since the PERS actuarialstudy discovered the economically stable town/ department is the bestfor the town retirement contract to become the surviving one. Theexpense of firefighting operations is separated based on the quantityof crises and fire organizations for every city. Fire preventionexpenses are imparted focused around the quantity of new developmentassessments for every city and dangerous materials regulationexpenses are split based on the number of managed businesses forevery city (Thomas et al., 2004).
Furthermore,the consolidation of fire departments gives advantage in labor.Salaries of firefighters in both urban areas are not equivalentbefore the consolidation an extensive Memorandum of Understanding ismade to level a few things because of the consolidation and to raisethe lower paid compensations of the one fire departments over aspecified period. The higher paid town still gives an averagecost-of-living increment. The two union locals fuse into one andconsent to immediate joint promotions, broadly educating in bothurban communities and necessary overtime assignments (Leland &Thurmaier, 2010).
Thereis also service and operations benefit resulting from consolidatingfire departments. All fire station’s staffs perform in their homeareas and are broadly educated in each other`s alternate stations andfirefighting gear in order to blend smoothly. As a result, thefirefighters from both departments can work consistently in oneanother`s stations to cover sick leave or debilitated leave of aworker from any department. Training framework managed by one of thedivision`s chief from any department can be implemented. Crisisoperations are entirely completed with just one duty chief officerreacting to crises in both urban communities and flame trucksresponding wherever required. Dispatch administrations are combinedinto the public safety communication center.
Fora Functional Consolidation, the administrative bodies must consent toincorporate apparatus and workforce through an arrangement ofintergovernmental settlements that will enable the organizations tooperate as one (Leland & Thurmaier, 2010).
Thestrategy to handle the change from two fire departments into aconsolidated department takes after the following procedure: First,educating all workers on what is being done and the reason why(Thomas et al., 2004). Updates, memos, and personal appearances bythe Chiefs in television and articles in newsletters ought to begiven all through the consolidation process on a scheduled basis.Bosses should establish "Teams" whose tasks it is to createexpert plans for every division and sub-division inside the proposedconsolidated department. Additionally, chiefs should create anorganizational chart so that all people included can comprehendbetter the connection and association structure (Myers &Monterey, 2014).
However,the problem with this approach is that not one individual willadminister the new consolidated department, but all Chiefs included.The joint Chiefs will have complex obligations. They will not onlyneed to keep their own particular divisions working, but likewiseneed to coordinate their area of expertise into the new association,and be mindful to the representing assortments of all offices, allthe time sticking to the budget plan, workforce, and differentcapacities separate as needed by bargaining unit contracts and statelaw.
Inconclusion, the organization should give the staff and individualsinvolved a firm direction from the elected and functioning authorityand the Chiefs. The administration should ensure that they comprehendtheir obligations to enter into the consolidation process. Moreover,the administration should invite the press from the beginning mergerA.
Leland,S. M., & Thurmaier, K. M. (2010). City-countyconsolidation: Promises made, promises kept?.Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
Myers,S. A., & Monterey. (2014). Perceivedbenefits and disadvantages of fire department consolidation: a studyof chief officers and firefighters.Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Academy.
Thomas,J., Campbell, C. A., & Colin A. Campbell Associates. (2004). Firedepartment consolidation: Why & how to do it– right.United States: Volunteer Firemen`s Insurance Services.
Schulz,G. L., & Moorhead. (2009). Advantagesof fire and building department consolidation.Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Academy.