Sunrise’s Ryan: Coordinate, Consolidate Some Fire Services To Save Money

Mayor of Sunrise, Guest Columnist

A young girl is at a picnic with her friends in a local park.  She begins to gasp.

Terror sets in.  Efforts of others do not end the terror.  Whatever is lodged is rapidly darkening the light, sounds and laughter around her. 

The city’s closest fire-rescue station is well-staffed, with rescue personnel who are well-trained, energetic and proud of their response times.  But, before they can arrive, they will face miles of mid-day traffic which seems interminable and constant. 

They will be there soon, but maybe not soon enough to ensure the best outcome.

There are closer fire-rescue stations with well-trained personnel ready to respond.  

Those closest stations, even if across the street from the park, are not in the same city.  So, will they be dispatched? 

Probably not.  We do not operate in a closest-unit response fire-rescue model.

Closest Available Unit Response:
What does it mean?

“Automatic Aid means when a “911 call arrives for a rescue unit, the closest available unit, no matter whose rescue vehicle it is, will be dispatched. 

This is not to be confused with “Mutual Aid Agreements, where cities agree, if our rescue unit is unavailable, we will call your city to determine if you have a unit available to respond. 

Both broad and narrower regionalization models seek to eliminate unnecessary redundancy caused solely by geographic borders.

The technology exists to implement closest available unit response models, but do we have the will?

Rescue Training, Ladder Trucks and Communications:
Real efficiency and Real Dollar Savings could be achieved

Cities do not coordinate fire-rescue training.  Why not?  We could tackle training budgets through coordination, saving real dollars, without compromising any service.

Across the county, we have 26 ladder trucks!  Each cost over $1,000,000 and require expensive annual maintenance and training.  Most who will dare admit it, say we do not, as a county, need 26 ladder trucks and all the attendant costs.  Smart cooperation would save real money.

Across the county, there are twelve different “911 communications centers — fully staffed, each with hardware and software infrastructure.  Those who will dare admit it agree we need three, four, or five county-wide, but not 12. 

The technology exists to provide the same service.  Our communications center in Sunrise is constructed so if another city’s “911 system is down, they can answer their “911 calls in Sunrise without their residents even appreciating the calls are being answered in Sunrise. 

Consolidation of  “911 operations county-wide will save infrastructure costs and staffing which can be managed through attrition, since communications has some of the highest turnover in rescue services.  

Guess which group of “lobbyists is opposed?

Across the county there are some cities and elected officials who oppose cost-saving consolidation of fire-rescue training and other cost-saving ideas.  Not the unions the cities.

Yet, cities already consolidate some services. 

Right now, there are four “Haz Mat response teams in Broward County.  Through smart regional funding and demonstrated cooperation, we maintain coverage, achieve efficiency, and prevent parochial redundancy.  Ladder trucks could be handled in the same manner.

Unions have been leading the discussion with like-minded city managers and cities on cost-saving plans.  They know we can achieve long-term efficiencies if we work together.

Automatic Aid and Regionalization:
No perfect solutions and much work to be done

Opponents to Automatic Aid agreements and broad regionalization raise some valid, but not necessarily insurmountable concerns.: 

*Is it fair if participating cities do not have the same call load or resource commitment?

*How do you structure a governing board, particularly where some can point to examples of dysfunctional cross-border governing boards? 

*Who do we rely upon to make the decisions professional emergency service personnel or elected officials? 

*How does it get funded? 

We want well-trained fire-rescue responding as quickly as possible,
no matter who responds!

Days after a fast response by a fire-rescue team, the father of the young girl who almost choked to death in the park wanted to thank the city’s fire-rescue personnel who responded.  But, it was NOT the fire-rescue from his city that helped his child.

That father simply knew the fire-rescue crew responded quickly, professionally, and took great care of his daughter. It did not matter where help came from or what was written on the outside of their rescue unit. 

This fictionalized event is based on true experiences, with real parents. 

The time to address these issues is now

Fire-rescue is about the quickest response humanly possible, a level of training that will ensure best emergency response and a level of staffing and equipment that means everything possible can be done in an emergency. 

Demands are increasing on our fire-rescue services.  With current economic challenges, statistics suggest our fire-rescue services are becoming the unreimbursed “house-call doctors for some people.  After our fire-rescue personnel evaluate, as long as they are not dying, some of these patients refuse transport because they have no insurance.

Maybe some problems involving broad regionalization are too great to overcome. 

But, if true, all the more reason to consolidate training, some specialized services, and communications to find real dollar savings.

When dollars and minutes matter, we, as elected officials, just need to work a bit harder and faster together.

41 Responses to “Sunrise’s Ryan: Coordinate, Consolidate Some Fire Services To Save Money”

  1. It's About Time says:

    Mayor all I can say is you are a breath of fresh air. This is long overdue. You are not alone in this thinking and Broward has been talking about closest unit response for 20 years. I disagree with only one comment of yours. It has been the unions keeping it from happening.

  2. Fire Fighter Joe says:

    Thank you, mayor, for making it clear that the fire fighters are not the enemy and have many ideas to make emergency services more efficient. Working together we can save money.

  3. John McNamara says:

    I want to thank Mayor Ryan for taking the initiative in getting this conversation started once again. For those of you (i.e. “It’s About Time”) whom believe the unions are the ones that have prevented this, you are sorely mistaken. The Broward County Council of Professional Fire Fighters have been trying to support the closest unit response, common communications issue since the mid-1990’s. Our organization was instrumental in getting the initiative placed on the ballot back in 2002.

    All of the affiliated IAFF locals in Broward County support this idea along with the concept of regionalizing the fire-rescue service delivery design as a whole. Unfortunately, unless more elected officials like Mayor Ryan begin talking about the concepts that have been raised in this article on more than one occasion over the last 15-plus years, we will still be talking about it 15 years from now.

    I am just more amazed that the voters supported this concept back in 2002; are being charged to provide funding for the infrastructure to do it; and municipalities are still not adhering to it. Instead of focusing on real cost saving measures, they spend more time telling residents why we are the ones to blame.

    Log onto for more information about thus topic and others.

  4. confused ? says:

    Ok Mayor if its simple why isn’t it happening ? Who has the choke hold on this ? I mean who doesn’t like to save money? Who wouldn’t want to provide taxpayers the best and most effective services availible ? I find it hard to believe unions have anything to do with first responders preventing the best possible services to its residents. That sounds like a gop statement.

  5. Buddy Nevins says:

    The link on fire union leader John McNamara’s comment is interesting, especially the section about creating a special taxing district for Broward fire services.
    I don’t know if this is a good idea or a bad one.
    Questions that immediately come to mind are:
    *Who would run the district? Would the individuals running the district be appointed or elected?
    *How much taxing authority would the new district have?

  6. Mike Ryan says:

    ALL of these ideas to save money were presented to me by Union Leaders and those in the firefighting community. I know you may be astonished, but that’s why I wrote this.

    If you ask anyone who knows what is going on, and why implementation of ANY of these ideas is taking so long, they will explain that it is some elected officials. I mean no disrespect to anyone involved. Maybe there are good reasons which I haven’t heard yet. Maybe there are parochial reasons that are less admirable. Maybe it is all about control of dollars.

    It is true, regionalization and separate districts have many challenging issues to discuss.

    But, coordination on training, ladder trucks, and communications? Come on.

    With budgets what they are, the time to ramp up efforts to tackle those ideas that will save money, while preserving the quality of service and protecting jobs through attrition, is now!

    Parochial interests and control of dollars must give way to smart efficiency.

    I am telling you — we have the buy-in of the unions on these issues. So, if they are not the problem, who is?

    For some, I know, it will challenge their instinctive belief systems.

  7. Wal-Mart Greeter says:

    Good points. However, those seem minimal to what seems like millions of dollars that could be saved. And correct me if I am wrong (I didn’t read the link), but it seems like the only reason this has not occurred is because of political pride, selfishness, arrogance, and posturing on the part of the politicians because I know I would love to save money. I would also love a union too, so if you union guys could help us in the retail biz I would appreciate it!

    FROM BUDDY: I don’t know the answers. Maybe some reader does.


    Are you saying taxpayers have been paying for this infrastructure and its not happening ? Does anyone know why? I don’t think taxpayer enjoy not getting what they pay for first of all and second if it saves money why are we just now hearing about it ? Did it go away in 2002?

  9. Rattlesnake Jake says:

    Long time reader first time poster:

    To “It’s about time”: Why exactly did you say the unions were the preventing this from happening? According to the broward county firefighter’s union website it says the John McNamara is the fire union president, and he just posted supporting the idea. Is there anything that you know that would contest Mr. McNamara’s post? No secrets, give it up.

  10. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    John McNamara is right. The Council always promoted closest unit response. It was a tough sell in cities because they feared being swallowed up into BSO and wanted to maintain their identity. Let’s bury that discussion because it doesn’t help us get anywhere positive. Instead remember that the idea was always and today remains popular with the residents and businesses of our community.

    I served on the 2000 Broward Charter Revision Commission that put this item on the ballot in 2002. It passed with something like 90% of the vote even though many city officials opposed it. Today is a new day in many ways and the concept deserves a fresh look.

    Everyone wins with closest unit response. Broward residents and business. It’s better service for less cost and a stronger financial footing for long term obligations. Same goes for consolidated dispatch and tactical teams, jointly run fire academies and logistics operations, and a high level of service.

    If a special district is the way to make that happen I have no difficulty exploring that course because it is long overdue.

    Well done Mayor Ryan. You have hit the ground running tackling one of the most serious issues facing Broward County’s future. It’s refreshing to see elected officials coming up with a new and exciting perspective for our future. Regards,


  11. Geoffrey Jarmain says:

    Start with the ladder trucks. I see them doing the work of EMS in Fort Lauderdale. How many times are they actually needed in a year? Much of the county is one story or two story buildings.

  12. sunriseoversite says:

    Comissioner Angelo
    I really enjoy reading your posts you always say things worth listening to. I think our Mayor has once again has spoken for the people of his city. I truly hope that at some point that the politicians can get together and resolve this issue it can only help in these tuff economic times. Mr McNamara is apparently prepared to make this happen hopefully you can all do what’s in the best interest of the taxpayers and make it happen.

  13. sunriseoversite says:

    @ Mr McNamara looking forward to seeing you in your new role as our future city manager. I do believe that you already have one vote on our commission. Hopefully you will run our city as well as your union.

  14. DeathFrog3 says:

    We already pay a “911” tax look at your phone bill. The county gets that money no matter what city you live in. If the politicians and fire chiefs were being honest I think you’d find out that Nobody wants to run calls in lauderhill. Cities like Weston and Parkland and Lighthouse point have their “boutique” agencies even contracted ones.

    I like what creek and margate did in merging their agencies. That makes the most sense to me. There are “natural” borders that make sense. Not jurisdictional boundaries.

    If its me I draw a line down the Turnpike and 595 and each quadrant is a region. For instance There aren’t are few, if any buildings over 4-5 stories in the south west quadrant. Only a few in the Northwest Quadrant. There is little need for “brush trucks” in the east quadrant.

    But not agencies are Class 1 and I know places like Hollywood and Pines are happy with their class 1 designation.

    I dont see a need for special a special taxing district unless the cities lower their millage rate equivilent to their current fire budget (written into the statute).

  15. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Nobody needs to run calls in Lauderhill. We run our own calls.

    The problem was that we also, through automatic aid, were running other cities calls, to the sum of over $100,000/year. That’s why we discontinued automatic aid.

    We still support mutual aid, and it has reduced our costs.

    I recognize what the Mayor is trying to do, and it is a valid goal. The problem is that cities do not all tax themselves the same way to provide the same service. Some do not properly provide adequate funding which you may have been reading about in the newspaper.

    To accomplish this would require the county to take over all such service and tax everyone the same. Cities would be out of that business.

    While it sounds good, there are problems with this situation. From the resident point of view, areas that have a higher “call for service” will be subdizied by those areas that use less service. Also, county-wide services sometimes lose people in the system. So they don’t get a proper response.

    Complaints are often lost when run through larger departments, and there would be a loss of local control of local services. My residents know how easy it is to reach Lauderhill officials. I don’t think they feel the same about contacting county officials.

    From the city point of view, contracting or transferring service to the county causes a loss of control to deal with local issues. We get everyones complaint, particularly those that are not the responsibility of the city. We went through this in our past. It created a signficant problem that the county could never address. That’s why we went back to the system we have.

    So while we can consider and try to address the goals set out by Mayor Ryan, we must also address those issues that would result. What I call the Law of Unintended Consequences. I think the Mayor touched on them, but they are far from being resolved.

  16. John McNamara says:

    Buddy – trying to answer your questions in a blog would be like giving birth without going through nine months of pregnancy! In short, there are a variety of ways to design a system that meets the needs of all our residents while reducing the redundancies and duplications in the service design we have today.

    The two issues that have always been at the forefront of preventing this is governance and funding. Two things controlled by elected officials not by labor organizations. There are a few different ways to provide the governance board and ascertain the funding, depending on the type of agreement created and how many entities participate. I could give you a few examples, but it would be perceived that the “union” wants to decide how it is governed and funded. Rather, I can provide copies of proposed legislative bills our organization filed in recent years to give you a sample of how it could work – you may use the information contained within for further reporting if you choose to do so.

    I want to make a comment on my friend Mayor Kaplan’s response above. While we support him as Mayor and enjoy a wonderful labor relationship, I completely disagree with much of his remarks. It appears his remarks are soley focused on transferring services to the “county” or even creating one “county-wide” system. He mentions “county” five different times in his response as if that is what the article was suggesting. Again, nowhere was it suggested by Mayor Ryan’s article that we consolidate into one “couty-wide” system; rather, it was suggested that municipalities work together to reduce some of the costs contained within the system where it makes sense to do so. I don’t even think the article is suggesting to consolidate fire-rescue departments as a whole; it merely is suggesting that some parts of the system delivery can be shared to reduce costs without impacting service delivery to all residents -no matter the city.

    We are simply suggesting that in the 21st Century – year 2011 – every resident should receive the closest unit to the closest call…all the time! We are not even suggesting that cities like Lauderhill change anything about the service they provide to their residents now; except ensuring they get the closest unit to their emergency no matter what entity provides it. If it is a problem of funding, tell the resident that the next time their significant other is dying of a heart attack and they do not receive the closest unit because two governmental entities are too busy debating about how to get reimbursed for the cost of the response.

    These are the same responses we have seen for over 15 plus years. Again – your readers want to know why it still hasn’t changes, the above response tells the answer.

    For the record…saying “nobody needs to run calls in Lauderhill, we run our own” isn’t entirely accurate. I should know, I have responded to a few there personally myself from right next door.

    We still love you Mayor Kaplan…keep up the good work!

  17. DeathFrog3 says:

    Mayor Kaplan

    We’ve met on several occassions the first of which was when you were Commissioner Kaplan and Mike Scott was your Police Chief and most recently at the Chris Smith Football Classic this last November.

    I am not defaming your city. I know some first responders and its common knowledge that parts of your city are “busy” to say the least. Your city, after all of the annexation, is quite spread out. It is hard for me to fathom that the same city at 35 Ave and Broward is the same as Pine Island and Commercial.

    I am sure you would agree that there are fire stations from other cities that are closer to parts of your city than your own trucks.

    The same can be said for every jurisdiction in the county.

    It makes no sense to me why we worry about key words like “control” and “budget” instead of saving lives and doing what’s in the best interest of all.

    Isn’t that what your political party stands for?

  18. Mike Ryan says:

    I want to be clear, I was not suggesting a county-wide all-encompensing fire-rescue model.

    Mayor Kaplan smartly raises valid concerns about developing a county wide system or even including continguous cities in an Automatic Aid model — where there are disparities in funding and commitment to service. As always, Mayor Kaplan gives these issues great thought and highlights the concerns raised for many years.

    Under Automatic Aid models, where cities control the resources and commitment and dollars, but are not consolidated in any fashion, it is true they are constantly looking to the neighboring cities asking “what have you done for me lately?” The residents only know when there is an emergency, they have fast service when minutes matter.

    However, I think there are a variety of regionalized or consolidated models which have been discussed which may offer us an opportunity to save real dollars, improve service, and eliminate inefficiencies. I know Mayor Kaplan, and many others, share those goals. I look forward to a robust discussion.

    Stepping away from the broad regionalization or consolidation discussion for a moment, at a time when we have to look at our budgets to achieve efficiencies, there are some glaring opportunities — training, ladder trucks, communications — with buy-in from many and no real impediments to implementation.

    So, if these other issues about fire stations across the street from each other and closer available rescue units seem too difficult to tackle, let’s start with training, ladder trucks and communications. Those can achieve some real savings, eliminate unnecessary redundancy, and maintain quality service.

    Dollars and minutes matter, and we need to collectively pick up the pace on these discussions. Thankfully, there are many smart people looking at these issues and I look forward to workin with Mayor Kaplan and others on these issues.

  19. Fire Fighter Joe says:

    What is lacking is leadership to move this ball down the court. There is too much money to be saved to not. We need somebody who can talk to all the cities. I don’t think the county commission will do it. Mayor Ryan or Jack Seiler are two possibilities. I know from experience that ladder truck consolidation alone should save millions.

  20. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Actually, Lauderhill has tried in the past to consolidate some services. Particularly with Lauderdale Lakes, unincorporated areas and Sunrise. I have personally spoken with officials of those cities usually with no luck.

    In the case of Lauderdale Lakes, the officials there didn’t want to consider it. That was their decision. However, with the automatic aid we provided, it was costing us too much. That is why we discontinued it.

    In the case of Sunrise, and it was before Mayor Ryan, we wanted to work with Sunrise to provide service to their east side.

    You see our main fire station on 56th is well position to service east Sunrise. At the same time the City of Sunrise was considering building the new fire station on Sunset Strip. However, someone in Sunrise, who will go nameless, proposed that instead Sunrise go to the expense of building the fire station, and then “take over” Lauderhill. We would then shut down our main station and EOC.

    That didn’t make sense to us since we can’t close it down. Sunrise then went ahead with their project.

    As to who might service Lauderhill better, to my knowledge there isn’t a station adjacent to Lauderhill that would service Lauderhill any better than what we have. However, several of our stations could service adjacent cities quite well.

    I do admit, like all cities, we do respond under mutual aid to other cities as requested, and they do for us as well. So yes you will see adjacent city public safety respond in Lauderhill. But also, we respond to theirs as well. At least that seems to work well.

    Please be aware that I don’t have a problem trying to work out a regional system, combining several city’s services on some level. We have done that in the past in a few places, but its a difficult path.

    So if a dialogue can start on how we can coordinate better, we are listening as we have in the past. However, it can’t be in the manner it has gone in the past.

  21. Dear Mayor Kaplan says:

    “In the case of Lauderdale Lakes, the officials there didn’t want to consider it.”
    Lauderdale Lakes is broke. Maybe the reason is shortsighted parochial decisions like this. Lauderdale Lakes will be the first city that fails financially in Broward because of mismanagement.

  22. taxpayer says:

    Well buddy,
    You have some big names out here on your blog that can really make some big changes. Communication is the key to solving a difficult f situation. Its nice to see that it is at least open for discussion and out in the open again.

  23. Same Old Shit says:

    This is the same old shit. Consolidation is the right idea. City officials don’t want to do it because it takes a toy out of their toy chest. That is bullshit and residents shouldn’t stand for it. Through every single rat bastard obstructionist to progress out of office and replace them with common sense individuals.

  24. Right says:

    M/M Same Old Shit is right except now we have Mayor Mike Ryan who seems ready to move on this. They need to get to work.

  25. Patti Lynn says:

    Way to go Mayor Ryan!!!

    I believe that the City of Oakland Park started something like this about 10 years ago…they wound up actually “trading” firehouses with Broward County, so as to meet each area’s needs.

    A special taxing district could easily supply the funding. As it is now, most of the 33 municipalities add a fire fee of several hundred dollars to the tax bills each year to fund services.

    U agree with Mayor Ryan and Mr. McNamara…the Unions have always been in the forefront to make their jobs more cost efficient …both timewise and dollarwise. We have a Metropolitan Planning Committee studying traffic patterns and ways to improve the traffic flow and reduce vehicles on the roads. It is time to create an agency to do the same with Fire/Rescue. The Sheriff needs to get out of the Fire business and concentrate on law enforcement. The County government needs to stay out of this, it would appear to be just a power grab on their part.

    Sunrise Citizens…you did GREAT in your last mayoral election. Congratulations!!

  26. sunriseoversite says:

    Mayor Kaplan
    I would like to know from you if you believe in this plan? Do you think that this is a possibility that this could not only save taxpayers money but taxpayers lives ? Of course everyone would have to get past some very large egos and control issues for the greater good of the taxpayer but isn’t that what public servants do? Make the best decsions for their people and their cities and not themselves.

  27. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    There are those that don’t realize that I have been working on regionalism in a variety of areas for many years.

    I believe that governments can work together, but its never easy. Most advances I have tried has been rejected.

    One area of particular interest for me is creating a true regional transportation authority, combining all transportation system of South Florida, and put it in a specially created authority to operate.

    Also I am working with other Mayors, including Mayor Ryan, to resolve the upcoming expiring ILA relating to garbage disposal.

    So can regional cooperation relating to fire, among other services, be done? Yes it can. It would just take a concerted effort by the cities to resolve many issues including those cited by Mayor Ryan.

  28. Rattlesnake Jake says:

    Mark my words, the citizens will force this through the political arrogance.

  29. Be Real says:

    Let’s not sugar coat the facts, OK. This issue has been around a very long time.

    Nothing makes more sense than one fire rescue operation countywide. Same goes for police and many other services. I think there are 23 fire departments in Broward. Think of that contrasted against one uniform and reliable, much more cost effection operation.

    Only the insistence of our city officials and their unions has stood in the way of that in the past or will in the future. All the rest makes perfect sense.

    The question boils down to this. Do they work for us or do we work for them? Are they here to do what is best for us or do we exist to serve their best interests? That is the all important question because from that answer all else falls into proper order.

  30. sunriseoversite says:

    Thank You Mayor Kaplan for your response. I truly hope that you will receive the same support that Mayor Ryan recieves in his community. I can definately see that you are a fore thinker Mayor Kaplan and your voters should be as proud of you as we are of Mayor Ryan. Its good to see that honorable men answering such hard question on the spot. I have to say it is refreshing not hear political bs and feel like there are real answers to real problems.

  31. RO says:

    Mayor Kaplan;
    What do you mean,

    As to who might service Lauderhill better, to my knowledge there isn’t a station adjacent to Lauderhill that would service Lauderhill any better than what we have. However, several of our stations could service adjacent cities quite well.

    What about BSO Fire Rescue 14! St 14 ran all the calls in that area before St 110 was there.

    Perfect example of redundancy.

    St. 110 and St 14 cross each other all the time running calls.

  32. RO says:

    Patti Lynn;

    What do you mean?
    The Sheriff needs to get out of the Fire business and concentrate on law enforcement.

    BSO Fire Rescue has started consolidation. BSO Fire Rescue first merged airport, seaport and county fire into one. Then merged Cooper City, Lauderdale Lakes and Dania Beach. Two more cities are in some kind of talks now for merging in too.
    So whats the problem here?

  33. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Dear RO,

    I am so glad you brought up about Station 14. That is a very curious situation.

    When we were annexing the SE area of Lauderhill the county promised that station to us. They said we would receive “all county assets.” When we finished the annexation they said that the station wasn’t a county asset, it was a Sheriff’s asset. Only one of the issues we have with the county from the annexation.

    I asked Sheriff Lamberti and he confirmed that all Sheriff assets are county assets. So the county reneged.

    Our original intention was to build a larger station, since station 14 is insufficient for Lauderhill’s needs. So when we didn’t get the station, we were forced to purchase land and put up a facility, all at additional cost to us.

    The better answer is for the county to close station 14 and have us service their area. However, I do not know where that stands. Last I heard, the county doesn’t want to pay any city to cover any part of their territory.

    Strange that eventually the property should be annexed into someplace and then the issue will be eventually resolved. Since station 14 is actually in Lauderhill, the county will then have no use for it, and can’t convey it to another city other than Lauderhill.

  34. JJM says:

  35. RO says:

    Mayor Kaplan;
    Could of your city not saved money by having ST 14 provide services to that area?
    Then you did not have build or put in new units there because there was units there already.

  36. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    Dear RO,


  37. joe mama says:

    The last few posts are exactly why there isn’t a consolidated fire department in Broward County. Go back to Patti Lynn’s post about how the “Sheriff needs to get out of the Fire business and concentrate on law enforcement” to see how small minded people are in this county.

    Keep your small town mentalities and forget about BSO, we have plenty of calls to run and will acquire more service areas when your money runs out.

  38. electricjack says:

    This is exactly one of the issues that I recently ran my campaign on when running for Commissioner in Miramar.
    I ran a Vol Fire Dept for 5 years in NYC an what goes on here is down right wrong. In our fair city a temporary Fire Fee was started about 4-5 years ago. The things I see here are almost unbelievable. While I was shaking hands and going to different functions I questioned this on 2 different occasions. Why this mess even exists. I was told y a Coral Springs guy that “Local Control” this from a city with mixed Volunteer and paid depts. I spoke with a gentleman from Cooper City he agreed with my ideas. I spoke with a gentleman from Plantation he agreed also.
    At the meeting with the county Fire Union I broached the same idea but with 1 caveat stop sending Fire Engines with the ambulance. all they are doing is creating a false sense of fire responses to generate more money for there stuff.
    Face some facts Palm Beach County did exactly what the 2 mayors are speaking of copy there system for starters and then tweak it with a volunteer board of governors for the entire county say 5 members 4 voters and 1 union member.
    Want more savings well here we are with more ideas from someone who is tired of the taxing me to poverty syndrome.
    Stop buying Rescue Trucks at 265,000 dollars each they are unnecessary. As they come up for retirement change over into Ambulances at $80,000 each. All the rescue equipment can be changed over to the Engine Company.
    In our fair city we have 11 paid people to answer telephones for Fire Rescue Calls. Thats 11 pensions, 11 pay checks, 11 medical insurance policies, thats 11 social security checks we write.
    Stop the waste its killing us seniors.
    The Pension Boards seem to work with Volunteers so can the regional fire rescue folks.
    As to the cost of overused Ambulance Responses we can do what is done in Oklahoma have a designated fee of say $30 a month to insure folks in my age bracket pay the fee with your city water bill. Thats for the folks who decide not to pay Medicare fees.
    I think I covered all the bases except with regionalization we can retire most of the excessive management folks in the Fire Arena. I speak of the Capt s and upward folks. Palm Beach does the entire operation with a millage of 2.0 I think we could do it with a milage of 1.0 an start doing what othere states do make the fire insurance companies kick in for the cost of Fire Protection. Instead of the private citizen….
    Sorry about the length of this but it is a pet peeve thing with me wasteing money upsets me. I ran my HOA very tight to the vest its time my city did the same. Stop the turf wars and consolidate its always cheaper…..

  39. sunriseoversite says:

    I spoke with some small business in lauderhill and shared this story they were all for this idea. So I hope they start communicating to there officials about their desire for this to start taking place. Seems to me some of thr problems are coming because people are not imformed of the benifits of this progression. Patti lynn does have the right idea its time for the sheriff to step back.

  40. electricjack says:

    Dear Sunriseoversite you are dead wrong it must be controlled at the County Level this mish mash we got has the potential for disaster..Imagina aircraft crash at South Perry Airport an the 911 sends it to the Pem Pines FD an 8 blocks away sits a Miramar Fire Station sad but true people do die from bad descions..

  41. Newschaser says:

    Just a few comments and a few observations. In my opinion BCFR over does it responses to certain scenes and of course it is to obtain more revenue. For instance, structure fires, I have seen second alarm assignments generated with units responding from other cities. For the most parts it is to rotate personel and not the need for apparatus. Firefighters just stand around watching, laughing and just waiting. While they are doing this, the city they come from sits now uncovered or stretched thin. For instance, plane down in Oakland Park a few months ago near Commercial east of 95. Sunrise responded with a Haz Mat unit, an engine and a battalion chief. As they arrived they were canceled. I was on this scene and the situation was well under control and hazards handled long before Sunrise arrived. BSOFR “adds” units to calls that should require only an engine response. Sometimes you have several units arriving at a scene. Reminds me of the old days when a private ambulance was sent with county rescue and engine. It should always be “closest” unit response from wherever and whenever. I remember many years ago a fire at an ALF east of 441 north of Broward. their was a fight over who should go and from where. This took several minutes and units responded from as far away as the old county station at Baily Rd and 441. In the meantime, BSO had arrived and were dragging victims out by their arms and legs and performing CPR. Were there units closer? Of course there were. Broward should be on a system like Dade County operates where ALS/BLS engines are sent to the minor calls such as cut fingers, dog bites and minor vehicle accidents reported as “no injuries”. this issue has been going on in Broward as long as I can remember.