Clayton, Rock Hill and Richmond Heights have approved a resolution to work with Brentwood and Maplewood (not yet approved the resolution) to study a joint fire command for the five cities.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A study by Emergency Services Consulting International concluded “a consolidated administrative and support branch to oversee operation of the five fire departments would lead to improved efficiency and elimination of redundant effort,” improved firefighter safety and possibly cost-savings.
The Post-Dispatch went into more detail about the proposal recently:
- One chief would direct operations for the five participating cities. There would be three deputy chiefs, three battalion commanders and two inspectors. All would be drawn from current staff.
- The annual cost of a combined management structure is estimated at $1.625 million.
- It would be paid for through a formula that takes into account the size of coverage areas, average number of annual responses and other criteria.
- One Richmond Heights fire fighter wondered in a meeting, “who will I work for?”
- Individuality will not be sacrificed in the name of consolidation.
- Pat Kelly, the executive director of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, (former Brentwood mayor) calls it “a natural progression for municipalities looking at cooperative efforts.”
- The cities already share East Central Dispatch, and there are discussions to collaborate on equipment purchases.
Read the full report in the Post-Dispatch.