Richmond Heights approves joint fire command study; Brentwood and Maplewood: not yet


Three cities — Clayton, Rock Hill and Richmond Heights — have now approved a resolution to authorize their city administrators/managers to work with the fire chiefs to  study a joint fire command for Brentwood, Clayton, Maplewood, Richmond Heights and Rock Hill. Richmond Heights officials passed the resolution on August 15. 

All cities would have their own fire departments and fire stations, but would share a joint fire command staff structure.

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.

Richmond Heights City Manager Amy Hamilton said Wednesday that the council didn’t want to study to linger; she said they wondered if six months would be enough time. Hamilton said that with five different city meeting schedules, and five fire chiefs and city managers/administrators working on it, she couldn’t say.

She said Richmond Heights Mayor Jim Thomson said he didn’t want anyone to lose their job in the transition.

The Richmond Heights Fire Department representative in the meeting, (Luke Van Cleave, according to Twitter, and union shop steward, according to Hamilton), was worried about staffing levels remaining the same — not at the front line, but administrative.

He was also concerned about promotional opportunities. Van Cleave said now promotions come from a smaller pool, within a city; it would obviously be larger with five cities involved.

Rock Hill officials passed the resolution on August 2. Hamilton said she assumes Brentwood and Maplewood is putting the resolution on an agenda, but she didn’t know when. “Everyone has kind of agreed that we will get a resolution finished by sometime this September,” she said. “No one has rejected it yet.”

The Richmond Heights City Council wanted to see a status report on the study by March 1.

From city of Richmond Heights Twitter:

Also from the Monday meeting on Twitter:


  1. Consolidation makes sense eliminating duplicative and unnecessary management putting the resources to firefighters on the street. With five communities as stakeholders the opportunities for corruption should diminish and transparency increase. Taxpayers should benefit.

  2. I believe that the these communities are considering consolidations because they feel that their tax revenues won’t continue to support their future expenses. A mitigating factor is that in the the method of distributing County tax revenue is being over-hauled such certain communities (such as Chesterfield) will keep a great portion of its retail tax revenue, while other communities will keep less.

    In essence, whether we like it or not, we need to accept paying more taxes or consider some consolidations.

    I believe that this is a direct consequence of the fragmentation that exists within St. Louis County.

  3. This consolidation would enhance safety, efficiency, and consistency of response among all departments involved. It will allow for better coordination of standard operating procedures, training, and equipment purchasing that is coordinated. 1 chief of department, not 5. Perhaps an assistant, 2 deputies and an on-shift battalion. This makes so much sense.

  4. Lets see, one Chief ( 4 Chiefs go away ) . Now you have 250 firefighters or so looking to move up with only one job open. Next, do away with B Chiefs, and so it goes. Less people , less cost. Just remember , when the Firetruck shows up with two men and a bucket of water, look at it this way, all the money your City saved is a good thing. I did not read anything about the lowering of taxes . That will be the next study. Some time around the year 2086. I can’t wateing to see my homer owners Insc. Let’s see, 6 men and Firetruck on each call. New way 2 men, Firetruck one Chief someplace, Priceless ! Did I say, glad to see the Clayton Fire Chief got the job !

  5. Brentwood residents: please call and/or email your Aldermen and Mayor to let them know we don’t want any part of this.

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