A light rescue truck, to be staffed with two firefighters, will be added to the city of Ann Arbor’s fire department fleet at a cost of $264,597. The purchase, from Ferrara Fire Apparatus, was authorized by the city council at its Sept. 17, 2012 meeting.
The light rescue truck will replace a heavy rescue vehicle, which is staffed with three firefighters. The heavy rescue vehicle dates from 2001 and was scheduled for replacement in 2015. It will be retained by the department as a reserve engine. An even older heavy rescue truck, dating from 1991, which is currently in reserve, will be sold at auction.
The city is contemplating a reconfiguration of its fire stations, which would re-open an old station but close two …
At its Feb. 7, 2011 meeting, as a part of its consent agenda, the Ann Arbor city council authorized the city administrator to negotiate a contract to get an analysis of and recommendations for Ann Arbor’s fire protection needs. The contract, for not more than $54,000, would be signed with International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Center for Public Safety Management.
The move comes in the context of two recent budget retreats conducted by the council, where the council discussed the possibility of transforming Ann Arbor’s fire department to a staffing arrangement that would combine full-time career firefighters with paid on-call firefighters.
The city’s current contract with the firefighters union IAFF Local 693 expired on June 30, 2010. Councilmember Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2), chair of the council’s labor committee, reported at the council’s Jan. 18, 2011 meeting that the city had been negotiating with its firefighters since February 2010, and has used the services of a state mediator on three occasions. Concessions sought by the city from all its unions include a wage freeze and higher employee contributions to the health care and pension plans.
This brief was filed from the boardroom in the Washtenaw County administration building, where the council is meeting due to renovations in the city hall building. A more detailed report will follow: [link]
At their final meeting to discuss the city’s FY 2011 budget before its adoption next week, Ann Arbor city councilmembers focused on the East Stadium bridges reconstruction project and safety services – the possible layoffs of firefighters and police officers. While reconstruction of the bridges will be funded with money outside of the general fund, safety services account for around half of the city’s roughly $78 million general fund budget.
Margie Teall (Ward 4) and mayor John Hieftje had indicated at the council’s May 3, 2010 meeting that they hoped a $2 million payment to the city from the Downtown Development Authority would be authorized by the DDA’s board later that week. They’d said they intended to use that payment to stave off as many layoffs in safety services as possible, as well as to keep human services funding at last year’s levels.
Although the DDA approved the $2 million for the city two days later on a 7-4 vote, details were scant on Monday night about how the money might be used – how many positions would still need to be cut, and where those cuts would come.
Dominick Lanza, the city’s fire chief, and Barnett Jones, the chief of police, spoke about specific negative impacts on services that would result from the layoffs scheduled in this year’s budget, unless amendments are made next week.
How grim does the situation look from inside safety services? At one point, Jones paused nearly 10 full seconds before responding to a question from Sandi Smith (Ward 1). She’d asked him to comment on how community standards positions might be filled. When he finally did answer, Jones began by saying, “I really don’t want to.”
The ball in Times Square has dropped a couple hours earlier.
Now, Terry Pappas, shift supervisor at Huron Valley Ambulance, is on the line with an elderly caller who’s lying on the floor, unable to get back into her chair.
“I know you’re miserable,” Pappas comforts the caller, as they wait together for the ambulance to arrive.
And then, still lying on her side on the floor of her apartment, still audibly in distress, the caller musters a surprising bit of cheer. She offers Pappas the salutation of the night: “Happy New Year!” Pappas responds in kind. The caller tells Pappas she didn’t watch the ball drop – you know what’s going to happen, she says … it drops every year.
A few minutes later, HVA staff can be heard in the background. They confirm for Pappas that they’re on the scene, and Pappas and her crew move on to fielding other calls.
It was not by accident that The Chronicle chose to spend part of New Year’s Eve with Huron Valley Ambulance.
Along Zeeb Road just north of Washtenaw County’s Western County Service Center, The Chronicle noticed a small green sign with white lettering that read: “Reflective Address Signs Available Here!”