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How do public safety dept. (firefighter/police officer) work?

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  • How do public safety dept. (firefighter/police officer) work?

    To any public safety dept. (firefighter/police officer) member out there, I'm not very familiar with this type of service. How does it work? Does the department supplement another local fire department or are you it, both police officers and firefighters?

    A few years ago my fire chief, who works at the air force base at our town (in Canada), went to Dallas/Ft. Worth to look at runways. He told me about the ff/cop combo and I thought it sounded quite interesting---and we had never heard of that type of thing before.


  • #2
    The way that Public Safety Deptartments work are as follows.

    1. You have dedicated police officers and deicated Firfighters the do nothing else while on duty.

    2. You have PSO (Public Saftey Officers) driving police cars and answering all calls police and fire. When the respond to a fire call the take the duty belt off and put on the bunker gear from the trunk.

    3. The dedicated staff can switch, every so often it depends on the dept.

    Well I hoope this help some.All though I'm not a PSO, I know several.

    Stay Safe!

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    • #3
      Watauga, Texas, has a very effective Public Safety Officer program that has been in effect since 1984. Watauga is about 4 square miles in size, suburb of Fort Worth, and has a population of approximatly 26000. Every police officer is cross-trained as a firefighter and as an EMT. They respond to all calls, and if necessary, change into their bunkers on scene. Each officer also carries a SCBA as well as O2 in their patrol cars. There is usually a minimum of 4 street officers on duty at all times.

      There are usually two to 8 officers in station at all times that get the first due apparatus and ambulance on scene, while volunteers respond to the station to get out the remaining appratus, or to the scene to aid with patient transport.
      With a dedicated bunch of volunteers, it is a very effective system that usually gets someone on scene in under 30 seconds, and is rarely overwhelmed. In the very rare times more manpower is needed, due to many concurrent incidents or a very large incident, a good mutual aid policy fills out the needs.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info on this fyrresq and Mtnfire. Sounds like a very cost effective system. In Canada, atleast where I live, our T.V. is about 90% American (to the extent that I can watch local Boston news on three different channels)-------I'm surprised that I have never seen some type of documentary or feature on this type of service.

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        • #5
          Just so you have both sides:

          There are times when PSO depts. work very well. There are also times when they fail dramatically.

          A neighboring dept. to mine (years ago) went to PSOs, and fired all the vollies (that may have been the big problem???)

          The old timer cops quit, not wanting to do FF training (let alone fight fires). The new cops dove into the cross training thing, but over time, they did a lot more cop stuff than FF stuff. As time went on, the emphasis on FF training faded.

          About 5 years later, they had a major fire in a strip mall, and no one really knew what to do. Several members got hurt, and M/A calls were delayed.

          Within 2 years after that, they'd gone back to paid cops and vollie FFs.

          They saved a lot of money, but they got a lot of bad press over one mis-handled incident (although it wasn't the only one - just the only one to make the big city paper).

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