Why not merge?
Michael J. Lopina
DuPage County, Illinois
We constantly are bombarded with new catch phrases and acronyms every day in the fire service–customer service, ICS, IMS, PAR, RIT, and so on. All stand for something worthwhile or that has a place in the fire service. Most of our trendy acronyms, buzzwords, and catch phrases are meant to keep us in pace with today`s society. The business world comes up with catchy slogans and such everyday, and it works!
Many fire department administrators are keen to this and try to run the fire service like a business, most successfully and in touch with member and “customer” needs in mind. Why then, with this push to make our fire service more like a business entity, is there not more of a push for departments, and especially fire districts, to merge? In DuPage County, Illinois, where I am a firefighter/ paramedic, there has been talk of mergers among the fire districts for quite some time–many years in fact–with nothing but talking being done about it. We see banks and major corporations merging daily with great success.
While jobs are sacrificed in the private sector to increase profit margins and prevent duplication of services, the fire service could merely redirect those duplications to other areas where they are needed since we are not concerned with profits and such. Municipalities, unions, district trustees, and chiefs need to do more than just talk and dream about it if they want it to happen. It only makes sense that we consider one more thing that our business world counterparts have to offer.