Michigan fire chiefs are considering new solutions as the ranks of on-call firefighters dwindle, reports MLive.com. Some include: school programs, fire department consolidations, even a state law protecting firefighters called to duty.
Departments in the Davison area (Davison, Davison Township and Richfield Township) and Swartz Creek (Swartz Creek and Clayton Township) have already combined, along with using and providing mutual aid when possible.
“I think for municipalities it makes sense, financial-wise, to combine to some degree, so you can reduce the redundancy,” Domerese said. “We could possibly consolidate those, cooperating when we are buying equipment, hose, air packs.”
With many on-call firefighters now work first shift jobs, as opposed to the various shifts during the heyday of the automobile factories in the area, state legislation could protect those serving their communities to ease some concerns related to missing work while on a call.
Burton Mayor Paula Zelenko recalled previous legislation — House Bill No. 4088-2001 — introduced when she served as the 50th District state representative, that would have made it a misdemeanor for an employer to discharge or discipline a volunteer firefighter for being late or absent from work because they were responding to an emergency call. The proposal never received enough support in Lansing to become law.
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