89.1 WEMU

Ypsi Firefighters to Present Hybrid Police/Fire Concerns to City Council

May 23, 2013

It looks as though Ypsilanti City Council will go ahead and allow the city's firefighters union to make a presentation on why it believes a hybrid police and fire model is wrong for Ypsilanti. 

Credit cityofypsilanti.com

City Manager Ralph Lange has recommended cross-training police to also respond to fires as a way to make the best use of city employees. 

Council member Susan Moeller had requested the firefighter presentation be placed on council's agenda, but she didn't receive a second from any of her colleagues.  Moeller says council member Ricky Jefferson has since indicated he'd also like to hear the firefighters. 

Ypsilanti City Firefighters Local 401 President Ken Hobbs says the presentation his union will be making at Ypsilanti City Council's June 4th meeting will be similar to a presentation it recently made to state officials in Lansing, claiming the hybrid model would be more expensive.  Hobbs says police and firefighters have different skill sets, and combining two jobs that are both dangerous in their own right is not the way to go.

City Manager Ralph Lange and some council members view the presentation as a way of negotiating the fire union's contract in public.