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Stamford Charter Revision Committee Votes to Favor Unified Fire Dept.

The Charter Revision Committee met Monday night and—after five hours of discussion, just before midnight—voted to move forward with a unified Stamford Fire Department recommendation.

An Excerpt: This recommendation would create a single fire department with a single chief with jurisdiction over all fire services training, standard operating procedures, assignment of personnel and allocation of other resources citywide. A combined fire service would be created to be known as the "Stamford Fire Department" with a single Chief, two paid Assistant Chiefs (one for Career Services and the other for Volunteer Services). The Chief would be appointed by the Mayor, the Assistant Chief for Career Services would be appointed by the chief from the ranks of the career services and the Assistant Chief for Volunteer Services would be appointed by the Chief from a pool of three nominated by a majority vote of the Chiefs of the volunteer fire companies.

YAYS   

NAYS   

Rosanne McManus

Robert S. Robbins

David Lucas

Joanna M. Gwozdziowski

Michael C Jachimczyk

Gail S. Okun

Donald B. Sherer

Susan A. Nabel

Jay H. Sandak

Clarence R. Grebey III

 

Dudley N. Williams, Jr.

Josh Fedeli

 

The clocked ticked forward to five minutes shy of midnight. They were there  earlier than most of the other meetings for the evening, and they stayed well later than anyone else, save for the security. At just around midnight, the Charter Revision Committee began filing out into the now mostly-dark hallways.

They had tackled a 19-page monolith of dozens of charter recommendations and language revisions and designations and everything else under the sun - putting each piece up for discussion then vote.

One of the highlights of the evening was a 2-hour discussion on revisions to Stamford's current fire department structure. They would analyze every nuance of the considerations before them, going back and forth on what they hoped would be best for the city, what they wanted to accomplish to make sure a decision was fair to everyone, what they were capable of deciding on and what would need to be left up to others.

"What was recommended tonight was there would be a single Stamford fire department which would be made up of career firefighters and volunteer firefighters," said Jay Sandak, co-chair of the committee. "Our commission makes a recommendation that will be embodied in a draft report that will then go to the Board of Representatives."

He said the decision is by no means final. There's still quite a bit of process for the recommendation to go through before a decision is made, but this is a huge step forward with .

"The Board of Representatives will comment on that [recommendation] back to us," he said. "We will then issue a final report based on what the Board of Reps says. We may change things, we may not change them. The ultimate decision goes back to the Board of Reps, who will take any of our recommendations and then pass them on to be on the ballot in November."

On Monday night, that decision was one step closer to a unified fire department.When asked if he was satisfied with the movement towards a decision Freccia clarified he would associate personal feelings of joy to a board decision.

"Satisfaction isn't a word I would use one way or another," he said. "This group has worked together very, very hard since it was appointed. It's 15 volunteers that have tried to take a lot of issues—including the fire service—and clarify issues in the charter. I think I'm very satisfied with the process."

The committee will hold a public hearing on May 15, 2012, in the cafeteria of the to field comment from the public on the issues thus far. They will then hold a committee meeting the following evening to make decisions on the issues raised.

Mike May 10, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Glad to hear that's things are working out. I think both sides need to sign an agreement. Now the only issue I see if the Stamford Fire and Rescue Union agreeing to anything with the Volunteers on paper.
Mike May 10, 2012 at 06:34 PM
One question, so will taxes go up if Stamford Fire and Rescue has a crew in all of the departments?????
Jake May 10, 2012 at 11:23 PM
When engine 7 was established in Springdale the property tax increase averaged $35.00. Per household. That was over ten years ago so it is certain to be more due to inflation and the mill rates of the various tax districts. However Homeowners Insurance rates may be reduced by some insurance companies because of the Fire Departments increased ability to provide a timely response to calls with an adequate number of personnel.
Adam May 13, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Who cares if taxes go up Alittle bit , won't you feel safer , and be able to sleep at night knowing there are 24-7 paid staff ready to go whenever the bells ring.. , I do..
Vincent May 13, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Volly and career won't sign anything when this goes down with the charter , they will close there doors before that happens , good - they will be doing themselves a favor and everyone else....
Here we go May 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM
If the Volunteers " close their doors" that would be the most unprofessional and childish move they could possibly make. It would show the true intent of why they backed Pavias plan. I don't think that will happen, it truly is a small minority that feel that way, most want to do the job and I think will blend quite well with the professional side.
Adam s May 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Here we go- your probley right , maybe not tor becuase they like working with engine 8 but Belltown? Probley , who knows , Suposably they have guys who are union haters and would rather shut the doors instead of workig with 786
Here we go May 14, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Gladstone made the comment about shutting the doors...I don't think he represents the majority. I'm sure a few of the younger malable guys might copy what he says, but in the end, I really think this will all work out...A few people are starting to chirp on the advocate site about the article posted yesterday...again, a few disgruntled people playing off the last shreds of ani-unionism. In the end, all side are gonna get great training, and be able to help the comunity.
FF joe May 15, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I'm sure a lot of people follow him now , I heard a lot of the older senior members aren't even members at bfd anymore, so these new kids are immature and already brainwashed to do what's best for the fd now the community... The oldest active member there is probley 21..

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