Finally! Somebody gets it!

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For the record, I work in for a service where fire and EMS are separate entities..including different budgets, management structures, and call-taking/dispatch, though we do share some stations and work similar rosters. Similar to the NPR story our work load is far greater than fire...maybe 7-8:1, maybe higher, such a night shifts where its not uncommon to do 10+ jobs while the ffers at the same station are tucked up in bed and haven't done anything. We might grumble about it from time to time (perhaps a bit jealous?), however, I haven't heard anyone mention it being unfair or a waste of money...we singed up for paramedine, they signed up for fighting fires, though I do have a proposition to argue for the need for better utilization of resources...which might also assist to solve some of the problems in Chicago any elsewhere.

Lets say there's a city called Factitiousville that's looking to balance its budget. Fire and EMS services are provided by the city as are all the other normal departments one would find as part of a local government. There may be an over abundance of fire fighters and an under-staff EMS component or  even a well structured EMS system where the ffers have a lot of idle time. So why not merge fire and public works to help cut costs? Before any ff/medics run me off the forum, isin't this kind of a no-brainier? The tools and equipment are already there, the ability to carry out basic maintenance projects, do some tree felling, ensure the parks stay watered, hang banners and do all the other basic tasks that a public works person could do a firefighter could also do. If there's a fire-related call out then off you go.

For the record I am serious about that. It is unfair and frustrating to hear fire unions that keep tradition at the top of  their arguments for being involved in EMS. There are other ways to serve one's community and it doesn't always need be with lights and sirens.

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