(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission Tuesday night approved the hiring of a company to study facility needs and staffing levels at the fire department. Fire Chief Alan Mannel says a second fire station is needed on the city’s northside, along with additional personnel to staff the new facility. In March, the common council approved spending up to $15-thousand dollars on a study, but the bids came back too high.
Dodge County is in the process of studying EMS services countywide. Mannel reached out the company conducting the survey – Strategic Management of Sturgeon Bay – and discovered there would be considerable savings by piggy-backing on the county study. Mannel told the city’s Police and Fire Commission last night that this the issue is “possibly one of the most important things [he’s] brought to the body.”
He notes the closest mutual aid is 20-to-30-minutes away, if they can staff a unit.
PFC Chair Jeff Kohman asked the rank and file fire personnel in attendance about staffing levels.
“We going to start burning guys out,” says Firefighter Tony Thomas, “They’re going to start leaving and its going to be a revolving door.”
“We’re watching a lot of experience walking out city doors right now,” says Fire Captain Paul Hartl.
The commission approved the hiring of Strategic Management to conduct the study for $9500. The move does not require further council approval. The study should be complete by February of next year.
Mannel says if the city goes to referendum over the issue, acting now on the study allows a good amount of time to educate the public and get the question on next November’s presidential ballot.
Listen to the discussion from Tuesday’s Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission meeting: