I thought that Broward County has the fire division and law enforcment division seperate, but both reporting to the Sheriff. That's not the same thing as using the same people as both firefighters and cops.
Everywhere I've seen combination fire/police Public Safety departments in the U.S., it ends up just being an excuse to run a very understaffed fire department. The cops tend to be so busy that they're never available as firefighters. Most of the departments that tried it ended up with terrible fire protection ratings and increased costs in the long run because of the chronic understaffing.
There are a rew places that still run PSOs, but they tend to be small and not too busy.
It's always the fire side that gets cut. People are afraid of crime, but no one thinks that their house will catch fire or that they'll have a heart attack.
You know Jum, I apply that method of thinking to combining fire and ambulance as well as fire/police. I know that's heresy in North america, but I'm sooo glad the two are separate here in Oz. So glad the three are separate?
i dont like it simply because i had a chief who was also over the police and he had a HUGE head from both and there was nothing any of us could do about it.i think it puts too much power in one agencies hands.however on the flip side i dont remember what they are called but the pso's carried these grenade type canisters that they would simply pull up and throw them into a window and it could extinguish a room relatively well...not much fun for the adrenaline junkies but it was nice at times.if i had to vote on it though i would definately say no.
I think that it's fine for a career Law Enforcement Officer to also be a Firefighter. I don't think it'd work too well if they are literally both at the same time. As I read in an earlier post, what happens when there's a structure fire and a bank robbery at the same time. Obviously that's a hypothetical situation, but both incidents want as much manpower as possible at their scene. I dispatch for my municipal police department and one of our officers is the Chief of a local fire department. When he's here at work he's obviously a police officer, but when our fire department is toned out to any sort of serious natured call, he will respond and at least give our fire department the heads up as to what we're heading into. He doesn't run in kicking doors and breaking windows or anything, he will put a little dry chem. on something if it's needed though. I have to agree with lutan1, it could be beneficial for local law enforcement to be cross trained in fire and EMS, at least to have the ability to give an accurate initial report since they're usually quick to the scene. As always, just my opinion.
around here,vollie ff's... we have a few LE that are also ff but dont combine the too. It could work though if we couldnt get a truck out bc of lack of response so if theres a dwelling they could do something besides going "look flames". or knock out a stove fire before it consumes the whole kitchen. itdepends on how your ff is vollie vs. paid or how long response time is.
In my old dept we had a few Law enforcement officers cross trained, but they only responded if there was a major fire and they were off duty. Once they responded they went on the clock and got paid for responding.
We can use all the help we can get, I think its great. We live in a very rural area so when we are at scene we watch thier backs and they watch ours. it's comforting to have LEO officers around, and to assist in fire fighting that would even be better.