by Duluth News Tribune
May 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
The city of Duluth is considering steps it can take to soften the blow of the proposed closure of a fire hall on Park Point.
Tags: city council, city of Duluth, Fire, Health, Park Point 11 Comments »
Interesting that Chief Strongitharm suggests hiring a community health officer to patrol Park Point during ” hours of peak need, assisting with medical problems, grass fires and other problems that develop in the neighborhood.” Will the chief consult a psychic to determine when these peak hours occur? I’m not aware that fires, medical problems and the like have a nine to five schedule. I hope Chief Strongitharm can come up with a better plan for my community.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 9
Thorough analysis of run data for the last ten years will allow for an alternate staffing plan to be developed. The three busiest months on park point on June, July and August with the majority of calls for service occurring from 8am to 8pm. The majority of the runs on park point are to the two nursing homes who have trained medical staff already on site, therefore the urgency of those runs is significantly diminished. Times of peak use are of more of a concern as the point becomes crowded and many citizens take to the water to recreate. Not many people go to park point to spend time on the beach when the wind is off the lake and it is 55 degrees. They do, however, go to the point when it is nice. As a matter of fact over 75% of water related emergencies on park point occurred when the temperature was over 70 degrees and 90% of them occur during the months of June, July and August. While it cannot be predicted when or where emergencies occur, in depth analysis of data and detailed strategic planning can result in an effective flexible staffing plan for Park Point.
Like or Dislike: 10 6
Sounds to me like the current station is purely symbolic. Pretty expensive symbol.
—- With only one firefighter on duty at the Park Point fire hall, the rig there needs to wait for assistance before gaining entrance to any burning structure, Strongitharm said —–
Hot debate. What do you think? 22 22
Even though they may not be able to enter a burning building without assistance, they can still provide critical medical care and treatment until additional help arrives. Park Point is a densely populated area. There are also two nursing homes on the point adding a few more hundred people to the mix. In addition, there is one hotel, with more coming, two marinas, and an influx of people crossing the bridge daily to visit the point. Replacing a certified responder with citizens who can use a defibrillator does not cut it. Imagine you are the person who just suffered an accident – by car, lake, or medical emergency – would you want someone who could start IV’s, put a tube in your throat if you couldn’t breath, and/or appropriately care for a major wound that is bleeding profusely? Do you want that replaced with someone who can just use a machine to restart your heart – when that might not even be the source of your problem? What about a drowning victim – goodness knows we have rip currents down there. The bridge often stays up for 25-40 minutes at a time for a large boat or longer if you get two boats going through. On a busy summer day traffic can be backed up all the way to Superior St. Good luck getting out of the way to let a fire truck or ambulance through. If they decide to close to fire hall, it will be putting thousands of lives in jeopardy of not getting needed medical care.
Like or Dislike: 15 7
Actually, Park Point is classified as rural due to its population density per square mile and is home to approximately 1300 people. Unfortunately the Fire Department is at a point where it can no longer safely and efficiently provide service as it has in the past. While it may seem callous to speak in terms of data analysis, runs, population and other demographic and statistical factors allowing emotion to play into strategic decisions will only cloud the progress is needed. The Park Point neighborhood is not being abandoned, its response times are being adjusted to its demand for service. If we allowed emotion to determine the course of public safety deployment, we would put a fire station, law enforcement officer or ambulance on every corner. Due to continuous budget cuts over the last thirty years, the Fire Department must accept the fact that they can no longer continue doing business as usual. The margin of safety is too small.
Like or Dislike: 9 13
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The Roughest Road in the entire ArrowHead ???
SUPERIOR STREET !!
It is ‘ruffer’ than any Gravel/Back Road I have ever driven on !!
Leave the Park Pointers ALONE !
“Taxation with Representation”! A Fire Hall !!
Thee entire area looks at Duluth and their “Self-Inflected’ problems
and just Shake their Heads’. !!
The City Leader’s should reconsider their “Penny-Pinching”,,,,
Repair Superior Street ???
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 20
Now hold on — Strongitharm may be on to something. If the ever benevolent O.S.H.A. has a regulation that four firefighters must be on scene before they can enter and potentially save a life, the union probably likes that rule and maybe even had a hand in promoting it years ago. If they hired, say a qualified EMT with firefighting experience as a private contractor, that might solve the problem. I bet the total annual cost for a 3/4 time / on call person, who might get free housing at the Park Point mini fire hall as part of his pay package, would be less than the comparable union dictated wages and benefits. Just a thought…
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 18
If the rules call for at least 4 people to fight a fire, why does Park Point only have one? How does it cost more money to have people sitting in the fire hall on the Point that it does to have them sitting at the big fire hall?
They have a fire truck down there so, what would keep the fire fighters from just getting in it and going anywhere in the city that they were needed?
Seems like if there’s no protection close, the insurance rates for home owners, hotels and the nursing homes will have to end up being a lot higher.
Like or Dislike: 15 6
The department is at a point where is must locate resources where the calls for service are the most frequent and/or long response times for back-up forces require increased staffing. Park Point is not one of those areas.
Like or Dislike: 7 11
Feeble attempt by the Chief to pacify the vocal Park Pointers who are concerned that seconds count in emergencies and people are going to die. Next year’s budget crunch and this temporary worker’s job will be slashed.
Like or Dislike: 13 2
Redeployment does not guarantee protection from future budget reduction measures. The department is now at it lowest level of staffing to provide safe and efficient services to the citizens in a city this size. Fear of future cuts does not justify maintaining an inefficient and unsafe status quo.
Like or Dislike: 4 11
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