Fire Department Review is Long Overdue

News that the Chelsea Fire Department is going to be scrutinized by an independent examiner is frankly long overdue.

City Manager Jay Ash announced last week that he is putting out to bid the cost of a full review of all operations of the Fire Department.

The review could begin as early as next month, according to the city manager.

The Fire Department budget is enormous, about $7 million.

And there are a number of long standing imbedded practices which could be contributing to expenses that might reasonably be cut.

The assignment of overtime is an issue and overtime, in general, is a very costly issue.

The transfer of firefighters from station to station is another issue and even the number of stations could be construed as an issue.

In addition, how many firefighters are stationed on each truck is a matter for discussion as each additional man on a truck means that a larger number of firefighters must exist in order for that to happen in a plausible rotation.

So there is much at stake with this upcoming close look into the finances and expenditures incurred by the Fire Department.

It is right that such a study has been ordered.

The study’s outcome, the results it quantifies, could lead to some changes in the running of the Fire Department.

This is a bit of good government. Even the firefighters and those who run the department should welcome it.

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