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Friday, September 24, 2010

Matrix Consulting Hands Down Fire Department Recommendations

$25,000 bought the Mayor and the Board of Alderman an earful regarding the status of the Somerville Fire Department courtesy of Matrix Consulting Group.

The most important finding (in my personal opinion) that the study revealed was that the Somerville Fire Department delivers great service to the residents and businesses of the city of Somerville. This fact should come as no surprise to anyone, however, reading their recommendations shows that the fire department is delivering this service despite of some pretty serious obstacles including dated apparatus and lousy fire station infrastructure. After investigating and comparing Somerville to other cities, the following recommendations were made:

1. The need for an assistant chief and the recommendation of promoting a deputy chief to this position with a pay increase of $14,500.
2. Long range master plan.
3. Comprehensive policies and procedures.
4. Consideration for an Assembly Square fire station.
5. Better vehicle maintenance with the addition of a second mechanic.
6. Revamped work schedule.
7. Merge fire, 911 with police dispatch.
8. Consistent training facilitated by current officers.
9. Bigger fire prevention space (this has been implemented).
10. Structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical issues in fire stations and apparatus. Matrix recommends hiring an engineering firm to evaluate the work needed. Then, an action plan to be put in place to map out a timeline for work completion.
After viewing the presentation, Mayor Joe Curtatone announced that the city would move forward with promotions as planned. This issue is now going to the Committee on Public Health and Public Safety.

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