Keep Troy safe by voting yes on Issue 15

To the Editor:

It is the mission of the Troy Fire Department to exceed the expectations of our community and provide the highest quality of services to preserve and protect lives, property and the environment. As the fire chief, it is my duty to be committed to this mission.

Nothing is more important to me than protecting our families, businesses, and our community, while ensuring the safety of my workforce. Providing strong public safety is a key responsibility for every growing community. In order for the Troy Fire Department to address the future needs of our growing city, we need to continue to find cost effective ways of maintaining excellent fire and EMS coverage, as well as excellent response times. However, we must balance these needs with the other vital city services, including police, parks, economic development and other quality of life services our community has come to love and expect.

As proposed, a professional, part-time firefighting workforce would add to and not replace our full-time staff, and provide an affordable solution to improve service to our community and meet our firefighting and EMS demands that occur in our community. Part-time staff is not a new model in the Miami Valley or in the state of Ohio. Larger and more diverse communities such as Kettering, Dublin, and Washington Township use a mix of part- and full-time staffing with great success. And, their communities are very well protected as a result. It provides a flexible workforce tool that can complement the core workforce.

The city enlisted the help of fire experts, The Novak Group, to analyze our workload and provide an objective recommendation for moving forward. Novak indicated that our community is well-protected with current staffing but that adding part-time staffing would only improve the safety of our residents, homes and businesses. With that analysis, the Administration has offered to not only limit the number of part-time staff but also increase the number of full-time positions by adding a new supervisory level for our firefighter/paramedics.

As you can see, adding additional full-time supervisors and part-time professional firefighters truly does “Keep Troy Safe,” by protecting our firefighter/paramedics, families, businesses, and visitors. Voting yes on Issue 15 implements a part-time wage scale as a positive first step for increasing staffing at the Troy Fire Department.

— Matthew Simmons

Troy Fire Chief