On January 1, 2012 I became the Director of Emergency Services for the City of Auburn Hills. Essentially that means that the City merged the administration of their police and fire departments. To help me out with this important task, James H. Manning was promoted from the rank of lieutenant in the Police Department to Deputy Director of the newly merged Department of Emergency Services. He has moved his office to the Fire Department and runs its day-to-day operations. Chief Burmeister remains as Chief of Operations which includes suppression activities, EMS and training. Deputy Chief Wyatt also remains as leadership for the Prevention division which includes inspection, public education and records. More about that another day.
Last night I attended my first ever Fire Department drill. I have been a police officer for about 37 years but never a firefighter so this was a new and interesting experience. Firefighters Gary Chapman and Owen Milks did a great job of instructing about 18 firefighters, both paid on call and full time on the intricacies of our OakWIN countywide interoperable radio system. The personnel got a chance to practice as well as hear a lecture. I like this communications stuff and I picked up some new ideas from the Fire Department. The Fire Department holds “drill” or training sessions in the morning and afternoon of the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. Firefighter Gary Chapman plans out an entire training schedule for the upcoming year. He knows what they need to know and does his best to make it effective and interesting training.
It was a chance for me to meet more of the firefighters. Our paid on call firefighters are a great group who supplement our full time firefighters on a part time basis. They undergo a tremendous amount of training in firefighting and as Emergency Medical Technicians (I’ve been one of those before). Paid on Call firefighters are paid by the City for each run they go on.
I also got a chance to meet firefighter Nate Goss. He got 3 rounds of applause from the group for completing paramedic school and receiving his state license; for completing his firefighter probation and because he has been named the American Legion Firefighter of the Year. We are all proud of his accomplishments!
I am honored to play a role in the proud 70 year history of the Auburn Hills Fire Department.