Provider of Fla. fire, rescue services may change: Surfside commissioners voted to switch to Miami Beach - @ JEMS.com


Provider of Fla. fire, rescue services may change: Surfside commissioners voted to switch to Miami Beach


 
 

Micaela HoodDistributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business NewsThe Miami Herald | | Monday, June 25, 2007


MIAMI Claiming they were pushed into a corner by a pending county law, Surfside commissioners voted in favor of a resolution to withdraw the town's fire-rescue services from Miami-Dade County and switch over to Miami Beach.

The switch will not take effect immediately, and conceivably may not happen at all, though it does seem likely. It was presented at Tuesday's commission meeting as a preemptive step in the event the county commission passes a proposed ordinance that would prevent municipalities from opting out of the county's fire and rescue service district.

The Surfside commission has been weighing the town's fire-rescue options since February, when representatives from Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue proposed construction of a fire station and emergency service center next to town hall. But in March the commission heard from the Miami Beach Fire Department, which offered to handle the town's fire and rescue services for half as much as the $3.5 million charged by the county.

On Tuesday, commissioners approved the resolution 4-1, with Commissioner Mark Blumstein providing the lone dissenting vote. "I think we are uniformed and yet to have a hard number in writing from Miami Beach," he said.

But Commissioner Steven Levine said the county was trying to bully the town into a decision, and Vice Mayor Howard Weinberg agreed.

"It's unethical and selfish," Weinberg said. "How can the county tell us they know what's best for us? The choice should be ours."

In an interview Thursday, County Commissioner Sally Heyman said she agrees with Surfside commissioners.

"I don't like people telling me what to do personally or professionally," she said. "I would have liked the county to wait after we know more from the tax reform in Tallahassee, then negotiate from there."

Mayor Charles Burkett said going with Miami Beach was a no-brainer.

"The town will get the same level of service, for half the price," he said.

The Miami Beach proposal: to provide rescue services from a satellite station located at 7940 Collins Ave., and fire suppression services from the new station at 69th Street and Indian Creek Drive. The county currently provides fire-rescue services to Surfside from its Haulover Beach location.

Residents voiced concerns about the switch. "We have the right to leave if we want to leave, but let's make sure we get the same bang for the buck," said Richard Iacobacci.

Blumstein said he understands residents' concerns: "I want a guarantee a truck will be in close proximity from that 80th Street Station."

The resolution is not a final step, because the town's contract with the county runs through April and the resolution provides for a nonbinding straw ballot to gauge resident sentiments. However, it gives the town better legal standing in the event the county passes its ordinance later this month, Weinberg said.

"If the proposal [from Miami Beach] is inadequate, we will not sign a contract but the county tried a legal maneuver in an attempt to beat us to the count," he said.

Commissioners agreed to scheduled a public workshop after firmer numbers and details are obtained from Miami Beach.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Administration and Leadership, Industry News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >