Though any action is still far off, the City of Dearborn confirmed Thursday that talks are under way between Dearborn and Melvindale to explore the idea of consolidation of fire services between the two cities.
Chief Joseph Murray will be meeting with leadership in Melvindale to discuss the possibility further within the next few weeks. The hope is that the discussions result in an official memo to members of city council that will detail what the process would entail, and how the result would or would not benefit both cities in terms of coverage and cost.
As a result, eight vacancies currently within Dearborn’s fire department have not been filled.
Melvindale’s fire department currently employs 15 full-time firefighters, which Murray said would all be retained if the two departments merged services.
However, he added that the Dearborn Fire Department is “still interviewing, in case (the consolidation) doesn’t work.”
Since assuming the office of fire chief in July, Murray about sharing services–in both informal and formal ways.
Council members on Thursday expressed concern as to how this particular plan would be implemented, especially in terms of keeping up with Dearborn’s standard of services, and how each community would be charged with footing the bill for fire services.
Murray said that a lot of details still needed to be discussed; however, he added that the benefit could be mutual. For example, Murray noted that southwest Dearborn could see quicker fire response from Melvindale’s fire station nearby.
It’s expected that the city will have a clearer view of the issue within the next month.