Grosse Pointe ShoresJuly 25, 2012
Shores on board with automatic aid
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Shores officials are hoping automatic aid improves their already strong fire response in the event of a major blaze.
At a July 17 City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously in favor of an automatic aid agreement among the five Grosse Pointe public safety departments. Interim City Manager Mark Wollenweber said this agreement has nothing to do with a mutual aid pact among the Pointes and Harper Woods, although Harper Woods — which has separate police and fire departments — wasn’t part of the automatic aid talks.
Speaking to his own council July 16, Grosse Pointe City Manager Peter Dame said the agreement calls for other departments to respond immediately to certain types of fire runs instead of waiting for second and third alarms to be called.
“This is an enhancement to mutual aid,” Wollenweber said.
Public Safety Director John Schulte was unable to attend the meeting because he was out of town. However, in a memo to the council, he recommended approval of the agreement. He wrote that approval should mean that the Grosse Pointes would qualify for state Economic Vitality Incentive Program funding because they’ll be sharing more services with each other.
In the Shores, the sites where additional departments would automatically respond would be the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Wollenweber said. Those sites, along with city offices, are the only non-residential properties in the city.
Mayor Ted Kedzierski said he and Wollenweber attended a meeting on the automatic aid proposal. He explained to his fellow council members that every city has some key structure or place that would warrant immediate attention from the other departments in the event of a fire. Under the agreement, the GPYC, for example, would automatically be considered a three-alarm fire site, Kedzierski said.
The agreement should improve the cities’ insurance ratings, said City Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni, the retired Shores public safety director.
Dame said the Ad Hoc Grosse Pointe Public Safety Committee also reviewed the agreement and recommended moving forward with it. He said their approval follows a positive recommendation of the agreement by the Fire Services Committee — made up of the five city managers — and the Fire Services Subcommittee, which consisted of the five public safety directors.
At a meeting July 23, the Farms City Council likewise voted unanimously in favor of the automatic aid agreement after some discussion. At press time, the Park City Council was also slated to take up the measure July 23.
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