LISTEN: Ft. Mitchell, Erlanger to Share Fire Services, but What that Means Isn't Clear Yet
It was a blockbuster announcement last month: the Cities of Ft. Mitchell and Erlanger would move to share fire services. They didn't call it a merger - but it is a rare step towards consolidation in Northern Kentucky.
"We're losing firefighters and paramedics to other departments in the area. We believe our pay is not comparable and not competitive in other locations within the region." said Erlanger Fire Chief Todd Whitaker. "Number two is the fact that the employee pool is shrinking. We don't have fifty to sixty people applying for these positions now."
He and Ft. Mitchell Chief Gary Auffart started talking about their departments' struggles and realized they were the same.
So how do these two cities that don't even share a border plan to make their idea work? The goals are to save money for the taxpayers and reduce the difficulty in acquiring new talent with the required and necessary skills.
And how the cities' leadership hope to achieve those goals is not exactly clear.
But they're working on it. And when it's all said and done, they hope that it's a model plan for other cities to follow.
In an exclusive podcast, The River City News publisher Michael Monks talks at length and in depth with the cities' mayors, administrators, and fire chiefs.