Plymouth Township Fire Chief Mark Wendel has concerns about the department's ability to fight fires as well as respond to medical emergencies in its current state of being understaffed with outdated equipment.
In a five-page letter addressed to Supervisor Richard Reaume dated July 19, Wendel said the current part-time and on-call system is not working, according to the Plymouth Observer.
As of February 2012, there were 21 firefighters, plus the chief and a fire inspector, but layoffs and retirements since then have left the department with 12 full time firefighters, the Observer reported.Bryan Bentley states in his blog on Plymouth-Canton Patch, that Reaume was aware of the problems within the fire department and ordered Wendel not to document issues that could be discovered under the Freedom Of Information Act.
The letter addressed to Reaume begins as follows:
"I am writing this letter to express concerns I have regarding the direction the Fire Department has been headed for the last two years. Verbal discussions between you and me during this period of time leave little direction for this department. You have directed me not to contact any Board members with department issues and you have further instructed me not to create written documents that may be FOIA-able, however, how am I to protect myself from scrutiny without creating a written document and expressing my concerns to you as my direct supervisor. The old adage ‘If it wasn't written, it didn't happen’ comes to mind.”
Bentley's blog also sites concerns and that there have been no capital purchases within the department in the past four years in order to maintain a minimum operating budget.
What do you think should be done about Plymouth Township Fire Department needs? Tell us in the comments.