The Board of Fire Commissioners, which is responsible for setting policy and the budget, will ”work on long-range planning, rather than dealing with problems only when they arise.”
Loigman offered some insight into the ongoing efforts of the Commissioners:
–We have made some progress on recruiting new members during the last year, but much more needs to be done to attract volunteers.
–Fiscal controls put in place have improved our ability to be more efficient in spending, so that we can provide more of the equipment needed by the Fire Department in a timely manner.
–In the last few months, we have purchased replacements for the fire chief’s car, AED’s (automatic external defibrillators, to revive cardiac arrest victims), and thermal imaging cameras. The support of the public in approving both the budget, as well as the budget transfer referendum, will allow us to purchase a new fire engine as well as other needed equipment.
–I haven’t yet had in-depth discussions with the new commissioners, but I know that they are eager to get to work. Each brings a background that will help us analyze problems from a different perspective, and help build the support of Lakewood residents and businesspeople to improve the effectiveness of the Fire District.
–We will be making some major changes during the next few months, as the paid component of the Fire Department increases from 6 full-time firefighters to 12. We will have to deal with personnel issues, such as scheduling and the command structure, while maintaining the excellent working relationship between the career and volunteer units.
“I welcome the opportunity to have Glenn and Ralph give us the benefit of their experiences and ideas,” says Loigman. But at the same time, Loigman says “the Board is always open to suggestions from the Lakewood taxpayers whom we serve.” [TLS]