Barrett Administration misleading public on fire department staffing
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan October 26, 2015
Given the significant number of fires we’ve had recently in Milwaukee (and the suburbs), people might want to know how adequately their local firehouse is staffed, and how prepared it is to help put out a fire.
Well, the people of Milwaukee better not be counting on the accuracy of the city’s website (Milwaukee Fire Department pages), as some of the information has been out of date and inaccurate for years.
Consider these inaccuracies on the MFD’s webpages:
Engine 1 (784 N. Broadway) – Ladder 1 is not in service here yet it still appears on the city’s website as being housed here. Ladder 1, aka ‘Tower 1,’ was moved to Station 3 (100 W. Virginia St.) in an effort to “mask” the decommissioning there of Engine 3. Engine 1 is currently the only piece of equipment at the Broadway engine house.
Engine 11 (2526 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) – Engine 11 was decommissioned in 2013, yet it still appears on the city’s website as being housed here.
Engine 24 (4927 W. Fiebrantz Ave.) – Ladder 11 was removed from service some time ago, yet it still appears on the city’s website as being housed here.
Engine 25 (300 S. 84th St.) – Until today, Engine 25 was housed this year at Engine 35 (100 N. 64th St.) in an effort to “mask” the decommissioning there of Engine 35 in 2013. The city’s website continued to show Engine 25 housed at its usual S. 84th St. house throughout 2015.
Engine 35 (100 N. 64th St.) – Engine 35 was decommissioned in 2013, yet it still appears on the city’s website as being housed here. Further, Ladder 16 has been browned-out this year – continuing to list Ladder 16 as housed here during its brownout fails to provide nearby residents accurate information regarding their public safety. Beyond the decommissioning of Engine 35 and brownout of Ladder 16, this house, built in 1998, is undergoing $500,000 in roof repairs. As of today, there will be no firefighting apparatus stationed here until roof repairs are completed or later.
Engine 37 (5335 N. Teutonia Ave.) – Engine 37 has been browned-out this year – continuing to list Engine 37 as housed here during its brownout fails to provide nearby residents accurate information regarding their public safety.
Stations 3 (100 W. Virginia St.) and 5 (1313 W. Reservoir Ave.) – It is important to note that neither of these fire houses has water service – an engine to provide water service at a fire scene. Engines are a vital piece of equipment in a fire’s early stage, as each can carry 500 gallons of water to pump on to a fire before a permanent water source can be established. These two houses experience some of the highest call volumes in the city and nearby residents should not operate under the assumption that the fire house down the street from their residence will be able to quickly put out a fire – it will take additional time for an engine to arrive from another house or for a permanent water supply to be established.
So, Mr. Mayor, is this really how we should be providing public information about vital public safety resources?
I think not, and shame on you for carrying on this charade for years.