Opposes cross-training for MFPD employees

To the editor:

This is a message to the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

At a time when the Mehlville Fire Protection District is facing budget restraints and trying to save costs due to circumstances beyond their control, this certainly is not the time, nor do I ever see it necessary to consider cross-training of the firefighter and paramedic. The cost to do this would seem prohibitive when the district finds itself in these constraints.

We want personnel who can and will serve the residents at their highest levels at all times in any circumstances. If cross-training were pursued, it could and most likely would become more difficult for them to excel in both areas. In instances where split seconds count and decisions are made to save lives and property, it only seems right that those who were hired as either a firefighter or paramedic are already in place to do just that in their respective field.

Besides the cost of training and the time it would take, I can see it leading to future burnout of the personnel. As stated in a FACTS meeting on July 28, that is already taking place in the Mehlville School District. Teachers who are burnt out are leaving for other jobs. I don’t want to see this happen to the fire district too.

To keep the Mehlville Fire Protection District as the best in St. Louis County and to follow with the recommendations of the FACTS study, I urge the board not to consider any cross-training of the firefighter and paramedic, and that ALS pumpers become no part of the district now or in the future.

Don Lauer

Green Park