Bay City officers waste no time getting fire training - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Bay City officers waste no time getting fire training

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(12/04/12) - Less than 24 hours after Bay City commissioners vote to merge the police and fire departments, cross training personnel is underway.

This was a money saving move for Bay City. The city is wasting no time making sure its officers are ready to answer a fire call too.

It's the beginning of fire academy at the Auburn Williams fire department. Mixed in this class are 13 Bay City police officers.

For the next few months, the officers will hit the books - learning how to fight fires.

"They'll do class training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturday, they'll be tied up on a Saturday where they get a lot of hands on. They get to mess with the tools. Everything they learn in the lecture such as ladders, building construction they'll get to do," said John Kramer, the course coordinator for Bay County Fire Academy.

This is the largest class he's had in a long time.

Kramer says the training will be tough for the officers - lasting six months.

"When people are qualified to train, we bring them. We will train them to be certified in the state of Michigan to be an on call firefighter or full-time firefighter. They are required to have training all year long. The training will never stop," Kramer said.

The officers are in the fire academy after the city leaders approved a public safety plan merging the police and fire departments together,  saving the city $2 million.

While some look at it as a cost saving in the short term, others are asking, will this two for one deal work in the long run?

"Wether it's going to work in Bay City is yet to be seen. It's a big change and I think time is going to tell," Kramer said.

As for the fire department, 14 firefighters are expected to be laid off in July.

ABC12 News was told some of them may be offered a buyout.

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