The Riverview Fire Department will soon be transitioning to a combination department following city council’s Jan.6 approval to hire eight full-time firefighter/medics.
Chief Ron Lammers said he was very pleased with the council’s decision, a proposal he has been advocating shortly after his arrival in October 2018. Once implemented, the department will be staffed with both full-time and part-time firefighters.
The Riverview Fire Department was originally established in 1923 as a civil defense Fire Force and responded to emergency calls from Ecorse to Brownstown.
In addition to basic fire protection, the department was one of the first to provide advanced first aid.
Several changes over the years have seen the department grow and progress to staffing personnel on duty 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. For many years the department has operated with part-time personnel providing fire and EMS services.
Approximately 10 years ago the department upgraded its EMS services to provide advanced life support (ALS) to its residents and visitors, following the trend of other surrounding departments.
With the construction of various multi-occupancy dwellings in the community, the department’s call volume has increased substantially over the years.
In 2005, the department’s call volume was approximately 1,700 runs. In 2018, it topped out at 3,021 runs. As a result the long standing department model is no longer viable given the growth of the city.
This, along with providing a better, more efficient service to the community, is what prompted the necessity to begin the transition to a full-time fire/EMS service.
Chief Lammers said there is still much to be done prior to the implementation of the program.
“I would prefer to hire or fill those eight positions from within the department,” he said.
However, conditions of employment, wages and benefits must be negotiated between the city and bargaining unit first, which Lammers hopes can be resolved as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the city is in the process of contracting ALS ambulance services while details are worked out.
The city also continues to seek qualified applicants.
Chief Lammers said there is also a need for part-time firefighters as well. Interested candidates may obtain an application by going to the city manager/mayor’s office or online at the cityofriverview.com, fire department and click on the application link at the top of the page.