I decided this morning that it would be appropriate to go a little out of order in presenting the next blog installment of our citizen survey results. Because yesterday we held a millage election for a Headlee override to adequately fund the Fire Department, it made sense to me to share with you both the Fire millage results and the feelings about the Fire Department from our citizen survey. It will be clear to you that both the survey and millage results have a direct correlation. But I first want to say ‘THANK YOU” to the citizens of Auburn Hills for approving the millage. This was a “no frills” request which means it will produce only enough dollars to add a modest number of full-time personnel needed to more adequately serve our growing community, and to purchase necessary supplies and equipment. That is what we promised . . . that is what will happen! To the nearly three out of four citizens who voted to approve the fire millage, we appreciate your confidence and support. For the one out of four of you who voted no, we promise that we will continuously strive to earn your trust and to deliver to you the best possible service at the most economical cost.
When asked if citizens who took the survey had contact with any one or more of thirteen City service areas in the last twelve months, the Fire Department results were as follows:
- 60% were either satisfied or very satisfied.
- 38% reported uncertain, suggesting they likely did not have contact
- 3% indicated they were very dissatisfied
- 67% rated Ambulance/EMS response as Adequate or Excellent, with 33% uncertain, again suggesting the likelihood of no contact
- 56% indicated that fire incident response was Adequate or Excellent, with 1% rating it poor and another 43% uncertain, suggesting the likelihood of no contact
- Only half of all respondents feel that we have just about the right amount of Fire/EMS personnel.
These survey results would appear to indicate that for those who have utilized the Fire Department, especially Emergency Medical Services, they are generally pleased with the service they receive. But it is worth noting that only about half of the respondents feel there is enough personnel. Considering that we employ only 14 full-time Firefighters who are also emergency medical personnel, to cover the City 24/7/365, increasing our full-time staffing needs to be a priority. In 2017 when we begin receiving the dollars produced from our newly adjusted fire millage rate, we will also begin to hire additional staff. Dollars will also be utilized for equipment purchases that we will need to make in the next couple of years, including a replacement ladder truck at over $900,000.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager