Guest editorial: Tertzag’s Two Cents …
By Kyle Tertzag
Acting City Manager
Hello Hamtramck! I wanted to write today to set the record straight on a few issues that are floating around our town lately. The firefighters union has recently been passing out flyers that are unfortunately factually inaccurate. I’d like to address some of these inaccuracies here. For instance:
- The Ambulance service that our department provides is BASIC life support (BLS), while DMCare provides ADVANCED life support (ALS). ALS paramedics can administer medications that will save lives. BLS cannot administer any medicine. In a BLS situation the first time medications may be administered is when the patient arrives at the hospital. With ALS, the paramedics can administer life-saving medications at the scene and on the ride to the hospital. This saves lives that would otherwise be lost! Anyone that tells you that BLS is superior to ALS is lying.
- The grant writer (that the union likes to take credit for bringing to us) along with the rep from FEMA, told us that the grant does NOT have to be paid back. As a matter of fact it is what is known as a reimburseable grant. They did not send us a check for a blanket amount, they reimburse the city the cost of some of the firefighters. This will amount to about $1.2 million per year for two years. NOT $3.5 million!
- I have not heard of any plan that includes outsourcing to Detroit. PERIOD!
- If there was a move to outsource to Highland Park, they would staff OUR station with firefighters. They would not have to drive all the way from Highland Park. The fire trucks and ambulances would be stationed at the Hamtramck Fire Station.
- There’s talk about our insurance rates going up, but those are based on fire ratings and Hamtramck and Highland Park currently have an IDENTICAL fire rating (PPC 5) and this is what insurance companies use in setting rates.
These are facts, not opinions. We are in a tough situation and everyone knows that. Scare tactics won’t change the math problem that we face. Neither will flyers or lawn signs. The fact is the City has to live within our means just as you and I do.
Now onto a better note, the Hamtramck Fraternal Order of Police have stepped up to the plate and offered to work on even more concessions than they gave the city just this past June. As was stated by FOP President David Cornwell, “We’re willing to do whatever it takes to insure the survival of our community and our members while continuing to provide excellent services to the residents.” We are working with the FOP to increase the efficiency of the Police Department.
I’m Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag and that’s my Two Cents!