I was speaking the other day with Billy Hayes, Director of Public Information & Community Affairs for DC Fire and EMS, about the proposed budget cuts to public education throughout the many fire and rescue departments in the Washington-Metro area.
During the course of the conversation, he mentioned a paper he had written as a part of his EFO process a few years back. The topic related to minimum staffing standards for public education.
It immediately caused me to think: why is there no minimum staffing standards for public education as well as fire prevention (think code enforcement) programs? Several years back, Tri-Data Corporation made a reference in one of their papers (which one escapes me at the moment) about one public educator per 100,000 population. Other than that – nothing.
Why not? One could argue that minimum staffing in public education and fire prevention is just as important to overall fire fighter safety as minimum staffing on apparatus. Granted that is probably an apples to oranges comparison but, theoretically anyway, is related.
The time has come to establish minimum staffing standards for public education and fire prevention programs! Who’s with me?!?!