Tuesday December 6, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson is asking neighborhood leaders to help develop his plan to modernize the Louisville Fire Department. Letters will be this week to all 70 neighborhood associations within the Urban Services District, inviting each neighborhood to nominate a resident to serve on a Neighborhood Fire Protection Advisory Panel.
The basis of the panel’s discussion will be the fire department study – performed by independent consultant TriData – that found that the location, condition and age of some of Louisville’s firehouses limit the department’s ability to respond to an emergency.
“We’ve heard from the national experts, and now we want the discussion to begin among our local experts,” Abramson said.
“We want to hear our residents’ ideas on how to best deploy our fire department to meet the needs of today’s neighborhoods, reduce emergency-response times, and save more lives and property,” Abramson said. In November, upon receiving the TriData study, Abramson announced a commitment to modernize the Louisville Fire Department without raising taxes and without laying off firefighters. The mayor will gather input from neighborhoods and firefighters over the next several months and use that input to develop the modernization plan to be announced in the spring. The mayor said the modernization plan will be a 10- to 15-year, multi-million dollar initiative with the first investment of public money included in his recommended budget for 2006-2007.
In addition to the advisory panel, the Abramson Administration will meet with firefighters from each shift in each of the city’s 22 firehouses in the coming weeks.
Advisory Panel to report back to mayor
The Louisville Metro Department of Neighborhoods will coordinate the advisory panel and facilitate three to four meetings of the group during January and February 2006.
The meetings are planned in three phases:
1. Reviewing and discussing the overall findings and recommendations of the TriData study;
2. Area-specific discussions in smaller groups about the recommendations’ impact on neighborhoods and proposed alternatives;
3. Discussion of integrating new firehouses into neighborhoods and the potential re-use of retired firehouses.
Following the meeting process, the advisory panel will provide a report and recommendations to Abramson. Metro Council members representing the urban-services district will be invited to the panel meetings.
Residents of the urban-services district interested in serving on the Neighborhood Fire Protection Advisory Panel should contact their neighborhood association. If you do not know your neighborhood association or who to contact, call MetroCall at 311.