I have uploaded video of Chief Heydorff’s presentation to the Kiwanis yesterday, with assists from Deputy Chief Pinedo and Battalion Chiefs Mike Bamberger and Bob Burnett. Chief Heydorff was quite clear that the decision will be made by the City Council, not the Department, and that there is no intention of converting the department to a paid force. He was also quite clear that our department is no longer a strictly (by definition) volunteer department, and that while Sierra Madre can still call itself a volunteer department, we are, in fact, a combination department already.
I had a followup conversation with the Chief, to make sure I understood, because he was talking about three captains, but only needing to fund one. He also mentioned part time captains. So I spoke with him, and here’s the deal. Paramedic leader Greg Christmas and Fire Inspector Rich Snyder would see their titles change to captain, so those two captain positions are already funded. A third “training” captain would be added. Chief said that the model of the department is changing, and it’s up to the Council to decide how that will be done, whether part time captains are brought in, or a full time captain, or possibly, if that’s what Council directs, both.
I will be writing an article that goes into further detail about what was said, for those who don’t want (or don’t have the time) to watch a 47 minute video. But for those who do, here’s the video. You can hear for yourself what was said. Although, unfortunately, I did switch the camera over to Dep. Chief Pinedo, and forget to move it back at a critical juncture in the presentation, so you can’t see everything being said the whole time. Oh, by the way, that’s not the only error. I said in the title of the video that it was March 14th, but it was the 15th.