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Wayne and Westland sharing fire chief with Inkster

By Jenny Johnson –
Wayne city council approved entering into an interlocal agreement with Inkster to share the services of Wayne-Westland Fire Chief Michael Reddy. This means Reddy would oversee the Inkster Fire Department in addition to the Wayne-Westland Fire Department until the end of this fiscal year June 30.
During a study session with Wayne city council members Reddy said this will give him a chance to assess Inkster’s operations and equipment to see if they would be a good candidate to merge with the Wayne-Westland Fire Department and eventually create a Fire Authority that would also include Garden City.
“This is not a merger but a chief shared service agreement,” Reddy said. “This allows us to get into Inkster to see if we can get them into the authority,”
Inkster does not currently have a fire chief. They have one station and 14 full time firefighters.  Reddy said the Inkster Fire fighters union is in support of this agreement.
Wayne and Westland will each receive $10,000 from Inkster for the shared chief’s service.
“Inkster wants to be part of the authority. This allows me to get into their community and look at the books and manning and see if we can get them ready to join for the July 1 go ahead,” he said.
Reddy said the Interlocal agreement expires on June 30.
“We are going to see if it is economically feasible and if it makes sense to bring them into authority.” He said. If it is not then the contract dissolves.
Inkster is currently part of the auto and mutual aid agreements with Wayne and Westland.
Council members in Wayne and Westland both expressed concern about the financial stability and their ability to pay their portion of the agreement.  Inkster has a financial agreement with the state but not an emergency financial manager.
Councilwoman Susan Rowe asked if this would spread Reddy too thin to be the chief in three cities.
“We have prepared for this and been building for this and put the administrative  staff together to fit this. I don’t think we are spreading anyone too thin because when we grow we gain more resources,” Reddy said.
Councilman John Rhaesa said Inkster rates 10th on a list of Most Dangerous Cities.
Reddy said, “We are going to respond to Inkster whether we are part of an authority or not because we have mutual aid with them. Under this agreement we won’t go to Inkster any more than we do now.”

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