Here is another thought, with the closing of both the east and west side stations and the downsizing of firefighters, how long until your insurance rates increase? All of this will affect the ISO rating for everybody in the city, from business owners to home owners. The way I see it, who would you rather give your money to , the fire department (who buys food and supplies locally) or your insurance company (they can give themselves bigger bonuses)?
On another subject about mutual aid. Yes the city can call for mutual aid from other departments (mostly Monroe Twp or Frenchtown). But what happens when your mutual aid departments are already on a call and cannot supply you with help? The answer is to call departments that are farther away. The problem with this is longer respose times from those departments, which will result in greater fire damage and fire loss. Both of the mutual aid departments have staffing issues, this is a problem found all across the nation. With the demands that are placed on firefighters for their training and the calls that they respond to, many cannot give that kind of dedication. They have their work and family life which should come first. No longer is it just put water on the fire and put it out, now a days you have all of these synthetics that burn faster and give off even deadlier gasses. If the cities intent is to supplement their department by using other departments and having them flipping the bill for their manpower, then they should think again. There is no law that states that any fire department has to provide mutual aid to another department. Departments have refused to give mutual aid here in Michigan.
The other reason the their have been fewer fires in the city is because of code enforcement and FIRE PREVENTION (which will also be lost).
One last thing, when it is well known how much a department is down sized (doesn't matter what type of department) arson usually goes up. Because they know of the slower response time they will get. With the economy the way it is, people will burn their homes instead of letting the bank get it.