Jack Dolan and Scott Hiaasen of The Miami Herald reviewed the fire department records and found that Miami-Dade County had a special program — "'fire watch,' an ostensible public safety program that has never saved a life that anyone can remember, but has put at least $4.3 million into county firefighters' pockets since 2000. " It required building owners to hire county firefighters to stand on ''fire watch'' at extremely high rates. The program also required large venues that host public performances to pay the department for fire protection and paramedic services. "Some big events get extraordinary attention from the county's top-ranking fire officials."
Dade County Manager asked Miami-Dade Fire Chief to review his department's fire-watch policy and to look for potential reforms.