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Baltimore, Maryland May 31, 2014 – June 4, 2014 Donald R. Austin Executive Fire Commissioner, Retired Detroit Fire Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Baltimore, Maryland May 31, 2014 – June 4, 2014 Donald R. Austin Executive Fire Commissioner, Retired Detroit Fire Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Baltimore, Maryland May 31, 2014 – June 4, 2014 Donald R. Austin Executive Fire Commissioner, Retired Detroit Fire Department

2 The Detroit Experience

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9 Detroit’s Historical Population

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14 Macro View of Detroit Issues Ex-mayor sentenced to 28 years Deferred maintenance of City infrastructure Significant population loss = tax base erosion 80,000 vacant structures 40,000 vacant and dangerous dwellings Mayor and Council divided on budget reductions

15 Macro View of Detroit Issues (2) Council president abandoned office 2 nd Council member quit High turnover in City executive leadership Over 35 Unions in City government Fiscal cliff inevitable General Modus Operandi = Survival

16 Revenue to Debt 1960~2010

17 Fire Department Sit/Stat May 2011 Operating under CBA, which expired 2001 Single-function firefighters EMS second-class Department members Seniority-based promotion All uniformed members in same union Average commissioner tenure 3.5 years Mandatory retirement age 60

18 Administrative Organization Commissioner Deputy Commissioner 2 nd Deputy Commissioner Mayoral Appointment Commissioner Appointment 2 nd Deputy Commissioner

19 Operational Divisions Firefighting EMS Fire Marshal Communications Training Apparatus Research & Development Community Relations Medical

20 Firefighting Division Commissioner Appointment Chief of Fire Operations Senior Chief Deputy Chief B1B2B4B5 B6B7B8B9

21 Fire Department Sit/Stat (2) May 2011 Complex and inflexible work rules Courts and Arbitrators decision-making Inadequate focus on Safety Fire Stations average age 85 years old No apparatus replacement program Apparatus maintenance at Repair Shops Inadequate organizational record keeping

22 Fire Department Sit/Stat (3) May 2011 Deferred maintenance on facilities, apparatus, and equipment Asset management system non-existent Alcohol use on-duty Non-existent investigative procedures Poor accountability Vendors not paid timely

23 Fire Department Sit/Stat (4) May 2011 Outdated technology CAD, MDCs, networks No aerial ladder, pump, or hose testing No NIMS Compliance Poor use of ICS on incident ground Browning out of seven fire companies daily Exceeding budgeted overtime by $6M

24 Goals and Objectives Augment administrative staff with identified skills in Labor, Budget, and Purchasing Data-driven decision-making NIMS Compliance Project NFPA testing compliance Maritime Domain Awareness Development of Mutual Aid Agreements

25 Goals and Objectives (2) Establish a tractor company for demolition Develop relationships with SE Michigan fire service organizations Update General Orders and Rules and Regulations Develop Department library Dual-function firefighter transition Merit-based promotions Transition apparatus repair to GSD Apparatus and station replacement program

26 Accomplishments FF/CPA Deputy Commissioner 2 nd Deputy Commissioner Labor Attorney 2 nd Deputy Commissioner Budget Personal Services Contracts $78M awarded in FEMA grants Non-traditional funding sources New Public Safety Headquarters Completion of Burn Documentary

27 Accomplishments (2) WSU academic relationship Contract with Tri-Data for Efficiency Study 23 donated ambulances rec’d Dec FF EMT-basic certified Dec 2014 Initiated discussion to embrace EMS Initiated discussion for merit-based promotion Detroit Public Safety Foundation support

28 New Detroit Ambulance

29 DFD Today Bankruptcy should be finalized by Sep 2014 Hiring 150 firefighter under FEMA funding Fire union has not ratified City’s last offer Moving forward with merit-based promotion All Division Chiefs are now appointed by Commissioner

30 Final Thoughts DFD members, fire and EMS, are dedicated as any firefighters in the US Fire Service To a large extent we are all products of our environment Timing is everything in distressed environment Change agents rarely bask in the sun during their reign


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