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Accountability and Liabilities Critical Issues Facing Fire Departments.

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Presentation on theme: "Accountability and Liabilities Critical Issues Facing Fire Departments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accountability and Liabilities Critical Issues Facing Fire Departments

2  Kevin Cornette, Economic Development Director Buffalo Trace Area Development District – Focus on Community Development and Funding for Special Districts  Kentucky Certified Firefighter – 14 Years  Chaplain for Lewis County Firefighters Association – Since 1997  Past President of the Buffalo Trace Firefighters Association

3  My Goal is to give you an Overview of how Fire Departments in General Work in Kentucky  Each City may be setup DIFFERENTLY – Depending how large or small the city is.  Depending on how your city operates – determines how the funding and Management of the department is handled.  In many Case - City Fire Departments can vary from county to county – region by region.

4  Kentucky State Fire Commission – Provides Oversight, Resources, Training, and Assistance Website:  Fire Commission Mission in a Nutshell: To Train Firefighters

5  Fire Commission is part of the KCTCS System  Provide Training to Firefighters  Regional Directors who coordinate and provide training.  Provides each department with on-site training for CED hours each year.  Monitors and Audits Training Records of Fire Departments.  Insures Compliance with all Standards related to Training

6  Provides Training Resources – Such as Smoke Trailers, Survival Courses, etc.  Monitors Financial Reports of Fire Departments  Disburses Fire Department State Aid annually – current amount is $8,250.  Has a Low Interest Loan Program Available –  Up to 75,000 for 12 years – 3% interest – Payment withheld from Annual State Aid Payment  Used for Apparatus, Building, and Equipment

7 KRS 95 – City Police & Fire Departments Different Laws for Different Classes of Cities KRS 95A – Fire Protection Personnel KRS 65 – Applies and Complements KRS 75 KRS 75 – Fire Protection Tax Districts May affect some departments that are a “city” department – but have a tax district outside the city limits. KRS 227 – Fire Marshal KRS 304 – Fire Reporting Other Laws Apply – Such as Motor Vehicles, Public Body, Open Records, etc. apply as well

8  Volunteer Department  Minimum of 12 members – Plus a Chief  Must have at least 1 Operational Apparatus  OR have 1 Apparatus on order  Fewer than 50% of the firefighters are being full-time paid firefighters  Paid Fire Department  At least 50% are Paid Full Time Firefighters – Earning at least $8,000, and working a Minimum of 2,080 hours per year.

9  Some Cities choose to Provide a “Per Call” Stipend for Firefighters  Example: Firefighters are paid $25 per call.  Some Cities “Reimburse” fuel and certain expenses to volunteer firefighters.

10 Many cities are finding that they need to “pay” for fire runs to be sure to have adequate response. Whatever you do – Be Sure to check with your Auditor and follow proper reporting and IRS regulations on this issue

11  Fire Department Service Areas are Determined by HB 4.  Some Cities may serve their City Boundary – but also outside the city limits as the Fire Department Boundaries were established – especially in RURAL AREAS.  Insures that all areas of the state are served by a Fire Department.

12  Fire Protection Tax Districts – For areas outside of the City Limits  “No Fire Protection District shall include within its metes and bounds any territory at that time or thereafter included in any city of this Commonwealth which maintains a “Regular Fire Department”…. KRS  The Tax District and City Service area Cannot “overlap”  City is responsible for Fire Protection

13  National Fire Protection Association  Provides a set of Codes and Standards for equipment, training, apparatus, and fire personnel standards.  NFPA is the Authority on Fire, Electrical and Building Safety Codes and Policies  NFPA sets the guidelines and specifications for equipment standard.

14  Example:  Why do we have to have an Apparatus Pump Tested each year?  Why do we have to have a certain safety device on a piece of equipment?  Why can’t we go to the hardware store and buy a regular ax?  Why can’t we wash the firefighters uniforms with Tide?

15  Insurance Services Office – ISO  ISO is the leading guideline for property / casualty insurance risks  ISO oversees the Fire Protection Classification Systems for Departments  Communities are given an ISO classification which determines what residents and businesses pay for Insurance Premiums

16  Community are classified as a 1 – 10  10 – No Fire Protection  9 –  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1 – Best Possible Fire Protection

17  The lower the Classification Number – the Lower the Insurance Costs for the Community.  Example : From a Class 9 to a Class 5  Categories affecting Classification  Fire Alarms – 10% of score  Engine Companies – 50% of score  Water Supply – 40% of score  Each Class has a set of requirements for the type and amount of equipment, training, water supply that is needed to obtain that class rating

18  10% of Score  How well department receives fire alarms and dispatches its resources. ( Response Times)  Communications Center – 911 Center – where the call goes, who answers, how many operators at center and number of calls Received per dispatcher  Reviews Telephone Service - # of lines to center, # of emergency listings in phone book, # of Dispatch Circuits, and how the center notifies Firefighters

19  50% of Score  Overall grading is based on the number of Engine Companies and the amount of water a community needs to fight a fire  ISO Checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine company's nozzles, hoses, breathing apparatus, and other equipment.  A minimum equipment list is provided by ISO to the Department.

20  ISO also reviews the following:  type and extent of training provided to fire-company personnel  number of people who participate in training  firefighter response to emergencies  maintenance and testing of the fire department's equipment

21  40% of Score  This portion focuses whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption  ISO surveys all components of the water supply system, including pumps, storage, and filtration.  To determine the rate of flow the water mains provide, ISO observes fire-flow tests at representative locations in the community.  ISO evaluates the distribution of fire hydrants in area.

22  Water System Provider is under close scrutiny during the ISO evaluation to insure that the system can provide fire protection.  Communities without Fire Hydrants, must have other means to provide the gallons of water required for maximum fire protection.  An example of other means are large tanker trucks, mutual aid from neighboring departments, etc.

23  To become a Certified Volunteer Firefighter, you must receive 150 hours of Training – Classroom and hand on.  You must have 20 CED hours each year thereafter to maintain certification.  The Kentucky Fire Commission monitors each department to insure compliance with required hours.

24  To become a Certified Career Firefighter, you must receive 400 hours of Training – Classroom and hands on.  You must have 100 CED hours each year thereafter to maintain certification.  The Kentucky Fire Commission monitors each department to insure compliance with required hours.  Training forms can be found at mission_Programs/Training_Records mission_Programs/Training_Records

25  Training includes the following:  Fire Prevention and Fire Suppression  Response to Technical Rescue Incidents  Emergency Medical Services  Response to Hazardous Materials Incidents  Leadership and Management  Community Awareness and Preparation

26  Each Department is Required to Have Liability Insurance.  VFIS Insurance and KACO, KLC are the only entities offering Fire Department Insurance  Must have coverage on all items, including all equipment.  Many Departments form associations to purchase insurance as a group to save costs.

27  Each Firefighter is protected through the Kentucky State Fire Commission with Workman’s Compensation.  designed to compensate employees for loss of earning power due to work-related injuries or illness arising out of, and in the course of their employment.

28  State Aid Funds Reporting  Department Must provide a Receipt and Cancelled check for Equipment Purchased  May only be used for Approved list of Items  The Kentucky Fire Commission allots eight thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($8,250) on an annual basis to each qualifying volunteer fire department in cities of all classes.  City Funds  All expenditures from City Accounts for Fire Department Expenses should be invoiced to city, paid by city, and audited by city auditor

29  Cities should keep an accounting of all fire department funds;  Income and expenses  Annual Balance Sheet – ( Fire Commission has an annual form they have department complete found at  Keep an inventory of all equipment  Insure that everything is insured  Maintain copies of all equipment and pump tests.

30  Each Department should be keeping and submitting the following:  Record of Each Training  Data entry of training hours into Fire Commission System for each member  Hard Copies of all training records on file at the department.

31  Proof of Purchase – State Aid Reimbursements  Financial Statements  Approved Purchase List  Found at n_Programs/State_Aid n_Programs/State_Aid

32  City Fire Departments – Income and Expenses flowing through City budget should be audited as part of the City Audit  KRS states: With Respect to audits and financial reports, the board of trustees of fire protection districts and volunteer fire department districts shall follow the procedures of KRS  Annual Expenses less than $750,000 – shall prepare annual statement and every 4 years complete an audit  Annual expenses greater than $750,000 shall have an annual audit completed.

33  MONEY! – Always an Issue.  FINDING VOLUNTEERS Demands of Training Hours Mutual Aid Agreements a MUST!  MEETING NFPA GUIDELINES  ISO RATINGS – Keeping up with Requirements

34  Money – Low Interest Loans and Grants  Low Interest Loans  Fire Commission Program  USDA Community Facilities  Area Development RLF Programs  KLC Loan and Lease Programs  Grants  USDA Community Facilities  FEMA Fire Act Grants  Community Development Block Grants ( CDBG)  Kentucky Office of Homeland Security


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