Presentation on theme: "Presentation on Sustainable Fire Services. The Problem: Fire Department Operations are Unsustainable. Two Things have changed: Operations Loss."— Presentation transcript:
The Problem: Fire Department Operations are Unsustainable. Two Things have changed: Operations Loss of Volunteers ( 31 in 2013 – 11 in 2014) Increase in call Volume (See Graph in Packet) 894 in 2004 – 1350 in 2013 Lynden is the second busiest Station in Whatcom County (BFD #3 has the most calls ) BLS Transports ( 33 in 2004 – 410 in 2014) Requires 2 Personnel for at least 90 Minutes on each Transport
Operations Continued… Automatic Aid 100 additional Calls since June 2013 What do we gain from the Agreement; Use of any Piece of Equipment (Vehicles, cost of Rental or replacement is significant) Use of the Training Facility for free ($1200 fee for each use) Duty Officer Rotation (Once every 5 weeks) Sharing of Volunteers Move Up of Stations or Equipment at any time Storage space for equipment (Training Props, Old Panel Van) Maintenance Facility ($90 per hr vs. $150 per hr at another Qualified shop)
Cost; SAFER Grant runs out in 2015 Each Firefighter cost $80,666 annually ($242,000 for 3) Overtime projected at $225,000 for 2014 to maintain staffing Not enough Volunteers to fill the positions needed on Shift
Administration and Operations: 2 Chiefs 1 Support Services Manager (Non-Fire) 3 Lieutenants 6 Firefighters (3 Funded by SAFER Grant) 11 Volunteer Firefighters 1 Shared Shift Firefighter (North Whatcom) Annual Budget: $1.9 Million (Minus $564,000 for SAFER, EMS and DOH)
What we do for the Community: Fire and EMS Response (1,350 Incidents in 2013) Inspections (Over 600 Businesses in Town, New Construction) Fire Safety in Schools ( 5 Elementary Schools each Year) Station Tours (Average of 3 a week) CPR and First Aid Classes (Average of 12 or more a Year) Babysitter Clinic (Annually) Fire Extinguisher Class ( Several times a Year) Hydrant Flow Testing
History: In 2004 the Fire Dept. ran 894 calls 2 Chiefs, 35 Volunteers 2 Aid Units, 2 Engines, 1 Ladder 33 BLS Transports In 2013 the Fire Dept. ran 1350 calls 2 Chiefs, 3 Lt.’s, 6 Firefighters, 11 Volunteers 2 Aid Units, 2 Engines, 1 Tower Ladder 410 BLS Transports 24 Hour Shifts
History… Volunteer Firefighters Only allowed to work 70 hours per Month per the Washington State Board of Volunteer Firefighters (SB5135) Exemption is allowed 4 times a year to go over 70 hours. (Wildland Exemption) Only allowed to make 20% of what a Career Firefighter makes per Month Part Time Firefighters 20 – 149 hours worked per Month (City Policy AD-29) Have to pay into PERS (State Retirement System) City will have to change Policy AD-29 for Employees working over 20 hours for Health Insurance (Firefighters have exemption under new AHCA)
Solutions; Option #1 Ambulance Utility Fee implementation Could raise from $0 up to $812,000 Annually Cost between $0 and $11.99 per Household Monthly Allows Hiring additional Personnel and backfilling SAFER Grant funding Cost to Residents associated with Fee Option #2 Ambulance Utility Fee subsidized by General Fund Small Fee with Percentage or amount from General fund Could be $100,000 of projected revenue Would reduce the amount of burden on Taxpayers Would reduce funds for discretionary projects in the future.
Options; Merge with North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (Dist. 21) Level of Service defined by Contract Mill Rates will change to facilitate Contract… Currently $1.07 per $1000 $1.28 per $1000 for 2015 after SAFER Grant expires North Whatcom is currently $1.50 per $1000 Loss of Control, Uncertainty of Level of Service? Lower level of Service 2 / 3 Person Companies (Kelly Days / Vacations) Does not account for Back to Back Incidents (20 Times a Month average) 28 Back to Back Responses in February (6 were simultaneously) Currently at 5 minute response times This is a comparable Response time to the City of Bellingham and City of Oak Harbor Reducing service would increase response times overall especially on back to back Incidents which could average near 15 minutes.