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Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference May 20-24, 2012 Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference May 20-24, 2012 Programmatic Consolidation of Code Compliance,

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Presentation on theme: "Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference May 20-24, 2012 Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference May 20-24, 2012 Programmatic Consolidation of Code Compliance,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference May 20-24, 2012 Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Conference May 20-24, 2012 Programmatic Consolidation of Code Compliance, Improve Performance, and Save Revenues Hoarding Issues and Solutions in Fairfax, VA

2 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Code Enforcement and Code Compliance processes and methods often vary Between jurisdictions based on: Population size and density Agency composition Community trends and challenges Local codes and authorities Policies and priorities

3 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Population- 1.1m 400 sq miles (99% is urban 1% Rural) 408,000 Housing Units Diverse Population Language other than English spoken at home- 35.9% Total Response: 91,000 of which 64,000 are EMS Fairfax County, VA Per 2010 Census

4 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Hoarding, Overcrowding, Property Maintenance, Health Hazards

5 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Fairfax County Hoarding Task Force Established in 1998 due to… Sentinel Events Deaths of four homeless persons in an abandoned structure Separate event involving a family of six in a colonial home Complaints from Community Associations Concerns raised by First Responders

6 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Fire and Rescue Department Taking the Lead… Lead agency on hoarding matters Looked toward a multi-agency task force Bringing the collaborative agencies together Developing Cross Functional Teams

7 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Key Issues: Understanding of the services and capabilities of other county agencies Hoarding behavior patterns are a safety issue for the occupant and first responders Comprehensive, multi-agency approach would best serve the owner/occupant Significant staff resources and assets were required for even the smallest case Enforcement, follow-up, remediation, and court action were time consuming and did not always resolve the problem Understanding the Scope of the Hoarding problem

8 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Define the extent of the problem Identify the traits, indicators, and behavior of those involved Understand the mental health complexities of hoarders Ensure a multi-agency approach Identify areas where resources might be more effectively and efficiently applied Protect the lives and property of the owner/occupant while continuing health and safety of the neighboring residents and first responders Educate the public and first responders on appropriate action to take if hoarding is suspected Goals

9 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” The Need for Change Until 2007 code authorities and enforcement efforts were divided among multiple agencies leading to: Ineffective communication Segregated structure of code enforcement discouraged abilities to respond with coordinated efforts Lacking flexibility to deal with changing trends in compliance issues Enforcement of existing codes were the responsibility of multiple agencies Demographics were changing creating life safety issues Citizens were demanding action due to overcrowding in their communitities.

10 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Department of Code Compliance Fire and Rescue Department Department of Family Services Department of Health Department of Housing and Community Development Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Office of the Sheriff Office of the County Attorney Office of Public Affairs Animal Services Division Community Services Board, Office of Mental Health Fairfax County Police Department Board of Supervisors Collaborating Agencies

11 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Consolidation of Functions to Create a Unified Department On July 1, 2010, a collaborative multi-functional department, the Department of Code Compliance (DCC) was initiated. Vision: To create an adaptable, accountable, responsive multi-code enforcement organization within a unified leadership/management structure that responds effectively and efficiently toward building and sustaining neighborhoods and communities.

12 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Cross-Training/Certification Enable staff to learn, become certified in, and have multiple code skills in order to better support each other and serve the community.

13 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Improvement in responsiveness to complaints Improvement in efficiency allowed: Number of inspections increased by 50% to 14,500 Multi-code certifications better enabled investigators to identify and resolve code violations in the field with fewer visits Access to over 5,000 single family residents Consolidation saved the County over 1 million dollars Zero fire fatalities for the first time since records have been kept Progress Following Consolidation And Agency Creation

14 “Proudly Protecting & Serving our Community” Streamlined and re-engineered investigative processes Made changes to County Codes and enforcement procedures Creation of a robust training program for all staff resulting in a formal program that offers 140 hours per year of relevant training Enhanced multi-agency collaboration Creation of a work culture that engages all staff and encourages self- development and contribution Creation of an enhanced classification/compensation system that enables and encourages staff to grow and develop Results?

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