January 1, 2014 the City of Davis and University of California – Davis entered into a Shared Fire Management Agreement. This agreement recognized potential efficiencies, integration of operations, and cost savings that could be generated by combining the leadership of the two agencies into one.
As this report is released we are now eight months into the shared agreement, which is being viewed as a shared services success in the community and is accomplishing many of the goals and objectives that were identified for achievement.
Much work has been done to increase the public’s awareness of the work of the fire department. This has been accomplished through monthly reports, social media, and by working with traditional and non-traditional media outlets.
In the coming months watch for our new Community Office Hours program, phase one of our new injury and illness prevention program, the start of a new standard of cover document and strategic plan, and many more great initiatives that we are developing to make your fire department well prepared to meet the risks and needs of our changing community.
The Shared Fire Management Team hopes you find this report valuable and on behalf of the outstanding men and women of DFD, we thank you for the opportunity to serve.
OUR MISSION AND VALUES
The mission of the City of Davis Fire Department is to protect the life, property and the environment in our service area. We will deliver these services to the community through an efficient and effective use of our resources, while always providing the highest quality of customer service.
The members of the Davis Fire Department are guided by the following principles:
All employees are valued.
Employees are encouraged to express opinions and offer suggestions and ideas.
Responsible behavior and accountability from employees is expected.
All employees will provide the highest quality of customer service.
In March 1917 the City of Davis was incorporated and the City’s Fire Department was established. The Department is now comprised of three stations in West, Central and South Davis. In 2013-14 the Department had a staff of 45, including 37 firefighters and captains. The Department provides emergency response and fire prevention to the community of Davis, UC Davis, and aid to three fire protection districts (East Davis County District, Springlake and No Man’s Land).
We have gone through many changes over the last four years. Following the retirement of the Fire Chief of 15 years, the department was administered sequentially by three interim chiefs.
During these four years the department entered into an agreement with the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium to share training services and management with the other fire agencies in Yolo county; the city signed an agreement with the City of Woodland to share the services of Davis’ fire marshal; and to improve service delivery the city council approved a boundary drop between the city and the University. In January 2014 the City of Davis signed a shared management agreement with the University. The two departments now share a fire chief, two deputy chiefs and three division chiefs.
Department staff has risen to many challenges during this transitional period, but throughout have remained committed to our community and providing quality service to its citizens.
DFD BY THE NUMBERS
The Department responds to all incidents including medical emergencies, fires, hazardous materials and conditions, technical rescues and public assistance.
As the population of our service area has increased so have the requests for service. In 2013-2014 the total number of calls was 4,812. Calls for emergency medical response made up 62% of our calls while fires accounted for 3.6% of our total calls. Stricter building and fire codes and public education may have played a role in lowering the number of fires over the last 10 years.
The breakdown of responses for the City is similar to that for other fire agencies in California. The State Fire Marshal reported that for 2013, of the reporting fire departments in the state, 3.5% of their responses were to fires and a little over 62% were medical emergencies.
The West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium has committed ongoing and continuous efforts to ensure that our firefighters develop and maintain the competencies necessary to provide outstanding service to the community. Over the last year, deployment changes, our boundary drop with UC Davis Fire, and challenging financial times have necessitated changes in standard operating procedures and response strategies as we move forward. In order to effectively and proactively deal with these challenges the Davis Fire Department continues to not only rely on the captains and battalion chiefs to ensure ongoing quality training for our department but we also are committed to seeking innovative partnerships and solutions that will allow us to improve, as well to more fully take advantage of efficiencies found with collaborative efforts.
The City of Davis Fire Department partnered with the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium (WVFTC) in 2012. The WVFTC is now responsible for developing, delivering, and coordinating training activities for our department. In addition to expanding our efforts regionally we have also been able to harness a greater pool of expertise from within our own fire department as well as provide a venue for further development and mentoring opportunities for our personnel. This support has allowed for opportunities of successful execution in many areas of training which in part include:
• Officer Classes
• Truck Academy
• Firefighter Survival
• Ventilation Practice
• Forcible Entry
• Engine Operations and Advancing Lines
• MCI Training
• EMS Certification and Maintenance
• Wildland Operations
• Confined Space Operation
• Hazardous Materials Response
• Large Area Search
• Trench Rescue
To provide further training opportunities for the department, we now more fully utilize Target Solutions, an online training records management system. By doing so, the department has more time to develop the technical and hands-on skill sets necessary for our emergency responders. In addition, Target Solutions now allows us to develop department and countywide training in six week blocks, giving our captains and battalion chiefs more flexibility and opportunities to complete necessary training. This program also allows us to proactively coordinate, track, and account for each individual’s progress within the Davis Fire Department so we can ensure legal mandates and standards are all met.
Firefighters of the Year
In April 2014 two Davis firefighters were recognized by the American Legion, Yolo Post for their professional excellence and outstanding service to their community. Each year the department nominates a firefighters. This year, Firefighters Graham Northrop and Stephen Phillips received this award. This past year Graham and Steve put extensive effort into organizing and improving the efficiency of Station 33. They are both professional on the job and have an exceptional work ethic.
Graham has been with the department for 7 years. He manages his shift’s engine company inspections and is active in shift training and assisting other crew members.
Steve has been with the department for 14 years. He manages the department’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program.
In 2013-2014 two long-time employees retired. Both Mark Bills and Marty Eckhardt were hired in 1989. We will miss them and wish them the best in retirement.
Mark was hired in 1989. During his time in service he became an apparatus operator; he also served as the EMS supply inventory coordinator. He was a skilled engineer and he was depended upon for his technical rescue expertise.
Marty was hired by the City in February 1989. He retired as an acting captain. He served as the department’s examiner for the DMV Employer Testing Program for Class B licenses. Marty was the coordinator for the Firefighter’s Association’s Thanksgiving Basket program for many years.
Brian Brooks was a member of the department for 12 years. He led the department in June to join the Alameda County Fire Department. Brian taught classes in RIC, wildland operations, firefighter survival and water rescue. He was a valued member of the department and we wish him well in his new assignment.
FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY
The Fire and Life Safety Division (Fire Prevention) enforces state and local fire code, performs fire safety inspections, does plan review and issues permits. The Division also manages the department’s public education, fire investigation and weed abatement programs.
The Fire and Life Safety division processed and reviewed 191 plans in 2013-2014.These project plans included building, shop, site, subdivision and tenant improvement construction. The majority of these construction projects also involved at least two on-site inspections.
Life Safety Inspections
In addition to the inspection of new businesses, new construction and tenant improvements; the Fire Marshal is mandated to inspect state licensed day care facilities and residential care facilities.
The Fire Marshal consults with other city departments on construction projects to ensure that life safety requirements are met. Road and development construction is evaluated by the Fire Marshal for emergency response vehicle accessibility, adequate and accessible water supply, and sufficient room to operate emergency equipment. Such projects include the 3rd Street renovation, the Fifth Street Improvement and the Cannery Park projects prior to and during implementation.
The Fire Marshal works closely with other city departments and groups, such as the Police Department, Community Development Department, the Chamber of Commerce, restaurant owners, the Farmers Market staff and the School District in the planning, inspection and safe execution of special events, such as the Fourth of July Celebration in Community Park, Celebrate Davis, Picnic Day, the Davis Farmers Market and Grad Night.
Engine Company Fire Safety Inspections
The department’s Fire Safety Inspection program dates back to the 1970s. It was begun as an effort to reduce the frequency of fire, contribute to the safety of citizens and to familiarize the firefighter with properties in the city. Each year the engine companies inspect each commercial address and the common areas of multi-family dwellings. The engine companies are assigned a section of the city to inspect; this is done on a rotating basis so that over a five year period each firefighter will be able to familiarize them self with every commercial or multi-family housing dwelling in the city
In 2012 a contract for shared services was entered into with the City of Woodland. In an effort to share the costs of managing two fire prevention bureau, the City of Davis Fire Marshal’s responsibilities were split between the cities. During the fiscal year a significant amount of time was dedicated to the development and administration of this shared program.
The Future of Prevention, Fire & Life Safety Services
The Fire Marshal is working toward a cohesive, efficient and effective shared prevention bureau. He is implementing new inspection and time tracking systems to streamline access to data in the future.
The department will continue to explore shared fire prevention and fire investigation services with neighboring cities.
This coming year we will be very busy working to meet our 2014-2015 department goals and building a cohesive relationship between the City of Davis and UC Davis Fire Departments.
Five new firefighters will be hired and trained by the beginning of 2015 to fill vacancies created by retirement and turnover. Before beginning work in the city, the firefighters will attend an in-house fire academy.
At the start of 2014-2015 we will be transitioning to a shared records management system with UCDFD to establish coordinated/integrated record keeping, daily staffing information and standardized incident reports.
Throughout the year we will be working toward our goals which include: completing standards of cover document, a strategic plan through 2020, revising the department’s policy manual, and completing the department’s standard operating guidelines (SOG) manual. We will also be working toward strengthening our community outreach and public education programs and focusing on community emergency preparedness and Emergency Management. We will begin work towards department accreditation and will be evaluating countywide shared services for fire prevention and arson investigation. And lastly we will work toward establishing a professional development program. We will be busy this coming year but our first and primary responsibility is to continue to provide the highest quality of customer service to our community.