Shared Fire Management July 2014

Shared-Management-July-2

Chief’s Message

Community Members,

Your shared fire management team is pleased to present the July update on services related to our partnership agreement. Being that at our last quarterly update to the Davis City Council was on consent calendar, I wanted to share all of the information that was in that report via this month’s chief’s message. Below is what was contained in the staff report and presentation with updated information where appropriate.

Community Office Hours

Beginning the last week of August Shared Fire Management Staff will go to a local coffee/breakfast spot once a week for 2-3 hours to hold “Community Office Hours”. The time and location will be announced in advanced over social media, as well as traditional and non-traditional media outlets.

Shared staff will take laptops and tablets and work from these locations while being available to answer questions from citizens and increase the fire department’s visibility in the community. In today’s technological environment there is really little excuse not to take the office outside of the traditional structural walls and embed ourselves closer to the communities that we serve.

DFD Firefighter Hiring

During the first half of this year we conducted screening, testing, and three rounds of interviews for the position of Firefighter 1 for the City of Davis. Those final interviews recently concluded and we have requested that HR proceed with the initial hiring process for 5 to fill current vacancies.

These are budgeted positions that have gone unfilled, but through hiring will ensure that DFD can achieve its service goals, keep firefighters safe, and reduce overtime created from the vacancies. Their start date is October 13.

Re-Imagining the Delivery of Prevention

The Fire Marshal brought forward the concept of a “one-stop-shop” for community and planning services by co-locating the DFD fire prevention division to City Hall to increase collaboration with Community Development staff. This will drastically increase customer service for prevention and reduce the number of stops that customers have to make when looking for answers to a myriad of City related questions.

The start date for prevention to be at City Hall has been set for September 1.

The Fire Prevention Division has experienced workload challenges for the last several years trying to keep up with inspections, plan review, etc. To address this issue Shared Staff has started a career development plan for one of the existing office staff at DFD to transition to become a Fire Inspector. This is an exciting growth opportunity for the employee and helps us meet a significant need.

On July 1 we started a 6 month trial with the City of Woodland to build upon the existing agreement that Davis has with them sharing a Fire Marshal. The trial involves using all prevention staff from both municipalities to work without borders to meet the workload demands of both communities. In the first three months this has been occurring we have seen very positive success indicators.

At the end of the trial the concept will be evaluated for next steps including a cost sharing plan based on workload demands.

Type 1 Engine Purchase

We are moving forward with the purchase of the final replacement DFD type 1 engine. The specification will remain similar to those recently purchased, but the manufacturer is being changed to match that used by the rest of the paid departments in the county and larger region.

One of the positive potentials with this decision is a move towards standardization of regional fire apparatus, reduced costs, and the possibility of having fire trucks from the same manufacturer that would support the concept of a regional fire apparatus maintenance facility at some future point.

Fire & Life Safety Education

In the past our fire education efforts have focused on pre-k aged children. Research has shown while there is some benefit to this group, the most impactful time to reach children is during early grade school. Starting this fall DFD will be realigning efforts to provide enhanced education efforts to this age group in local schools.

One of the most prevalent calls we run involve injuries to the elderly. Injuries are generally preventable and this fall DFD will begin delivering a fire and injury prevention program developed by the NFPA to seniors in our community. This is part of a new pro-active illness and injury prevention plan we are implementing over the next several years in an effort to create a safer and healthier community.

Shared Staff will be joining DFD personnel at a Farmers Market in October to celebrate Fire Prevention week. We have chosen a farmers market for this event, as opposed to fire station open houses, because of the large number of community members that already attend the Farmers Market. We look forward to a fun day with lots of great activities for families.

Station Visits

January through June Shared Staff conducted station visits three times. Each time involves 9 visits, each lasting at least an hour. The most recent round of station visits occurred in May and June.

This equates to 27 visits by the command staff to stations in the first 6 months of the year with well over 27 hours of answering questions and having discussions.

This doesn’t include the weekly interactions at stations, at training, and on incidents that occur between Shared staff and DFD fire personnel.

Shift Division Chiefs are responsible for making daily station visits and being the key communication conduit up and down the organization.

SCBA & Radio Grant Status

DFD has recently received two grants: one for the purchase of SCBAs has already gone to council. DFD employees played a major role in the writing of these grants; their efforts are to be commended.

The City of Davis Fire Department is part of a county-wide grant effort to secure 46 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The total amount requested on the grant is $391,287.00.Of this amount, the City of Davis stands to secure approximately $240,000.00 in order to replace our outdated air packs.

Yolo County has also secured a regional radio grant that totals $732,153.00 of which approximately $147,991.00 is allotted for DFD. Other partners on this grant include Winters, West Sacramento, Dixon, and rural fire districts in Yolo County.

Strike Team Activity

The last few months have seen several calls for both DFD and UCDFD to respond as part of strike teams all across the state of California to large fires that have threatened communities and our natural resources.

We continue to very closely monitor the impact that DFD’s involvement has on employee’s exhaustion levels. We do not force anyone to go on the strike teams, but we do occasionally have to force people to come in, or stay at work, to cover stations.

While not ideal, this practice is common throughout the fire service and simply something we have to monitor. With the hiring of 5 firefighters, the situation will improve.

ISO

The City of Davis Fire Department is gathering data in preparation for an ISO audit as part of their new rating schedule release.

The 3 main components of the audit include:

  • Fire Department Operations and Training
  • City Water Systems
  • Dispatch Systems and Procedures

We hope to have the audit work complete by January 1.

Also of Interest

  • Sent 3 DFD personal through the new National Traffic Incident Management System train-the-trainer program.
  • In the process of ordering high-vis vests to protect responders operating on roadways.
  • Sent 1 from DFD to Oil by Rail training from Union Pacific in Colorado; 2 additional attending in coming months.
  • Purchased needed fire hose, foam, and fire shelters for DFD.
  • Revised the County’s Hazardous Materials Response plan. (To be finalized by end of Sept. ‘14)
  • Updated the City’s spill response plan.
  • Reinstituted Fire Station Inspections. (To begin Oct. ‘14)
  • Made DFD resources available for Fire line EMT assignments through mutual aid.
  • Instituted the use of Fire Bulletins to improve departmental communications and accountability.
  • Updated the automatic aid matrices with Dixon and Winters to improve resource utilization.

CURRENT PROJECTS FOR DFD

Entry-level firefighter hiring process:

  • Final round of interviews have been completed.
  • Conditional job offers being processed to hire five.
  • Starting an in-house academy October 13 for six weeks.

Firehouse RMS transition:

  • Firehouse records management system has gone live for DFD.
  • The system uses a shared database with UCDFD to improve collaboration and our ability to pull data from a single point for both agencies to use in reporting/performance monitoring.

Revamp of Evaluations:

  • Staff is working with HR to develop update performance evaluations for personnel that are more job-specific and provide a higher level of feedback for the employee.

Station maintenance and repair

  • Work has begun to order replacement furnishings for the fire stations.
  • Shared staff is preparing to come to Council later in the year with options for Station 31.

FY14-15 Annual Report

  • For the first time in several years we have created and released an annual report for DFD.
  • The report highlights the department’s performance and its work in the community.

Monthly Shared Fire Management Reports

  • Shared staff will continue to produce the monthly reports which have been widely praised in the community.

Emergency Management

  • With the support of the City Manager and all departments over the next few months update Emergency Management Certifications for all of our City employees. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) website has been updated to allow all within the City to complete the required training online.
  • Reinstitute regular Emergency Operations Planning Committee meetings with the goal of providing stability, continuity, improved capabilities and resiliency for our Emergency Management program.
  • In October in partnership with the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services, we will bring an Introduction to the EOC class for EOPC members, to immediately be followed by a functional exercise.
  • We have asked for and received funding to support training, equipment, and supplies for our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) thus we are looking forward to bolstering that program.
  • With the assistance of the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services we are pursuing a number of promising grant opportunities for critical equipment needs.

GOALS MOVING FORWARD

2014-2015 DEPARTMENT GOALS

  • Complete a Standard of Cover document
  • Complete a Strategic Plan that will carry the department through the year 2020 (Project Kickoff set for mid-late September ‘14)
  • Complete revisions to the department policy manual
  • Complete revisions to the department SOG manual
  • Bolster the department’s community outreach and education programs
  • Place significant emphasis on the Emergency Management and Community Preparedness portion of the Department’s mission
  • Begin work towards agency accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence
  • Continued exploration of county-wide shared service for prevention and arson investigation
  • Continued support and participation in the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium
  • Begin a comprehensive effort to establish a department-wide professional development program that meets or exceeds industry standards

Looking forward,

Nathan J. Trauernicht, MPA, CFO, CTO, MIFireE Fire Chief City of Davis & UC Davis Fire Departments

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About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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4 Comments

  1. Davis Progressive

    so it continues to look like we have almost no fires.

    chief trauernicht, what do you make of the davis response time data? 90% under six minutes, but some as many as 10 – what accounts for that?

    1. Fire Chief Trauernicht (DFD/UCDFD)

      Davis Progressive,

      It ultimately depends on where units are positioned, if not in their stations, and what other emergencies are happening in the City at any given time.

      Also: everyday issues such as traffic, trains, road construction, weather conditions, etc. can all impact response times.

      You will notice from the reports how much more often units are staying in their home districts then they did prior to boundary drop and our new use of Engine 34 to station 31’s coverage area for move and cover activities.  Those two changes along with adding Engine 34 to the City’s first alarm assignments have unquestionably improved speed and reliability of response throughout the system.

  2. South of Davis

    I heard that since October is Fire Prevention Month Davis is not only reminding people to check smoke alarms, but as part of the new “Healthy Families Initiative” will “ban smoking in all multi-family housing complexes” .

    Will the fire department be responding to calls about “burning tobacco” or “burning medical pot” in multi-family housing or will we need to call the cops (or the special Davis fireplace and smoker response team)?

    P.S. I like the new edit feature…

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