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IrvingFD_2010-11BudgetDispute

IrvingFD_2010-11BudgetDispute

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Published by: Irving Blog on Oct 25, 2011
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10/25/2011

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FY
2010-2011
 FY
2011-2012
 
Councilwoman Cannaday asked Chief Molina: “What type of programs … does this involve” and “what is theattendance of children to these programs”. Here are some of Chief Molina’s responses:
 
The “New Model” changes from a past focus on just children, adults, seniors, and business; to nowadding an EMS component to our Fire Safety classes through utilization of the Board of Health that isnow under the Fire Department.
Fact Check: Prior to now, the FD and Board of Health did not combine resources and accomplishments. Attendance numbers reported in the past were based on programs conducted through the Fire Preventionand Operation divisions
 
Using the “New Model” (which Molina states engages all firefighters, two or three inspectors andhimself), we have “raised our [education]
target 
from 18k persons in 2006, to a new
target 
of 33kpersons” and “we are building on the past efforts by adding a focus on working with churches,
the YMCA
 and ethnic diverse groups”.
Fact Check: Chief Molina never stated whether more, less or the same number of 
children
are receivingFire & Safety Classes. Rank and file firefighters are not aware of any “New Model” of public education.There have been no Directives, General Operating Procedure, or training describing a “New Model”. FireSafety & EMS Education activities of the Operations Division are the same as in past years (i.e. fire drills,show and tells, station tours). Fire Safety Education activities of the Prevention Division historically havebeen conducted by two uniform personnel. One of their most important activities consisted of Fire Safety Education classes for every 3
rd 
and 6
th
grader, every year. Additionally, they conducted many classes for businesses, special groups, two Citizens Fire Academy classes a year, and many others. The PublicEducation section of Fire Prevention was eliminated and the personnel moved to inspections; many of these past Fire Safety Programs are no longer conducted.The following information is taken from the IFD Annual Report:
 
2006-07: 1174 programs conducted with 18,094 attending
 
2007-08: 1287 programs conducted with 29,645 attending
 
2008-09: 1001 programs conducted with 25,933 attending
 
2009-10:
404
 programs conducted with 38,395 attending
 
These numbers indicate that a major change in attendance occurred in FY 07-08 (One can deduce that increased attendance is attributed to the inclusion of Board of Health presentations and/or a new methodology for counting a contact). During the FY 2008-09, the Public Education division was reduced  from 2 persons to only 1. This is reflected in the reduced number of programs held and persons attending.For FY 2009-10 there is a major change…the Public Education Division no longer exists and the number of  programs conducted is now 1/3 what it was in FY 07-08 yet the number of contacts grew by 13,000.For many years, all 3
rd 
graders received a very intense Safety Program. Our Burn House was donated tothe city to for this very program. The Safety Burn house has not been used in a school since May 8
th,
2008at Davis Elementary School where 118 3
rd 
graders attended. This program is no longer provided.
 
 
 
FY 2010-2011FY 2011-2012
Councilman Webb questioned directly whether Chief Molina has enough inspectors to do requiredinspections and whether school children were getting as much FD education as in the past.
 
Molina did not respond yes or no. He instead stated we continue to do education in the schools butwith all fire fighters, not just two special public educators as in the past.
(See public education section)
 
 
Molina stated we continue to do inspections and that in 2005 we conducted about 9000 inspectionsand at close of 2010 we conducted about 10,998 (indicating an improvement).
Fact Check: These are the Inspection Numbers reported on the IFD Annual Report 
 
2006-07:
 
9,309
 
2007-08:
 
10, 866
 
2008-09:
 
9,916
 
2009-10:
 
10,998
 
FYI- these numbers include all “Re-inspections”. A re-inspection is every subsequent visit to anoccupancy necessary to complete one inspection. The type of occupancy, the size of the building, presence of fire suppression systems, or some other factor such as the non- compliance of the owner are factors that increase the difficulty and amount of time necessary to complete the inspection of asingle occupancy. This fact by itself will cause the number of inspections conducted each year to fluctuate. The numbers reported in the IFD Annual Report is more of an “activity report” and is not anindication of the occupancy inspections completed or the probable safety of buildings in Irving.
 
City of Irving has 16541 occupancies that require inspection. Molina stated that with his “New Model”, heidentified the occupancies that require annual inspections and those that only need inspection every other year. If 
all 
occupancies were inspected on the every other year plan, it would require over 8000
completed 
occupancy inspections each year.Based on “Last Date Inspected”, only 45% of Irving occupancies have been inspected within the past twoyears.
This means that 55% of Irving occupancies have not been inspected within the 2-year “New Model”. A special note: 23% (3872) occupancies have not been inspected in over 5 years.
Over the past three years, Chief Molina has moved public education personnel out of education and into inspections,and has authorized 40hrs per week of overtime, just to keep pace with past performance; which doesnot meet the goals or needs. Two years ago, the Chief was asked by council for a staffing plan and theChief requested three more inspectors. Since then, we have eliminated two public educators from FirePrevention and we still need more inspectors.
Two years in row, the Fire Department presentation shows a “New Measure” for Fires Caused by codeviolations without defining what this means.
 
 
FY 2010-2011FY 2011-2012
Chief Molina reports a substantial drop in “Average Emergency Response Times”between FY 07-08 and FY 08-09 (no updated information from last year’s report to thisyear). The Chief indicates that the IFD Target is a Five Minute average response (is this setby him or by Council?). The Chief attributed this improvement to the following:
1)
 
In District Training; 2) Demand Coverage and; 3) Alternative Deployment
Fact Check: First, the reported improvement is not due to any change in operations but rather a change in the method of reporting. In 2008, code one responses (no lights or sirens) were eliminated from the times reported. There is no need to track the code onecalls for purposes of meeting a goal, but showing an improvement in response times whennone exist should not be done without an asterisk and explanation.
 
Secondly, the accepted national standard for response times is outlined in NFPA 1710. It ismost simply stated as: Cities are to meet the below established time frame: Respond with
 
4 responders on scene, 90% of the time:
 
1) Processing Times = Time to receive and make decision on who to send, this time isnot tracked by our system.
 
2) From time the dispatch is completed till apparatus is out of the Station (aka – turn-out time) = 80 seconds for fire special calls and 60 seconds for EMS calls
 
3) From out of the Station door to the front door of the emergency = 4 minutes
 
The IFD dispatch system does not track times in a manner that is easily adapted tocompliance with the National Standard. Assuming an average of 90 seconds for  process and turn-out time, when a 4 minute drive-time is added, it is safe to assumeIrving should adopt a total Response Time goal of 5.5 minutes. This goal should bemet 
90% of the time with four responders.
Since IFD responds with only three persons, it will be necessary to track the arrival of the second apparatus on scene;until such time Irving has 4-man staffing.
 
Irving is nowhere close to meeting the National Standard of 90% of the time with 4responders. A full analysis should be conducted and reported so that Council can makeinformed decisions about our response capabilities. The IPFFA has GIS tools through theIAFF to help cities analyze response abilities. All that is necessary is cooperation.
 
Response times can only be improved with: additional stations and/or apparatus, 4man staffing, re-location of current resources, improved routes/roads, driving faster(not a good idea), and technology to control red lights (already done years ago).

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