2015 Department Goals
Our number one goal will always be firefighter safety. As an organization we will develop strategies and implement training programs to enhance firefighter safety and survival. Safety is both an individual and team responsibility. Supervisors and employees must take an active role in their personal safety and the safety of their crews.
Work in Progress - Many improvements were made to enhance our safety, a few examples are:
- Added Unit ID to placards on Reserve Apparatus to reduce confusion on the fire ground
- Completed issuing all employees new high visibility work jackets
- Conducted Transitional Fire Attack Training
- Provided vascular screenings for all employees at Anne Arundel Medical Center
- Started IAFC Rules of Engagement Training
- The Command Staff reviewed NIOSH Line of Duty Death Reports at most staff meetings
- We completed the upgrade of emergency lighting on all vehicles with the installation of new lights on E-362
- Worked with the City Human Resources Department to obtain free membership at the City Recreation Center Gym
Implement New Fire Hazard Survey (FHS) Program (GPM)
This was a 2014 year goal which expanded beyond its original scope. The Training Division and the Office of the Fire Marshal have collaboratively developed a tablet-based application for use in Fire Safety Inspection and Fire Hazard Survey programs. This app will combine the two paper forms used currently by the Department. Licenses were purchased in 2014 for a focus group to beta test the product. Training is scheduled for early 2015, and month trial period will be conducted by the focus group. After any required edits or adjustments, a timeline will be established for Departmental roll-out which is anticipated to be completed no later than April 2015.
Completed - The program was officially launched in June 2015 with Departmental Order 026-2015.
Increase ISO Rating to Class 1 (GPM)
Effective November 1, 2012, our ISO rating was upgraded to a Class 2 with a final score of 82.71. A score of 90 is required for a Class 1 rating. One area in which we were rated low was company training hours per month - for maximum credit each firefighter should receive 20 hours of training per month; in 2012 we averaged 2.11 hours per month (we earned 2.64 points out of an available 25 points). For the past several years our training hours have slowly increased to 12 -14 hours per month per employee. Our goal this year is that each employee will strive to increase individual firefighter training hours as required for achieving a Class 1 rating. We will review employee training monthly to identify problem areas.
Work in Progress - In August 2015 we met with representatives from ISO in hopes of obtaining a Class 1 rating. After a lengthy discussion with the ISO representative, it was clear there we three issues that would impact our ability to obtain a Class 1 rating. One, the Crystal Springs Annexation has structures that are not protected by fire hydrants; Two, we failed to provide officer training during FY15 due to overtime limitations; and Three, we did not conduct non-destructive ladder testing on our aerials last year. This goal will continue in 2016.
Develop Active Shooter OPM and Conduct Training
Tragic events across the country are an all-too-frequent reminder of the world we now live in. From bombings to active shooters, the threats we all face in the 21st century are constantly evolving. The Office of Emergency Management conducted an Active Shooter drill in 2012. This goal will expand on that training and include the development of an OPM and Department-wide training on managing an active shooter event. This was a 2014 goal that was delayed due to conflicts with the APD; we seem to have resolved our differences of opinion and are now moving forward.
Work in Progress - This was a 2014 and 2015 goal that was delayed due to tactical/procedural conflicts with the APD; we seem to have resolved our differences of opinion and are now moving forward. We have completed a proposed SOP, obtained grant funding to purchase safety equipment which was delivered in December 2015 and training is scheduled for January 2016. In addition, two Active Shooter training exercises are planned for 2016.
Develop Transitional Fire Attack Policy
Recent studies conducted by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding transitional fire attack has stirred much debate in the fire service. Our goal is to review the current scientific data to determine the appropriate operating policies, training requirements and nozzle selections to implement a transitional fire attack policy.
Completed - This year, the AACo FD greatly assisted our agency in meeting training requirements for transitional fire attack through their Fall and Spring skills sessions. Spring skills were focused on a didactic session on the history, study of and research and development of the transitional fire attack concept. Fall skills provided the practical component of actually applying a transitional fire attack in the controlled environment of a burn building. This training was well received and provided our personnel the ability to meet the training required of this emerging fire ground tactic.
Evaluate Emergency Medical Services Delivery Model
Review the data from our experimentation with BLS response to determine if the current model is the most cost-effective and provides the best services to the citizens of the city.
Work in Progress - We still have ongoing reviews and recommendations regarding the BLS unit. There is also debate about the feasibility of placing a medic unit in Station 8. There are still many questions regarding how this will impact our overtime budget, what additional EMS Transport revenues can be obtained, the impact on our ISO rating and the overall impact on our personnel.
Review the Standard Operating Guidelines for the Special Operations Division
The review will include ensuring that each section is complying with all National regulations (OSHA) meets the consensus standards and complies with the standard of care that has been established for each area.
Completed - The Operational guidelines, some of which were 20 years old have been updated.
Issue Revised Operating Policy Manual Updates
The updates to the OPM’s are now nearly complete. This task proved to be a labor-intensive project that continues to require updating and revision. The revisions have been reviewed for clarity, grammar, spelling, and compliance with City Policy and the Union Contract. Our goal is to start releasing the OPM’s for review.
Work in Progress - The update of the manual is completed and we will start issuing the updates in January 2016.
Transition to Centralized Fleet Maintenance
In 2014, the City hired a full-time Fleet Manager with the goal of establishing a City Centralized Fleet Maintenance Program. Our goal will be to start integrating our vehicle maintenance into the City’s Central Fleet Maintenance.
Completed - The Department transitioned with the new Fleet Manager in April 2015, ahead of the July 2015 deadline.
Rules of Engagement Training (Increasing Firefighter Survival)
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) in partnership with several fire service organizations embarked on a multi-year process to develop the Rules of Engagement of Structural Firefighting to provide guidance to individual firefighters and incident commanders, regarding risk and safety issues when operating on the fire ground. Included in the process were the Fire Department Safety Officer Association (FDSOA), the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation (NFFF), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Our goal is to train all personnel on the seven sections of the document.
Work in Progress - Although attacking this goal did not start until later in the calendar year (September), it is well underway and will continue into 2016. The introduction and background of the program was presented as a part of September’s monthly training. After September, we will be presenting one Rule (w/associated NIOSH reports) each month for members to review and analyze. After the first few rules are completed by the employees, the Battalion Chiefs will be assigned to select one of the NIOSH reports and present via a round table discussion to their crew members. This should drive home the importance of the "Rules You Can Live By" Program.
Smoke Alarm / CO Monitor Program
With the donation of smoke alarms and CO monitors from Baltimore Gas and Electric in 2014, the Department has been going door to door in City neighborhoods checking to ensure residents have working smoke alarms. It is our goal this year to continue this safety program until every home in the City is checked.
Work in Progress - This program is still underway and we are progressing better than expected. Since January 1, 2015, we have installed 143 smoke alarms and 42 carbon monoxide detectors.
IAFF Fire Operations 101
There is no better way for Public Officials to understand the duties and challenges of the fire service than to spend a day in the life of a firefighter/paramedic. It is our goal to work in partnership with the County Fire Department to sponsor an IAFF Fire Ops 101 program.
Work in Progress - The Union arranged for the Mayor to attend the Congressional Fire Ops 101 hosted by the P.G. County Fire Department for members of Congress. However, the Mayor was unable to attend.