2016 Annual Report
The fire department staffs the fire station with dedicated and professional personnel 24-hours per day. The staff consists of nine full-time firefighter/paramedics, one part-time customer service representative and 35 part-time firefighter/paramedic/EMTs. The station houses two medic ambulances, one rescue pumper, one fire engine, one Quint fire truck and one support/hydrant maintenance vehicle.
Emergency medical service incidents continued to be one of the priorities of the department and represented 71 percent of the total incident volume. Total loss from fire in the community was $470,300. The department attributes the low number of fire incidents to fire prevention efforts and the fire inspections conducted by fire safety staff. In a modern fire service, preventing the outbreak and serious spread of fire is considered as essential to public safety as proficiency in fighting fires.
The department received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of Class 2 as a result of the review of the department’s operations. The ISO rating system uses a scale of 1 to 10 for its rating system. If a community has a score of 10, its residents will pay a much higher premium than a community with a lower score.
Fire Department Funding
A 5.5 mil levy was approved by the community in 1999 to fund the operations of the fire department. The levy was projected to last ten years, or until 2009. Through careful planning and budget controls, the current levy should fund the department through 2018, or eight years beyond the projected life of the levy. The department also receives revenue through the billing of EMS patients who are not property owners in the city.
Public education programs are a critical component of a modern fire department as the department strives to prevent injuries and accidents from occurring in the community. The fire department provided tours of the Safety Center, taught CPR classes and coordinated Fire Prevention Week activities. Fifty-four individual safety programs were offered to 1,212 participants.
The Child Car Seat Safety Program taught 157 citizens how to properly place their children in car seats and properly install the car seats in vehicles. Since the beginning of this program in 1999, the department has instructed over 3,144 individuals in the proper installation of child car seats.
Beginning in 2016, the department partnered with the American Red Cross with a program that supplied and installed free photoelectric smoke alarms to residents that either did not have any alarms or whose alarms were outdated. The program also offered a home safety check. To date 165 smoke alarms have been installed in 53 homes.
A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was organized in 2012 and educated 28 residents on how to handle emergencies in the event they are first on the scene in their neighborhood. The CERT members are dedicated to assisting emergency services in responding to large scale emergencies that affect the region when local resources are exhausted and awaiting regional, state and federal resources. Such large scale emergencies include tornados, long-term power outages, winter storms and other natural disasters. Additionally, CERT members are responsible for assisting with public education as they work with their neighbors in preparation of disasters and emergencies. In 2016, CERT members also assisted the department with traffic management during the Independence Day Parade and in mock disaster drills.
EMS Signpost is a web-based program available to the residents of Montgomery to assist with information that is needed during an EMS emergency. Once a resident registers on the secure website through this link on the City website, the City’s paramedics are able to use a smart phone to quickly, reliably, and securely access the resident’s health history to aid in providing emergency care during a 911 response.
EMS SignPost is an abbreviated version of a person’s health history stored on a personal, secure webpage. It includes items such as medications, chronic health conditions, allergies, and doctor’s contact information. A special access code to each individual’s personal webpage is stored on a refrigerator via a magnetic ID card that the City supplies to the resident free of charge.