The staff consists of nine full-time firefighter/paramedics, one part-time administrative aide and thirty part-time firefighter/paramedic/EMTs. The department staffs the fire station with dedicated and professional personnel 24-hours per day at the Safety Center. This station houses two medic ambulances, one rescue pumper, one fire engine, one quint fire truck and one support/hydrant maintenance vehicle.
The department handled fire, EMS and rescue incidents as seen in the graphs below. Emergency medical service incidents continue to be one of the priorities of the department and are responsible for 66% of the total incident volume. 2013 saw a total value of loss from fire in the City of $271,600. The department attributes the low number of fire incidents to our fire prevention efforts and the inspections conducted by our 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.
Live fire training
The department received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of two as a result of the review of the department’s operations. The ISO uses a scale of one to nine for its rating system. If a city has a score of nine, its residents will pay a much higher premium than a city with a lower score. Our previous ISO score was a three. The department is very pleased and proud of this accomplishment. Current data show there are 2,833 communities in the State of Ohio, of which, no community has a score of one and only thirty-two have a score of two.
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 2017, or eight years beyond the projected life of the levy. The only other revenue comes to the department through the billing of EMS patients who are not property owners in the City of Montgomery. With the State of Ohio eliminating the Tangible Personal Property Tax in 2012, the department will experience a loss of approximately $115,000 per year from this former funding source.
Lt. Mark Stagge demonstrates proper use of a fire extinguisher
Public education programs, once again, were very successful for the department. We provided tours of the Safety Center, taught CPR classes and coordinated Fire Prevention Week activities. These worthwhile programs kept all busy in 2013. Fifty-two individual programs were offered to 1,098 participants, as the department strived to prevent injuries and accidents from occurring in the community. The Child Car Seat Safety Program taught 191 citizens how to properly use and place their children in a car seat in 2013. Since the beginning of this program in 1999 the department has instructed over 2,556 individuals in the proper installation of child car seats.
Citizen Emergency Response Team
A Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) was organized in 2012 and educated 23 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 to arrive. Such large scale emergencies include tornados, long-term power outages, winter storms and other natural disasters. Additionally CERT members are responsible to assist with public education as they work with their neighbors in preparation of disasters and emergencies. In 2013, CERT members also assisted the department with traffic management during the July 4 parade, shared CPR information at the Bastille Day celebration, role-played victims in mock disaster drills and shared emergency kit information at the Neighborhood Leaders Forum, held in May of 2013.
Looking Towards 2014
2013 has been a full year with many new challenges and changes. The fire department continues to mature into a first-rate public safety organization. Based on the department’s plan for 2014, the future looks equally exciting as well as challenging.