07/20/09 625 W - + 14 - 11 Fire Commission Meeting Highlights, July 16 (Updated)

July 20 update. Two documents added, copies of the closure presentation and the Facilities Committee report. 

What happened at tonight's Wake County Fire Commission Meeting? Here's the previously posted agenda. Regarding the Report on Evaluation and Application of Fire Commission's Fire Station Closure Criteria, the Wake County Fire Marshall provided a summary of his work evaluating and applying closure criteria to four Wake County fire stations:

His presentation included information on the background and methodology of the evaluation. The process included a GIS analysis, completed, and a criteria evaluation, completed except for data on Raleigh Fire Department contract cost. That information is expected soon. A copy of the presentation handout has been requested and will be posted on the blog when received.

Evaluation and criteria application summaries were presented for each of the four stations, which addressed issues including water supply and insurance grading. Recommendations summaries were also presented, and are listed below.

Bay Leaf Station 3 - Recommendations

Falls Fire Station - Recommendations

Wake-New Hope Station 1 - Recommendations

Western Wake Station 1 - Recommendations

Recommended Time Line

Discussions and numerous questions followed the presentation. Notes on those discussions to be posted later, as needed. Reader questions and answers may cover that ground. The Fire Marshal repeatedly emphasized that the evaluation represents his interpretation of the data, and others may have different interpretations of the same data.

As a next step, the Fire Commission voted to schedule a special-called meeting to perform two things: (a.) present the RFD contract cost information, and (b.) allow the first two departments in the proposed timeline (BLFD, FFD) to make presentations. The meeting will be scheduled on a date earlier than the regular scheduled September meeting.

What else happened tonight? The commission discussed, debated, and approved a Fairview Fire Department staffing plan to fund additional expenditures related to the conversion of a part-time to a full-time position. (Correct layman's summary?) The Facilities Committee presented a report with updates on projects, including the Bay Leaf Station 1 reconstruction project. BLFD have submitted a 2009 AFG fire station construction grant application, which would cover 79% of the project's estimated $4.5M cost.

During public comment, Durham Highway Fire Department announced that Chief Rick Laskey's seminar on August 1 has been made available as a free event for all Wake County firefighters. Also, the Durham Highway Fire Chief announced his resignation as Fire Chief, effective Aug. 1. He is also resigning from his regional representation role on the commission. It was also noted that the Wendell Fire Chief  recently resigned from his regional representation role on the commission.

And that's all folks. Corrections and clarifications welcome. Signed, Citizen Blogger.

Things could get very interesting when the info about the contract cost with RFD become available.
Silver - 07/16/09 - 23:42

These proposed closures have been discussed for quite awhile now. Is this something that will eventually happen or never come to fruition?
Bobby F - 07/17/09 - 14:05

As memory and my notes best recall, here are some of the questions and comments that followed the station closure presentation:

- The Raleigh units that would cover New Hope’s suburban area are very busy. Can they accommodate additional call volume?

- If Falls is merging with Wake Forest, why is their station even an issue? Answer: The district still needs to be evaluated, to see if it’s cheaper to split with Raleigh, or leave intact with Falls/Wake Forest covering.

- What happens to coverage of a suburban area, if the first-due Raleigh units are at another fire? What Raleigh (or other) stations are then sent?

- The Fire Commission hasn’t seen any figures about savings. Can we really do anything until we see those figures?

- And note that even if a cost savings is determined, the delivery of service will still have to be ironed out. Once that’s done, the costs and savings may change.

- Has Cary been made aware of these recommendations? Answer: The Cary Fire Chief is aware of the recommendations. Also, CFD present serves the Cary suburban district, established with the closure of Western Wake Station 2.

- And note that all closure recommendations assume that both RFD and CFD has excess resources, and can provide suburban district coverage without having to add additional resources.
Legeros - 07/17/09 - 20:15

I can answer the one question about providing coverage for New Hope’s area….Engine 11, 19, 26 and 21 I guess would pick up most of it. Do any of those exceed 2,000 runs a year? 2,000 runs a year equates to not even 6 calls a day, which isn’t busy!
Silver - 07/17/09 - 22:42

Actually, 6 calls a day would be 2190 calls per year.
Mr. Obvious - 07/18/09 - 06:23

Not sure what your point is, Mr. Obvious. Did one of those companies post 2190 runs? If not, are we just having a simple math class via legeros.com? What I had posted was a question, if any had exceeded 2,000 runs in a year. If they did not, it equates to less than 6 runs a day, to put things in perspective, which isn’t busy for a city department.
Silver - 07/18/09 - 11:09

Since Mr. Blogger actually has a degree in teaching math— yup, just checked that diploma hanging in the bathroom— let’s conduct a simple math lesson.

2000 divided by 365 equals 5.4794520547945205479452054794521.

2000 runs a year equals an average of 5.48 runs a day. Ergo,

2000 runs a year equates to less than 6 runs a day.

This math lesson was provided as a public service to blog readers everywhere, or at least the five people who are reading right now.
Legeros - 07/18/09 - 11:13

Okay, now that is settled…getting back to your question Silver, here are the run totals for 2008 for the units you mentioned:

Engine 11 – 1933
Engine 19 – 1787
Engine 21 – 1212
Engine 26 – 898

I’m unsure what the call volume is for Wake-New Hope St 1, but if the units you mentioned divided the calls I doubt the increased call volume would be that significant. However, it doesn’t appear to me that the call volume is the issue, but rather the non-hydranted areas.
PJ - 07/18/09 - 12:21

Thanks for that info PJ!
Silver - 07/18/09 - 13:26

PJ, what were the run amounts for the top 5 engs in Raleigh this past year?
Mike - 07/20/09 - 15:43

1) Engine 3 – 2661
2) Engine 12 – 2547
3) Engine 1 – 2271
4) Engine 11 – 1933
5) Engine 15 – 1798
PJ - 07/20/09 - 20:17

New Hope Sta 1’s call volume wouldn’t even be a valild qualifier due to the fact that alot of there calls are already being answered with a Raleigh engine. BTW, I didn’t need to utilize my math skills to figure that out.
14driver - 07/22/09 - 09:26

Good point 14driver…you didn’t enjoy our review of basic math for others that try to be smart a$$e$, but look dumb instead?
Silver - 07/22/09 - 09:49

Everybody bow down to master silver….. wow.
not good enough - 07/22/09 - 10:19

14driver, are you or anyone else in favor of these closures willing to pay any of these folks bills if they are to loose their jobs??? where has the BROTHERHOOD gone? (FAR FAR AWAY from wake co it seems!)
1ntheknow - 07/22/09 - 18:07

Raleigh’s hiring, maybe they’d be nice enough to offer them a spot in the academy?
FDguy - 07/22/09 - 19:26

Everyone remember silver is the one that likes joking, just as long as he is in charge of it.
laddershavehosetoo - 07/22/09 - 19:32

FDguy, they may be over-qualified for entry level FF (capts,lts and such)
1ntheknow - 07/22/09 - 22:40

Yeah everyone, remember that!! Well put from a cowardly lad like yourself, if it were true. Pretty clever screen name, hope you aren’t in a ladder company at the RFD, because if you want a hose line, might I interest you in a position at one of the 28 engine companies.

No, jokes are great, as long as they have a point. The idiot “Mr. Obvious” was trying to make a point but failed miserably.

Beggars can’t be choosers; I’d hate to see ANYONE lose a job, but if the city were to offer them a spot in the academy, why wouldn’t they take it? It’s unfortunate, and the closures are coming from the county anyways. Maybe the county should absorb them into their program somehow? The city would be doing them a HUGE favor if they offered them spots. Overqualified though? Come on now, I know a cat that came here from Detroit years ago that probably has fought more fire than most 20 year vets when he came on…all in the mindset.
Silver - 07/22/09 - 23:05

They (county FF’s) will, and should go through the same process as everyone else who applies to RFD, no special preference. There’s a reason why we don’t have the short Academies anymore. Just because you worked at a county department, or have firefighting experience, you shouldn’t be given preference over those who have no experience. Some of the best firefighters I know came to Raleigh with NO experience.
Jakey - 07/23/09 - 07:11

Anyone know of how the county firefighters that were brought on after being annexed by Fayetteville has worked out for them?
Mike - 07/23/09 - 13:42

I think the same thing happened in Winston Salem. If I’m right maybe someone over there could tell us how it worked out.
HAND - 07/23/09 - 16:54

1ntheknow, Sorry it took so long for me to reply but if you go to work for any agency that is on the border of a rapidly sprawling city you shouldn’t expect to have a job for very long. I am suprised New Hope #1 isn’t long gone. And, to repeat the age old argument, who are we here for, ourselves, or the citizens.
14 driver - 07/27/09 - 14:20

BL#3, Falls, WW, and New Hope #1 is still there because of the screwed up annexations and lack of a county water system. It’s amazing how all of you that have nothing to lose are so willing to give away someone else’s job and living. And if you hire someone that’s experienced and qualified they should be given additional opportunities over a green hire. This petty, childish bickering is ridiculous. None of you have any influence on these matters anyway.
USAFireFighter - 07/27/09 - 17:49

That’s why it’s called a discussion board. What kind of “additional opportunities” are you speaking of?
Silver - 07/27/09 - 20:56

USA—I disagree with your statement. I’ve worked with probies that have experience as a volly or career dept and ones with no experience at all. Sorry, but a volly would be the last choice with a green head being my first.
RescueRanger - 07/27/09 - 21:01

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