John L. Phillips, Chief
Auburn Volunteer Fire Department
Year End Report
In 2009 The Auburn Volunteer Fire Department has continued to see improvements with equipment, training and personnel. Some of the notable Items are listed below. 2010 looks to be a very positive year also as we attempt for our replacement levy and station addition / renovation.
Staffing has been increased to 24 hours, 7 days a week to reduce response times. In addition we have added additional members to the roster. Several of these members come to us with training already in place thus saving time and money of schooling and enabling the department to implement them into the schedule quickly as they have previous experience and only need to learn our equipment and procedures. Of the new recruits we have obtained 6 paramedics and 1 intermediate EMT. Through education provided by the department, 5 of our members have advanced their EMS certifications to the level of intermediate and one is in process of advancing to paramedic, and lastly 2 have successfully completed their paramedic classes and have obtained certification through the state. Additional continuing and advancement education for the year included sending 7 members to FDIC, a national conference with multiple learning opportunities. 1 member attended the national fire academy in Emmetsburg, MD. And several other classes were attended at local and state facilities as well as in a house fire training and continuing EMS education.
As mentioned above the department obtained permission and use of a structure for multiple training drills ending on the final day with live burn training. Other trainings involved the donation of several vehicles for the department to use in extrication training. A large scale drill was conducted at Ladue Reservoir involving a helicopter crash and recovery of victims from the water. This very useful drill involved multiple agencies from around North East Ohio including Cleveland Clinic’s Helicopter, County Dive Team, multiple area fire departments and law enforcement. In 2010 we intend to continue our efforts in this area by in house training and out sourced locations. Our F.T.O. program intended for new members has been revamped and a new manual was constructed to aid in the development of new potential members.
Equipment has also been upgraded and/or replaced.
A new computer server and work station were replaced allowing future expansion to the network and improved protection of department data. A new television was purchased for the training room due to attrition. Capitol purchased included the replacement of several sets of firefighter turnout gear and a new S.U.V. The S.U.V.’s purpose is for additional personnel to respond on calls and for the use on fire inspections and other functions, thus reducing costs in using expensive apparatus. Another Capital expense for the year was the purchase of new radios. In 2011 the county radio system will switch over to a digital system, rendering our current radios useless. In order to help offset the large cost of total replacement, a decision was made to split up the purchase over 2 years. Group purchasing with other departments also provided additional discounts. New computer Data Terminals are being installed for six vehicles. These were purchased through a county wide grant and were provided to the department free of charge.
They will aide in minimizing radio traffic, provide G.P.S. and mapping which will greatly improve response times especially when responding to other districts and also will provide onsite information for commercial fire and rescue preplanning such as building design, contents, lot configuration, stored hazardous materials and other special considerations.
Fire prevention has made several advancements as well. Inspections in residential (when requested), industrial, and commercial properties have increased. Additional duties include a joint effort with the State Fire Marshall involving above ground storage tanks in a manufacturing facility which should reach completion in February 2010. A new day care was inspected and opened and several other construction projects are currently in the works. Addressing, a term used to describe the physical checking of each and every address in the township, was conducted and finished up in late December. This information was then passed along to A.C. Lovell of the Bainbridge Fire Department in a joint effort to update maps in the vehicles and station. A.C. Lovell has done a superb job in the past and we have every reason to expect the same quality when he completes the project. There has also been extensive research conducted into several properties for code related concerns. These vary from items such as the fore mentioned storage tanks, gas wells and items new to everyone, like wind turbine generators for instance. In 2010 Fire Prevention plans to forge ahead with inspections and also begin the preplanning of properties within the township. Fire Prevention also plans to coordinate with Bainbridge Fire Department in hopes to educate children in our school district.
The department has advanced in efforts with township zoning to improve the protection of life and property in our community.
A paramount issue for the department is the station facilities addition / renovation project. In early 2009 the department hired Larsen Architects to help conduct a needs assessment of our station which was built in 1978. The station is not equipped for our 24/7 staffing needs and does not conform to current building standards. Men and women must share current sleeping quarters in an office area on rollaway beds along with shower and restrooms. Many other concerns were also addressed. A conceptual plan was developed for the station and approved by the department along with Township Trustee’s.
Current funding falls short for maintaining current staffing levels, future equipment purchases, operational expenses along with the station addition / renovation project. A replacement levy will be placed on the May 2010 ballot for our resident’s approval. The department and township are also seeking grant funds to help with funding.
© Auburn Volunteer Fire Department 2010 ®