Santa Rosa County
Emergency Services Advisory Committee
January 16, 2008
Agenda approved as submitted for this meeting.
Minutes for meeting held on September 19, 2007 approved as drafted with no exceptions.
Persons to Appear
Reports and Statistics
S. Cozart’s intention was to review the fire department statistical reports for October through December. Due to an upgrade to the CAD systemthat is not quite complete, reports are only available for September and October. S. Cozart reviewed the reports including the ‘no response’ statistics. We will look forward to reviewing in greater detail those numbers at our next meeting. It may be possible to determine what facilitated the drop in ‘no response’ statistics.
Lifeguard Response Statistics
S. Cozart reviewed the stats provided to the committee for Lifeguard’s first three months of service under the new contract; that is the last quarter of the year, October through December 2007. The contract calls for:
Rural areas 18 minutes 90%
Urban areas 10 minutes 90%
Lifeguard is in compliance through all three months and are running between 750 and 850 calls per month in the area of 92%-93% compliance overall. S. Cozart commended Lifeguard on their performance.
J. Kimbrell stated that they, too, are very happy with their efforts to provide timely service to Santa Rosa County. Lifeguard has been working very closely with the fire departments and the emergency management team in order to be more consistent in providing their service. It is a continual process of adjusting in order to have all of the resources in the right places at the right time - every time. It has proven to be a team effort in that they also transport non-emergency patients throughout the month.
In response to a question from S. Cozart, J. Kimbrell stated that they seem to have an overwhelming amount of support from all areas of the county with no resistance at all.
R. Collins, Pace, FL
Mr. Collins has attended many meetings. He understands that the stats are based on the new requirements that Fitch and Company published for us. He believes that these new stats should be provided to the public. Tell the public that the changes are in place, that improvement has taken place; they need to know what has occurred. He suggested that a Public Service Announcement is in order.
B. Baker clarified a few points and stated that the volumes of calls that are being measured are emergency calls only. Emergency calls are the only call types that are being held to the contractual requirements. They run other call types that are not considered emergency calls in relation to the compliance reporting.
Currently alpha calls are run with no lights and no sirens; however the calls are included in the compliance figures. The alpha calls are provided 20 minutes in the urban areas and 25 minutes in the rural areas because they run without the lights or sirens. He explained that during Rural Metro’s tenure alpha call types were not included in the statistics.
Further details of the new contract include many more criteria than were held in previous contracts. In addition to decreased response times the performance criteria increased. As an example, Lifeguard is measured from the time the call is dispatched to the time it takes to arrive on scene. Rural Metro was measured from the time the unit became enroute to the call, to the time it took to arrive on scene.
T.J. Doherty asked whether it was possible to change the reporting methods for the fire departments to reflect their performance in the same manner that Lifeguard’s response times are measured. He would like to see a comparison.
B. Baker attempted to explain the reporting method currently being used for the fire departments’ performances. In reviewing the statistics, the fire departments are technically performing within the same time range. B. Baker will look into a reporting method that is comparable for the medical call types (not including the fire call types). Discussion ensued regarding the use of fractile percentages. In addition, the fire departments measure their response times from the time the call is actually received and not the time the call is dispatched.
J. Kimbrell agrees with the idea of making the community more aware of the improvements to the system.
Bobby Peardon, Corporate Vice President, Lifeguard
S. Cozart commented at this point that he understands fully that any decisions made by Lifeguard regarding their business transactions are to be construed as necessary business decisions.
J. Kimbrell stated that they have been gearing up for a new customer service initiative program. The program will be implemented January 14. Lifeguard will be using a set of tools and techniques developed by the Studer Group based in Pensacola.
The first phase of the program comes in two parts. The first part involves training our leaders. The leaders learn how to work with the frontline staff, to communicate with them and to make them more well-rounded and motivated, and to get them excited about caring for the community! The second part of the program trains the frontline staff. One of the tools provided to the frontline employees comes in the form of an acronym; it is called ‘AIDET:’ A Acknowledge our customer by their last name I Introducing themselves to our customer D Duration of care will be explained E Explain what they are doing to/for our customer T Thank you They will do things like bring the family members up to speed, reassure the patient, manage the hospital up and assure the patient that they are at a great facility. They will meet their immediate needs; bring them a pillow, etc.
The second phase of the program pertains to customer call-backs. Lifeguard will contact the patient to thank that person for allowing them to care for that patient and then checking back with the patient. There are more phases along the way and Lifeguard looks forward to utilizing these important tools for improving customer satisfaction.
This committee received a letter from H. Walker, County Administrator, regarding the appointment of T.J. Doherty to the ESAC.
Fire Services Plan
S. Cozart explained for the benefit of T.J. Doherty the purpose and fundamentals of the Fire Services Plan. He also explained the steps that were taken to implement it and explained some of the benefits to the fire departments and to the citizens of Santa Rosa County.
B. Baker presented the committee with an update of the purchasing and budgeting activities that have been taking place. Four service vehicles were purchased for the Pace, Munson, Bagdad and East Milton departments. MSA airpacks (standardized SCVA equipment) were purchased utilizing the bid process at a savings of more than $20,000.00. With that purchase, the vendor also offered additional cost savings for the bottles that accompany the airpacks.
Substantial savings were realized with quantity price breaks on the purchase of items such as radios, tone pagers, alpha numeric pagers, etc.
Next, the Executive Group will be preparing bid requirements for fire trucks (pumpers, brush trucks) as part of their 5 year plan.
The Executive Group is determining a method of including the legislative districts in joining in these types of purchases in order to realize the savings also.
S. Cozart questioned whether the central purchase of insurance might be addressed again. B. Baker stated that D. Cook is investigating that issue as another of the big ticket items that might generate further savings.
B. Baker stated that the trucks will actually be owned by the county and leased to the fire departments. The county will purchase insurance for any liability related to the leasing of the vehicles to the departments.
R. Collins, Pace, FL
Mr. Collins attended many of the MSBU rate meetings. They were long and involved. Now that the purchases have realized such savings, he believes that the good news needs to be included in a Public Service Announcement for the public to be made aware of what is taking place.
T.J. Doherty questioned what will happen to the vehicles at the end of the lease.
B. Baker stated that the county would own the vehicles and continue to lease them to the fire departments. The purpose of leasing the vehicles is to get the fire departments out from under long term leases (15 – 20 years). Discussion ensued regarding a long term plan for the use of the vehicles.
T.J. Doherty suggested that the information provided to the public on the website regarding the MSBU issues is updated to reflect current information including the updated equipment purchases for each department.
B. Baker provided an update to the programthat has been implemented in order to track and maintain the fire hydrants. The GIS/Computer department is assisting with keeping track of the hydrants. They keep the maps current; they provide the maps to the purveyors; the purveyors are asked to make the county aware of any changes, down time, etc. There is an email account maintained exclusively for the hydrants. The information provided is real time in that everyone is made aware of any hydrants down for repair, or not functioning at all.
Pace Water System is working on the marking of the hydrants in that area and have established a system for keeping them maintained.
T.J. Doherty questioned whether the county has a sufficient number of hydrants for all of the communities within the county. He pointed out that some neighborhoods have many hydrants while other neighborhoods have none for miles. In addition, there is a question as to whether a 2” or 4” line is sufficient.
S. Cozart stated that this committee has not addressed an ordinance or a building code addressing the physical locations of the hydrants. He stated that the building department is responsible for assuring that the hydrants are installed according to code. It is something that we could look at in the future.
T. J. Doherty stated that the neighborhoods he is referring to are pre-coded (established neighborhoods). He questioned who is responsible for the hydrants.
S. Cozart advised him that this committee spent a lot of time determining just that. This committee determined that the water purveyors are the owners of the hydrants and, consequently, they are responsible for the hydrants. This committee came to this conclusion realizing that there is some legal question regarding this issue yet to be addressed.
Discussion ensued regarding the issues yet to be determined about the ownership of the hydrants.
B. Baker commented that the water systems were established for potable water and not for fire hydrants. There are no ordinances or orders that state that the water purveyors have to retrofit for the fire departments. Any assistance with the hydrants will have to be pursued through the water purveyors.
R. Collins, Pace, FL
R. Collins pointed out that replacing a 2” line with a 4” line is not according to the standards that have been set by the American Water Works. It is not sufficient and should be a minimum of a 6” line for the fire lines.
R. Collins, Pace, FL
Mr. Collins stated that B. Baker has tried to promote C.E.R.T. teams in all areas of the county. He stated that maybe with the addition of Mr. Doherty to this committee it will be possible to expand the concept of the C.E.R.T. teams to other areas of the county. He stated that there seems to be a lot of individual efforts that could be developed into a stronger unit through
the team concept.
Mr. Collins is concerned with the next meeting date being in April. He stated that some people are starting to be interested in the minutes that are posted on line. The last set of minutes available to date is those for the July meeting. There seems to be too long of a time lapse between meetings. An example would be that the minutes for today’s meeting
would not be approved until the April meeting and then made available to the public some time after April 16. Mr. Collins believes that they are not published in a timely manner.
S. Cozart recognized the number of hours it takes for staff to prepare for this meeting. All of the work related to this committee meeting is only a small part of their jobs. He noted that this committee is not actively working on any major issues at this time. We should take the time to monitor how the projects that have been implemented are functioning. There are no specific projects or primary proposals that are urgent. S. Cozart stated that monthly meetings may not be necessary at this time. A quarterly meeting, where many things can be
reviewed may be more productive than holding a 40-minute meeting on a monthly basis. This idea was reviewed with other county staff members prior to making the determination. In addition, the minutes must be reviewed prior to publishing. The publication of information is not the main purpose of this committee. There are routine and other methods of disseminating the information to the public. The publication of the minutes does not stop the issues from moving forward. We need to attempt to hold quarterly meetings.
R. Collins, Pace, FL
Mr. Collins stated that the bigger issue is that the meeting minutes are not available for the September meeting and it is January. He suggested that the committee members get a consensus over the phone prior to publishing the minutes.
S. Cozart stated that the video of this meeting is available on the website if anyone would like to check the activities of this committee.
R. Collins, Pace, FL
Mr. Collins stated that it is available only to those people who have computers and not available to those who do not have computers.
Discussion ensued regarding the Sunshine Law regarding these requests, the legalities of the issue, emergency meetings, etc. It was determined that it would be best to err on the side of caution.
R. Jenkins suggested that the meetings be held every other month as an alternative. He said that many people do contact him regarding these issues and are interested in the information this committee provides. J. Kimbrell agreed and stated that every other month would be appropriate. With the approaching vote on the double homestead we may be able to make a difference to other agencies. As an example, maybe we could assist the Santa Rosa County Firefighter’s Association. T.J. Doherty also agreed with an every other month
schedule as opposed to the quarterly. The citizens may question what we are accomplishing if we meet only on a quarterly basis.
The motion was made to schedule this meeting every other month. The motion was carried.
Next meeting date and time will be: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 2:00 PM