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Approved May 21, 2008 - Emergency Services Advisory Board Minutes


Santa Rosa County
Emergency Services Advisory Committee
May 21, 2008
2:00 p.m.

Members present:
Stephen Cozart
Joe Diamond
T.J. Doherty
Ryan Jenkins
Werner Panchenko

Members absent:
J. Kimbrell

Staff present:
Brad Baker
Deb Grinde

Agenda approved as submitted for this meeting with one exception.  At the request of T.J. Doherty, a discussion of the purpose of this committee was added under new business.

Minutes for meeting held on March 19, 2008 approved as drafted with no exceptions.

Persons to Appear

Reports and Statistics
Continue to have some minor programproblems with the Fire Department reports. S. Cozart reviewed the reports including the “No Response” statistics for the months of March and April 2008. There was some concern about four calls missed in East Milton although two were during daytime hours.  This committee also reviewed the volumes of calls.  S. Cozart stated that overall there has been an incredible improvement in all departments.

T.J. Doherty asked about the definitions of the priorities.  B. Baker explained the Medical Priority Dispatch Systemby Dr. Clawson is used to prioritize all calls utilizing the designations Alpha through Echo. It is based on a national standard.

B. Baker also stated that all of the departments in the south end of the county respond to all of the calls, while the central and north area departments do not respond to Alpha calls.
Lifeguard Response Statistics S. Cozart informed this committee that Lifeguard’s compliance for the months of January through April have been phenomenal.  He more specifically reviewed their response times and compliance statistics for the months of March and April 2008.

MARCH Rural: 91.80% 10:33 minutes Urban: 94.38% 6:26 minutes

APRIL Rural 12:25 minutes Urban 6:11 minutes

R. Jenkins, Lifeguard, stated that they strive to improve their systems on a daily basis in order to comply with the contractual requirements, and will continue to do so.

J. Diamond, Avalon VFD, stated that the calls taken in the rural areas might be responded to sooner than indicated, in that, the fire departments arrive prior to the ambulance in many instances.  He stated that it would be a good thing to know how much sooner the fire departments arrive prior to the ambulance. S. Cozart stated that a two-tier system enhances that characteristic R. Collins, Pace, FL Mr. Collins stated that the response times for the rural areas have never been better than they are at this time.

He pointed out that there seemed to be a lot of press approximately one year ago regarding the number of “no response” calls.  And now that there is a decrease in those numbers there seems to be not as much press!  Mr. Collins recommends that these improvements and any others be made known to the public.

B. Baker stated that a press release is being prepared. S. Cozart agreed and stated that the public does need to know about the corrections that have been put in place.

R. Collins, Pace, FL
stated, too, that this committee should also make the public aware of the web sites to include all emergency services.  He believes that the media will not seek out this type of nformation; we will have to take the information to them.

W. Panchenko suggested that the county P.I.O. be responsible for making the press aware of these improvements.

R. Collins, Pace, FL
suggested that the county P.I.O. meet with Lifeguard and the individual “most improved” fire stations and ask them what they did in order to accomplish these improvements.

T.J. Doherty suggested that the statistics be made available on the websites as soon as they are generated.

B. Baker provided further details regarding the Lifeguard report. He informed this committee that Lifeguard planned to expand coverage in the north end during daytime hours. He explained that the call load in the north end of the county is not very high.  If we receive a call or two near the Alabama line, the numbers get slightly skewed due to the length of time it takes to get to the patient.  That is the difference between March and April.  He also explained the reason for not having any fire reports prepared for this meeting.  The fire reports and the ambulance reports are run on two different systems.  The criteria for Lifeguard changed with the new contract and so a new program was generated to track their compliance.

S. Cozart helped to explain why the compliance rates are developed by using the fractile vs. the average response times.

T.J. Doherty suggested a histogram to help identify those exceptions.

T.J. Doherty provided an overview of the hand out this committee received at the last meeting.  Navarre CERT is attempting to explain the capabilities of CERT to all first responders including medical personnel, law enforcement, fire departments, and Emergency Management.  He pointed out that this Saturday Emergency Management and Allentown VFD are presenting a mock disaster to which the Navarre CERT team will respond.  It will start at 10:00am.

R. Collins, Pace, FL
questioned whether the PIO will be issuing a press release regarding this event. He suggested that some people may be interested in attending.  A press release may heighten interest in the CERT team concept.

He also reiterated that the north end of the county is not as focused on developing CERT teams as the south end of the county seems to be.

T.J. Doherty stated that there are two more teams in the south end including Midway and Gulf Breeze.

Old Business
Fire Services Plan
B. Baker updated the committee regarding the activities that the Executive Board is undertaking at this time.

 They are meeting in order to develop truck specifications.
 They have received bids for six (6) fire apparatus.  They will review for compliance with the specifications.
 Audits will occur after the end of the fiscal year, possibly in December.
 Seven (7) of nine (9) departments had perfect audits this past year; the other two districts had minor deviations such as sales tax and receipt issues.
 Skyline VFD has a paid Chief and two (2) or (3) paid daytime firefighters.

Pace VFD has paid daytime staff.  No other paid firefighters are planned for the immediate future.

R. Collins, Pace, FL
asked what type of apparatus bids were received for, and to which district do they plan to allocate them.

Brush Truck
Rescue Pumper
EMS Pumper
Tanker pumper (2) 1 each to Pace VFD and Allentown VFD

J. Diamond, Avalon VFD, stated that Avalon Fire Department does have a paid Fire Chief on staff.  In addition, the Avalon tax district is anticipating funding cuts due to changes in the Title 1 funding sometime around October or November.

They were planning for new trucks and additional staffing; however there may be as much as a 40% reduction in funds.

R. Collins, Pace, FL
wanted to point out that there is supposed to be an impact fee workshop in the near future.  Impact fees can be generated for fire departments, law enforcement, etc.  There is the potential for a diesel plant appearing just up the road from Avalon VFD and this might be an opportunity to collect impact fees.  J. Diamond informed Mr. Collins that they have impact fees
in place at this time.

W. Panchenko questioned B. Baker regarding the fire apparatus.   He asked if it would be cheaper to go with the same manufacturer for all pieces of apparatus.

B. Baker said yes, you could save a little bit of money, but the county utilized the bid process.  B. Baker stated that three out of five came back to Sunbelt Fire, Inc. (E-One).  B. Baker indicated that the prices have increased dramatically within the last year.

S. Cozart asked if the county is able to assist with bulk purchases of fuel for the fire districts.  B. Baker said that most fire districts use the same providers as the county and receive the same price as the county.

B. Baker advised that the county will always look at ways to save money.  They are currently reviewing the insurance policies and costs.

New Business
Purpose of ESAC Committee
T.J. Doherty questioned how much disaster response factors into the purpose of this committee.

S. Cozart stated that historically, this committee has not been involved with disaster response at all. He said that it may be time for this committee to become involved in or to at least look at. T.J. Doherty was advised that this committee is not represented in the Disaster’s Management Group (DMG).  He questioned whether this committee should be included or, if not, should the minutes for that meeting be copied to this committee.

B. Baker explained the purpose of the DMG and who is included in the meetings.

There are not any minutes taken for the meeting.  He will check into having copies of their agenda made available to this committee.

R. Collins, Pace, FL
suggested that there is a new disaster related support group that has been formed (COAD).  Mr. Collins asked B. Baker to explain exactly what the COAD group does.  B. Baker said that it is a community involvement of businesses, volunteer groups, non-profit agencies, government agencies, etc that covers many aspects of disaster topics.  The group includes not only
recovery, but preparation and mitigation.   Their initial purpose was to assess the community’s assets for long term recovery.  R. Collins is happy that the churches are also included in the COAD group.  After some of the recent events the churches were very involved in the distribution of ice, MREs, etc and need to be recognized as an asset for the county.  He believes that the churches coming on board is a real good thing.

B. Baker agreed and informed Mr. Collins and this committee of the fact that the Division of Emergency Management established a faith based data base and those participants are represented during activations as a part of the DEM team.

We recognized the need to coordinate our activities with those of the local churches.

T.J. Doherty is encouraged that Mr. Collins is interested in COAD and stated that he did attend the kick-off meeting for COAD.  He believes that it will grow into a 501C3. He also believes that this committee should be more involved in preparation for disasters.  He has some serious concerns about the utilization and the management of volunteers that come into Santa Rosa County after disasters and that we should look into this.

S. Cozart will include this as an agenda itemfor the next meeting in July. S. Cozart also questioned B. Baker about the announcement made by the State’s Emergency Director regarding the availability or lack of availability of ice through any impending events.  His understanding was that FEMA would not be providing ice and the state might provide some ice?  B. Baker stated that we should not look for a lot of ice.   The priority is water first and then food.  T.J. Doherty asked B., Baker what he meant by don’t look for ice; not from the federal
entity or any government entity?  B. Baker stated that we should be prepared by bagging ice and storing it.  He said that storing medicines that require cooling will be a priority and we will do everything we can to obtain some ice.  However, drinking a bottle of warm water will sustain a person for a couple days whether it is iced down or not.  R. Jenkins wondered whether the small ice machines that have been placed in the county may need to be put on generators.  S. Cozart stated that in many instances it is required to store foods.  T.J. Doherty stated
that if there is no ice it will be a shock to this community.  He thinks that EM should make a concerted effort to advise the citizens that there may not be any ice available to them and should begin right now.  He understands that it is not the county’s decision, but this is the first he has heard of it.

B. Baker stated that we need to be prepared.

Public Forum
R. Collins, Pace, FL
Mr. Collins asked if the frequencies for emergency weather radios that are available for the Santa Rosa County residents are listed in the county website.

B. Baker stated that it is a code that is required and if they are not listed in the website he will attempt to have the codes listed in the website.

Mr. Collins informed this committee that there will be a new service available to the citizens of Santa Rosa County starting May 22, 2008.  It is an email notification system provided by the county for all types of emergency communications including road closures, weather warnings, etc.

B. Baker advised this committee that the Division of Emergency Management will be hosting an Open House on Thursday, May 22, 2008 from 1:00 pmtill 4:00 pm.

Please join them in preparing for the 2008 Hurricane Season…

Meeting adjourned at 3:05 pm.

Next meeting date and time will be: Wednesday, July 16, at 2:00 PM