Concord’s Fire Department….expect some changes

Posted by

Facility Assessment and Fire Station Location Analysis
for the Concord Township Fire Department
by The Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association
March 2017

The following are excerpts from a March 2017 report by the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association on Concord Township’s Fire Department:

Funding:
The CTFD is funded primarily with levies of millage against real property. There are currently two levies; a 2.7 mill 5-year fire operating levy and a 4.0 mill public safety levy. The 2.7 mill levy will expire at the end of 2017 and will need to be renewed. The 4.0 public safety levy was passed by the voters in November of 2015. This levy combined a previously existing 1.0 mill law enforcement and 2.0 mill fire levy. Revenue from the public safety levy is split between the fire department and law enforcement. Law enforcement services in the township are provided by
the Lake County Sheriff’s Office via contractual agreement, thus the amount of funds the fire department receives may fluctuate based on the contract fee. The contract fee in 2016 was $520,450 with a scheduled increase to $733,102 in 2017.
The tax levies, grants and EMS billing revenue generated approximately $4.8 million in 2016. The operating budget for 2016 was approximately $3.7 million with a $1.3 million carryover at the beginning of 2017. The carryover funds the sheriff’s office contract fee and is used to cover fire department expenses during the first quarter of the following year. The net carryover to fund fire department first quarter 2017 expenses was $566,900. The township also has a dedicated capital reserve fund to purchase vehicles and other large-ticket items.

Risk Assessment:

One critical resource that must be assessed as part of the community’s ability to fight fire is its water supply. The township is fortunate in that approximately 85% of the township area is served by a water distribution system, including fire hydrants. There are three systems that serve the township; Painesville City, Aqua America (a private company), and the Lake County water system, which purchases water from Aqua America. The CTFD performs regular hydrant inspections, which includes flushing and pumping each hydrant twice each year. Repairs and larger maintenance items are performed by the entity that owns them. The Insurance Services Office evaluates the township’s water supply system’s adequacy for fire suppression. Adequacy is considered the ability of a water system to supply needed fire flows (NFF) at identified locations throughout the township. In other words, available fire flow should
equal or exceed NFF for an area of selected commercial, industrial, and residential risks. A water supply evaluation considers three primary components of the water system: a) the supply works capacity, b) the water main capacity, and c) distribution of fire hydrants. Overall, the township has good water distribution coverage, with good water flows reported. In general, the far southeastern portion of the township currently is not served by a water distribution system.

Insurance Rating impacts our insurance costs: (Rating scale of 1- 10 with 10 meaning no fire department)

Concord Township’s FD currently has a PPC rating of 4/4Y, which was published in February 2016. The lower score indicates a more favorable rating which translates into lower insurance premiums for the business owner and homeowner. This lower classification makes the community more attractive from an insurance risk perspective.

The reason that the rating is generally not more favorable is due to the lack of a
dependable water supply, primarily in the southeastern section of the township.

The reason that the rating is generally not more favorable is due to the lack of a
dependable water supply, primarily in the southeastern section of the township.

Recommendations for both fire stations:

Overall, the department has outgrown both facilities. The age and configuration of the buildings are not conducive to significant alteration or remodel. The facilities also lack critical areas such as proper decontamination areas and proper storage areas for critical and expensive equipment. Fire prevention and public education personnel work from a residential structure obtained by the township, further demonstrating the department’s limited office and work space.

The department and the township should be commended for continuing to operate as effectively as possible in buildings that are outdated and lack many of the modern operational and energy efficiencies available. The department and the township should consider development of a facility plan to replace both fire stations.

Response from the Fire Stations:

A residential fire response would include one engine from each station and the shift commander from Station 1 in the command vehicle. If the location of the call is in Station 1’s response area, three personnel will respond on the engine from Station 1 and the shift officer in the commandvehicle. The engine from Station 2 will have three personnel and the fourth person would respond with a squad.

If the call is in Station 2’s response area, four personnel will respond on the engine from Station 2, two personnel on the engine from station 1, one person would respond with the squad and the shift officer would respond in the command vehicle. Automatic aid response would include a ladder company from Painesville City and an engine company from Painesville Township.

If the call is located south of Girdled Road, a ladder from Chardon responds instead of the Painesville ladder. If the call is in in the business corridor area, the ladder from Chardon would be added to the response with the Painesville City ladder. If the call is located in the eastern side of the township, which is generally more rural, two tankers, one each from Leroy Township and Hambden are added to the response.

Based on NFPA 1720 criteria, the CTFD should meet the following response time objective: for 80% of all fire incidents, the agency should respond to the scene within 10 minutes with at least 10 personnel. Firefighters responding with mutual-aid companies are counted in this 10 person objective.

For medical emergencies a prompt response is needed to relieve suffering and save lives, but few calls for service are true life or death emergencies. Again, a reasonable service goal is to be on scene soon enough to: 1) assess patients and prioritize to prevent death and disability; 2) intervene successfully in life-threatening emergencies; 3) stabilize patients to prevent additional suffering. The travel time benchmark is 5 minutes and the total response time for suburban
departments is 7 minutes, 30 seconds for 90% of the incidents.

Proposed new location:

Station 1 is shown at its current location on Concord-Hambden Road near Ravenna Road as this consistently provided the best coverage to the eastern portion of township with the computer modeling. The second station is located at the intersection of Prouty Road and Morley Road. Both locations provide good
access to north-south and east-west roadways. This configuration would provide travel times similar to those of the existing two stations with improved response coverage to the southwest area generally located just south of I-90 and also improved coverage to the area of LaMuth Middle School in the northern portion of the township. The very southwestern corner of the township would have travel times in the 6 and 8 minute range, while the southeastern corner of the township would virtually remain the same. The southeastern area of the township has parkland, open spaces and undeveloped land. This configuration does not improve response coverage to the area along SR 44, Auburn Road and Girdled Road, which is part of the business
corridor and identified as a growth area.

….a three-station configuration. Station 1 is shown at its current
location on Concord-Hambden Road near Ravenna Road. Station 2 is shown at its current location on Prouty Road. A proposed Station 3 is shown at the intersection of Girdled Road and Auburn Road. All three locations provide quick access to north-south and east-west roadways. The travel times to the business corridor along SR 44 and Girdled Road are greatly improved and within the 5-minute travel time. However, the coverage to the far southwestern portion of the township would still have travel times in the 6 to 8 minute range. Coverage to the northeastern and southeastern areas of the township would also remain the same.

……..a second three-station configuration. Station 1 is shown at its current location on Concord-Hambden Road near Ravenna Road. A proposed Station 2 is shown at the intersection of Morley Road and Hoose Road. A proposed Station 3 is shown at the intersection of Girdled Road and Auburn Road. All three locations provide quick access to north-south and east-west roadways. The travel times to the business corridor along SR 44 and Girdled Road and most of the southwestern portion of the township are within the 5-minute travel time. A small area in the southwestern area is within the 6-minute travel time. Coverage to the northeastern, northern and southeastern areas of the township would remain the same.

Strategies:

…..the current facilities hinder the department’s ability to safely and efficiently perform daily and routine duties, as the stations lack many of the basic elements required today for a fire station facility.  The age and configuration of buildings, especially the lack of space in the apparatus bays and storage spaces indicate that significant renovation would not be cost effective. New facilities would be the best option. This would allow for efficient design, incorporating all of the department’s current and future space needs as well as modern energy efficiencies.

(Comment: I will follow up with the Trustees (if they will talk to me) and/or the Fire Chief to get an update on which suggested strategy that they are going to take)

Email to Concord’s Fire Chief:

I have read the March 2017 Facilities Assessment written by the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association. I was wondering if there has been any decision yet on which of the proposed solutions concerning number of facilities and location of each facility will be implemented?

Will the Township Trustee anticipate another safety or fire levy to support the need for the facilities?
Thank you,
Brian Massie
8196 Rainbow Drive

Response from Fire Chief Sabo:

Mr. Massie,

Thank you very much for your questions. First, let me say that no decisions have been made in regards to any financial elements, locations, or numbers. When I became Chief in 2016 it was important to me to have an outside agency evaluate the location and condition of our two stations and one fire prevention building. At the same time, I asked the Ohio Fire Chiefs to also consider the potential for growth in the Crile/Auburn corridor in their evaluation.
The Ohio Fire Chiefs recommended that our two existing stations be replaced. They are not necessarily falling apart but they are certainly showing their age. They also do not function as well as we would like to provide our community with the best services possible.
Our next step with the RFQ has been initiated to help us answer these very important questions that I have on your behalf. We will be discussing square footage, bringing fire prevention into the headquarters station, but most importantly, making sure that we develop a plan that will work for decades.
This is a very methodical and tedious process with many considerations. As you are likely aware, a fire station is very unique with multiple occupancy types such as residential, business, and storage.
I thank you so much for you reaching out and as I have answers I will be sure to share them. As a soon to be resident myself, I want nothing more than to provide for the safety of our community today and well into the future while keeping the costs to the absolute minimum.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any future questions or concerns.

Kindest regards,

Matt Sabo
Fire Chief
Concord Township
11600 Concord-Hambden Rd.
Concord Township, OH 44077
(440) 354-7503 Office
(440) 354-7504 Station 1

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s