We have reached the halfway point in 2017 and I would like to update you on our progress toward some of our significant goals.
- Fire Protection Class Rating – Effective April 1, the Department was reclassified for fire protection capabilities by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB). SVFD has been working toward this goal for several years. It was exciting to learn that we would be re-rated as the only Class 2 department in Eastern Washington, and one of five in the State. If you haven’t yet contacted your insurance carrier to ask for a policy review, please do. You may be pleasantly surprised.
- 2017 Budget – is on track and looks healthy as of midyear, with expenditures slightly below projected levels for the first six months. We have started the 2018 budgeting process and expect to be completed by October.
- Kootenai County Response – This summer marks the beginning of a response relationship with Kootenai County Fire & Rescue. With Kootenai County bordering the East side of our service area, this will improve emergency responses to all types of incidents around the Stateline area.
- PulsePoint – This summer will also bring an advance in PulsePoint, the free life-saving smartphone app that alerts CPR-trained bystanders in the immediate vicinity of a cardiac arrest. Called “PulsePoint Verified Responder” the new program will equip our professional first responders with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to carry with them off duty. They will be alerted if they are within an area where someone has suffered a Cardiac Arrest, and they will respond to help. This program further engages our professional responders by equipping and allowing them to respond to these emergencies even when they are “off duty”.
- Medic 7 – A trial program called “Medic 7” has been implemented which allow two firefighters to respond to medical emergencies in a fully-equipped, utility vehicle in place of a Fire Engine. This quick response vehicle appears to be making a positive impact in its first three months and we will continue to gauge its effectiveness through September.
Staff has completed a review of their 2017 goals which will be included in a report to the Board of Fire Commissioners on July 24. Some of these midyear accomplishments are:
- Liberty Lake Fire Station #3 – the construction of this relocated fire station is on time and on budget, with completion due by December 2017
- Water Rescue Boat – has been purchased and crews are currently undergoing operator training. The new boat will be in service this summer.
- Systems Conversion – to a new payroll, purchasing, human resources and accounts payable software system is underway and is due to be complete in 2017
- Electronic Plan Review Filing System – a new system for construction plans has been implemented. The Fire Prevention Division has also begun electronic submittals for plan reviews which will significantly reduce turnaround time on plan review for developers.
- Fire Data Analyist – this new position has been filled and will begin September 1. All Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping work and data analysis will be managed by this employee. Industry leaders like SVFD rely heavily upon data-driven decisions, so having a dedicated person doing this for the agency will pay dividends.
I wish you a relaxing and safe summer and as always, thank you for your continued support!
—Bryan Collins, Fire Chief