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Lynden Fire Department. Presentation on Sustainable Fire Services. Lynden Fire Department. The Problem: Fire Department Operations are Unsustainable. Two Things have changed: Operations Loss of Volunteers ( 31 in 2013 – 11 in 2014) Increase in call Volume (See Graph in Packet)

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Lynden Fire Department


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Lynden Fire Department Presentation on Sustainable Fire Services

    2. Lynden Fire Department • The Problem: • Fire Department Operations are Unsustainable. • Two Things have changed: • Operations • Loss of Volunteers (31 in 2013 – 11 in 2014) • Increase in call Volume (See Graph in Packet) • 894 in 2004 – 1350 in 2013 • Lynden is the second busiest Station in Whatcom County (BFD #3 has the most calls ) • BLS Transports (33 in 2004 – 410 in 2014) • Requires 2 Personnel for at least 90 Minutes on each Transport

    3. Lynden Fire Department • Operations Continued… • Automatic Aid • 100 additional Calls since June 2013 • What do we gain from the Agreement; • Use of any Piece of Equipment (Vehicles, cost of Rental or replacement is significant) • Use of the Training Facility for free ($1200 fee for each use) • Duty Officer Rotation (Once every 5 weeks) • Sharing of Volunteers • Move Up of Stations or Equipment at any time • Storage space for equipment (Training Props, Old Panel Van) • Maintenance Facility ($90 per hrvs. $150 per hr at another Qualified shop)

    4. Lynden Fire Department • Cost; • SAFER Grant runs out in 2015 • Each Firefighter cost $80,666 annually ($242,000 for 3) • Overtime projected at $225,000 for 2014 to maintain staffing • Not enough Volunteers to fill the positions needed on Shift

    5. Lynden Fire Department • Administration and Operations: • 2 Chiefs • 1 Support Services Manager (Non-Fire) • 3 Lieutenants • 6 Firefighters (3 Funded by SAFER Grant) • 11 Volunteer Firefighters • 1 Shared Shift Firefighter (North Whatcom) • Annual Budget: • $1.9 Million (Minus $564,000 for SAFER, EMS and DOH)

    6. Lynden Fire Department • What we do for the Community: • Fire and EMS Response (1,350 Incidents in 2013) • Inspections (Over 600 Businesses in Town, New Construction) • Fire Safety in Schools ( 5 Elementary Schools each Year) • Station Tours (Average of 3 a week) • CPR and First Aid Classes (Average of 12 or more a Year) • Babysitter Clinic (Annually) • Fire Extinguisher Class ( Several times a Year) • Hydrant Flow Testing

    7. Lynden Fire Department • History: • In 2004 the Fire Dept. ran 894 calls • 2 Chiefs, 35 Volunteers • 2 Aid Units, 2 Engines, 1 Ladder • 33BLS Transports • In 2013 the Fire Dept. ran 1350 calls • 2 Chiefs, 3 Lt.’s, 6 Firefighters, 11 Volunteers • 2 Aid Units, 2 Engines, 1 Tower Ladder • 410BLS Transports • 24 Hour Shifts

    8. Lynden Fire Department • History… • Volunteer Firefighters • Only allowed to work 70 hours per Month per the Washington State Board of Volunteer Firefighters (SB5135) • Exemption is allowed 4 times a year to go over 70 hours. (Wildland Exemption) • Only allowed to make 20% of what a Career Firefighter makes per Month • Part Time Firefighters • 20 – 149 hours worked per Month (City Policy AD-29) • Have to pay into PERS (State RetirementSystem) • City will have to change Policy AD-29 for Employees working over 20 hours for Health Insurance (Firefighters have exemption under new AHCA)

    9. Lynden Fire Department • Solutions; Option #1 Ambulance Utility Fee implementation • Could raise from $0 up to $812,000 Annually • Cost between $0 and $11.99 per Household Monthly • Allows Hiring additional Personnel and backfilling SAFER Grant funding • Cost to Residents associated with Fee Option #2 Ambulance Utility Fee subsidized by General Fund • Small Fee with Percentage or amount from General fund • Could be $100,000 of projected revenue • Would reduce the amount of burden on Taxpayers • Would reduce funds for discretionary projects in the future.

    10. Lynden Fire Department • Options; • Merge with North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (Dist. 21) • Level of Service defined by Contract • Mill Rates will change to facilitate Contract… • Currently $1.07 per $1000 • $1.28 per $1000 for 2015 after SAFER Grant expires • North Whatcom is currently $1.50 per $1000 • Loss of Control, Uncertainty of Level of Service? • Lower level of Service • 2 / 3 Person Companies (Kelly Days / Vacations) • Does not account for Back to Back Incidents (20 Times a Month average) • 28 Back to Back Responses in February (6 were simultaneously) • Currently at 5 minute response times • This is a comparable Response time to the City of Bellingham and City of Oak Harbor • Reducing service would increase response times overall especially on back to back Incidents which could average near 15 minutes.

    11. Lynden Fire Department Thank You for your Attention. Any Questions?