MAYOR JOSEPH P. RILEY, JR.
AUGUST 2, 2010
On Sunday, August 1, the Post & Courier printed a story regarding conversational emails between various members of the Fire Review Team that the City hired immediately after the tragic Sofa Super Store Fire.
What is important and should be the focus of our energy is the progress which has been made in the fire department since the Sofa Super Store Fire and what has been done to create the excellent fire department we have. Immediately after the fire, we set out to gather a team of experts who could analyze what we needed to do to prevent such an occurrence ever again.
When the team came in, we promptly acted on their recommendations, some of which were given shortly after their arrival here. We have continued to implement the recommendations given by our team of experts. We have a new chief, Chief Thomas Carr, who has been a change agent, listening to the firefighters, implementing important changes and leading the department through a difficult time. We have taken great pains to implement the Team's recommendations including:
In 2007, there were 246 sworn personnel
Today, there are 295
2 Deputy Chiefs
1 logistics Officer
1 Safety Officer
3 Training captains
1 Public Information Officer
2 Admin Assistants
1 Budget Analyst
1 HR Coordinator
36 New FF positions
3 Additional Captains
3 Additional Engineers
4 person staffing on all apparatus (one of very few in the State) in compliance with NFPA 1710.
New Equipment and Procedures
New 45 minute SCBA (Breathing apparatus)
New PPE (turnout gear) chosen by committee.
New Station Uniforms
New Large Diameter supply hose and appliances
Rapid Intervention kits
New extrication equipment
Thermal Imagers for all apparatus
Gear lockers for PPE in all stations
Diesel Exhaust extraction systems in all stations
Lapel microphones and portable radio straps for all personnel
Positive pressure ventilation fans for all ladder companies.
4 new pumpers (designed by committee and fully equipped)
New Light and Air truck
Command and safety vests
New Accountability system and boards
New promotional process and hiring process
Standard SOP for safe structural firefighting being used regionally.
Cooperative response with regional fire departments
New Command vehicle
Officer Candidates School
Career development expectations for all positions
Command Officer training
Rapid Intervention training
Incident Command training
New hires training consists of 20 weeks with FF1, FF2 and EMT certificates
Working towards FF2 certification for all incumbents
Firefighter Support group established
Internal Peer Support team
We will not forget the sacrifice those brave nine men made. I will continue to concentrate on what we need to do for our firefighters, their families and our citizens.