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Here’s The Scoop….THE LBTS ISO REPORT….Verification Or Sensitive Information?…

May 19, 2009 by Barbara

ISO……VERIFICATION…OR …”SENSITIVE INFORMATION”?…YOU DECIDE….

Dear Readers…this writer/taxpayer…who always finds anything declared by Vice Mayor McIntee & his BFF Comm. Silverstone  suspect…due to more than a few past statements made by the “2-Hats-Broom Boys”… being erroneous or downright false…..tried, unsuccessfully to verify their recent ISO report claims…made from the dais…(previous post VFD & LBTS agenda /meetings cats.)…

We hear the VFD and/or the Town was contacted about my inquiry…Not sure if it was due to the inquiry being made and/or the statements the inquiry revealed that were made by the “2-Hats- Broom Boys” to the public…….HMMM….

Below are the correspondence …e-mails … the only form of correspondence made…(left out were the e-mail addresses of the ISO reps.)…last to first …so start at the bottom…..

Ms Cole

ISO considers the process and outcome of the PPC evaluation as a proprietary work product. Communities provide sensitive information concerning their fire suppression capabilities to ISO in trust and we take our responsibility to secure this data very seriously. Some of the information provided to us has potential security implications and as such it is not our role to provide this data in a public forum. Government officials for the area in question should be contacted and they can provide this information if they choose to do so.

Rick Vance
From: Barbara Cole [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:05 AM
To: Vance, Richard A.
Subject: Re: FW: LBTS ISO Report

No, I am a resident who keeps up on the local government. I was at the community outreach program and met Brad. I am interested in out town’s rating, and wanted to reconfirm what the Commission told us about the ISO rating, the summary, and a return in 3 months.
Thank you, Barbara Cole
— On Thu, 5/14/09, Vance, Richard A. wrote:

From: Vance, Richard A.
Subject: FW: LBTS ISO Report
To: [email protected]
Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 7:01 AM

Ms Cole

Brad Bain forwarded your note to me. Are you a Government official from Lauderdale by the Sea?

Rick Vance

—–Original Message—–
From: Bain, Bradley A.
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:48 PM
To: Vance, Richard A.
Cc: Masington, Joseph A.
Subject: Fw: LBTS ISO Report

Fyi

—– Original Message —–
From: Barbara Cole <[email protected]>
To: Bain, Bradley A.
Sent: Wed May 13 14:40:33 2009
Subject: RE: LBTS ISO Report

Thank you, I appreciate it.
We were told last night by Comm. Silverstone that ISO sent us a “summary” and the “detailed” report was coming. Was this just a “summary?”.
We were also told by Vice Mayor McIntee that we missed out on a 3 due to lack of a canopy, which is coming. Overlooked training that was done ie driving courses as well as points to come for the 4th engine and a big reason of not getting the 3 was lack of 5 yrs of data on the fire hydrants being turned over by BSO.
Thank you again for responding and I look forward to your responses.
Barbara
— On Wed, 5/13/09, Bain, Bradley A. wrote:

From: Bain, Bradley A. Subject: RE: LBTS ISO Report
To: [email protected]
Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 1:48 PM

Hi Barbara,
I forwarded your information request to our processing center.  They should reply very soon.

Brad Bain, CFPS
Manager – Community
Hazard Mitigation Services

—–Original Message—–
From: Barbara Cole [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 4:40 PM
To: Bain, Bradley A.
Subject: Fw: LBTS ISO Report

Please confirm receipt. A response would be most appreciated. Thank you, Barbara cole

— On Thu, 5/7/09, Barbara Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
From: Barbara Cole <[email protected]>
Subject: LBTS ISO Report
To Brad Bain
Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 3:31 PM

Hello Brad,
We met when you came to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea  and gave your presentation.
We just this week received your ISO  report on the Town’s Fire services…I have heard from some people that you are intending to return in 3 months to do another review and possibly raise us from a class 4 to a class 3.
I would like to verify if this is accurate. If so, is this usual to return in such a short period of time?
Thank You, Barbara Cole

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…LBTS-VFD ISO Report Is In…The Good…The Bad…And The Ugly (Specialized Training)

May 6, 2009 by Barbara

IT’S HERE …..THE ISO REPORT ON THE LBTS-VFD…

Readers may recall months ago when many including this writer were calling for an oversight committee for the VFD…It was cast aside  on a myriad of lame excuses that were championed by Vice Mayor/VFD Deputy Chief McIntee …with his usual “barbs”…(pun intended) including that a call for an oversight committee was nothing but  a”witch hunt”…casting aside any questions …and telling the residents to wait for the ISO report because they would be oversight committee…and all that would be required… The outcome…any oversight was squelched as we awaited the report…We waited and we waited…During the long wait…we heard we needed to purchase a “canopy” to comply with ISO and improve our rating…(still not up…no mention in the report)…..A second reserve pumper was purchased also said to improve our ISO rating..( it did nothing for the rating…see below)….and we had a community outreach presentation by the ISO… (all previously posted VFD category)….

This is also timely…for on the 5/12/09 Regular Commission Meeting agenda…is the McIntee VFD Referendum……With the Workshop to follow on 5/13/09…

Here’s the excerpts……

We have an ISO rating of 4…same as we had with BSO Fire…

The VFD is about a half a point from a 3…(this is where the VFD/Town will point your attention to)…

Here’s the synopsis from the 36 page report with some points  of interest…(a copy is available by request at Town Hall)

A link below to ISO site for break down of how they figure out the classifications…including the percentage for each category…also the previous VFD/ISO  presentation post …VFD category gives an overview of the ISO’s new “kindler” very accommodating report additions or subtractions to help out the client such as including ladder trucks in the report that even though no ladder truck is owned by department…which was used by the ISO Rep. as an example of their “helpfulness”)…

RECEIVING and HANDLING FIRE ALARMS

414 credit for Telephone service ……earned credit 2.00/credit available 2

422 credit for Operators……..earned credit 3.00/ cred. avail. 3

432 credit for Dispatch Circuits….earned credit 4.60/ cred.avail. 5

440 Credit for Rec.and Hand. Fire Alarm….Total…earned credit 9.60/ cred. avail. 10

FIRE DEPARTMENT

513 credit for Engine Companies……….earned credit 7.20/ credit avail. 10

523 credit for Reserve Pumpers…………earned credit 0.36/cred.avail. 1

532 Credit for Pumper Capacity…………earned credit 5.00/  cred. avail. 5

549 Credit for Ladder Service…………….earned credit 2.97/ cred. avail. 5

553 Credit for Reserve Ladder and Service Trucks…..earned credit 0.07/ cred. avail. 1

561 Credit for Distribution 2.37/ avail. cred. 4

571 Credit for Company Personnel….earned credit 9.25/ cred.avail. 15

580 Credit for Training …earned credit 2.34/ cred.avail.  9

590 Credit for Fire Department…..Total…earned credit 29.56/ cred. avail. 50

BC- take note of the last 2 reviews…571 personnel & 580 training ….(Both under the direction of VM/Deputy Chief McIntee)..more info below…

WATER SUPPLY

616 Credit for Supply System….earned credit 35.00/  credit available 40

621 Credit for Hydrants….earned credit 2.00/ cred. avail. 35

631 Credit for Inspection and Condition….earned credit 0.02/ cred. avail. 3

640 Credit for Water Supply….Total earned credit 37.02/ cred. avail 40

DIVERGENCE

700 Divergence….earned credit -6.69

TOTAL CREDITS……..Earned Credits 69.49/  Credit Available 100.00

‘If the individual scores LBTS achieved for receiving and handling fire alarms; Fire Department; and Water Supply were translated into a 100 point scale instead of the (10, 50 and 40) points actually used, the relative Fire Suppression Rating Schedule classification for each of these sections would be…

COMMUNITY CLASSIFICATION = 4

Receiving and Handling Fire Alarms: a (relative) CLASS 1

Fire Department : a (relative) CLASS 5

Water Supply: a (relative) CLASS 1

We heart sometime soon the classifications will no longer be combined…and when that occurs…according to this report the LBTS-VFD will be classified a 5 (out of 10)

IN THE REPORT…

Page 5…Classification Details…report was concluded on Feb 10,2009 resulting in a classification of a CLASS 4

Page 9 & 10….A big portion of the ISO review entails the telephone…lines…directory…recording device…earned credit/ credit available

Tel lines… number of needed fire lines 25.00/25…# of needed fire,bus.& private alarm lines 25.00/25….progression of emergency calls to bus. lines 10.00/10…if detailed info is received & transmitted thru more than 1 comm. center, DEDUCT…0.00/-20 …Review Total …60.00/60

Tel. Directory…emergency # on inside front cover or front pg…..10/10….Emerg. # and Bus. # listed under Fire Dept. 5/5….Emerg. # and Bus. # listed under city name….5/5….if #’s for indiv. fire stations are listed DEDUCT…0/-10….Review Total…20/20

Recording device….Review of the recording device….20/20…Review Total 20/20…

page 15…CREDIT FOR DISPATCH…earned credit/credit available

dispatch circuits provide…35.40/40….monitoring for integrity of circuit…30.00/30….disp. recording facilities at comm. center…8.85/10…emergency power supply….17.70/20….when non circuits needed…0.00/100…Dispatch Circuits Total….91.95/100…

credit for tel.service….earned credit 2.00/credit available 2…..cred. for operators 3.00/3….cred.for disp. circuits…4.60/5…Total Credit…earned credit 9.60/cred. avail 10

If the score LBTS achieved for Receiving and Handling Fire Alarms was translated into a 100 point scale instead of the 10 points actually used the relative Fire Suppression Rating Schedule classification for this section of the review would be a (relative) CLASS 1…

page 16…FIRE DEPARTMENT…THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THE REPORT….

50% of overall score…based upon fire department’s structure fire suppression system. ISO’s field operator evaluated:

Engine and ladder/service vehicles…Equipment carried….Distribution of fire companies…Available and/ responding firefighter….Automatic Aid with neighboring fire departments…training…

item 501 Basic Fire Flow….is determined by the review of needed fire flows in selected buildings in the community…the following addresses were used to determine the flow…2500 gpm 1 E Commercial Blvd….2250 gpm 4433 Bougainvilla Dr…..2000 gpm 2001 S. Ocean Dr….1750 gpm 4116 N. Ocean Dr….1750 gpm 4347 Bougainvilla Dr….Maximum that  Basic Flow can be is 3500 gpm…Basic Flow for LBTS has been determined to be 1750 gpm…

page 20-22… explains the credit for ladder service…and shows when a ladder truck is required …for a ladder that goes above 3 stories or 35 ft. or more in height…it would provide for maximum ISO credit for a town with 5 buildings within the city of that height..(LBTS has more than 5…no 35 ft. ladder truck)…It also explains as previously posted from the ISO presentation that reserve trucks are needed for 1 for every 8 trucks…(LBTS does not need reserve trucks…and the “touted” reserve pumper truck…did nothing to our rating…in fact it had some “issues”)….

page 23-24…Credit for Company Personnel…explains the maximum credit and criteria…explains credit for training…including # of personnel who  respond…training facilities….aids and use made of them by fire suppression force; company training at fire stations; classes for officers; driver and operator training; new driver and operator training; hazardous materials training; recruit training; the pre-planning inspection program; and the training and inspection records….max. 35% of the training eval. is attributed to facilities, aids and uses 50% is attributed to spec. training and the final 15% is available for pre-planning inspection program…

page 25 & 26…Facilities and Aids…earned credit/credit available…

drill tower …max. 4 story drill tower should be used…o credit earned as there is no drill tower avail./ cred avail. 8….

fire building (including smoke room)…max cred. there should be a fire resist. room that is separated from drill tower…o credit earned a fire building is not avail or used for training/ cred. avail. 8…

Combustible Liquids pit…max. cred a 1500 sq. ft comb. liq. pit or equiv. video instructing effective fire suppression of  class B fires should be used….credit earned 5.00…for one of the two criteria …(does not indicate which one)/cred. avail. 5…

library and training manuals….max. cred.a complete library and manuals avail. for dept. membership…earned cred. 2.00/ cred. avail. 2…(Does not say what was found…assumption all manuals listed were in VFD library)…

multi-media training aids including pump and hydrant cutaways….a slide/overhead projector and comp. multi-media aids are avail./ a movie & VCR projector avail….a pump cutaway is not avail. in dept. for the membership…a hydrant cutaway is not avail. in dept. for the membership…earned cred. 1.00/ cred. avail. 2

training area…max. cred. a fire dept. training area of at least 2.0 acres in size should be avail. for single & multi- company drill….A training area of 0 acres is provided training is conducted on streets or other areas…earned cred. 10.00/ cred. avail 10…

Review Total…earned cred 13.00/ cred avail 35

page 26…USE

half day (3 hours) drills, 8 per year (0.05 each)…max .cred. all members should participate in 4 half-day single company drills…There were an avg. of  8.00 single- half day drills ….earned credit 0.40/cred. avail. 0.40…

half-day (3 hours) multiple-company drill 4 per year (0.10 each)…max. cred. all members should participate in 4 half-day multiple company drills….There were an avg. of 4.00 multiple company drills…earned cred. 0.40/ cred. avail 0.40…

night drills (3 hours) 2 per year (0.10 each)…max. cred. all members should participate in two 3- hour night drills per year….There were an avg. of 1.00 night drill….earned cred. 0.10/ cred. avail. 0.20…

Use …earned credit total…11.70

THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO CHECK THIS OUT!….

page 27 -29…SPECIALIZED TRAINING…

COMPANY TRAINING….max. cred. each FF should receive 20 hours per month in structure fire related subjects as outlined in NFPA 1001….There was an avg. of 0.67 hours per month of company training received by company members and participation was 100% of those eligible to participate…earned credit 0.84/ credit available 25..

BC….The Training Officer VM/Dep Chief McIntee…0.84 credit earned/ credit available 25……..

Classes for Officers….max cred. each officer should receive 2 days of leadership management, supervisory & incident management training per year as outlined in NFPA 1021…There was an avg. of 0.00 days devoted to officer classes and participation was 0% of those eligible…earned cred. 0.00/ cred. avail. 15…

BC…No surprise…again who’s in charge…no officers wanted to challenge the status quo?…

Driver and Operator Training…max. cred. each driver & operator should receive 4 half-day sessions of driver/operator training per year in accordance with NFPA 1002 & NFPA 1451…There were 0.00 hours received per year by new drivers and operators and participation was 0%…of those eligible to participate…earned cred. 0.00/cred. avail 2…

New Driver and Operator Training….max. cred. each new driver & operator should receive 40 hours of driver/operator training per year in accordance with NFPA 1002 & NFPA 1451…There were 0.00 hours received per year by new drivers& operators and participation was 100% (OOPS!)…of those eligible to participate..earned cred. 0.00/ cred. avail. 2…

Training on hazardous Material…max. cred. each FF should receive 1/2 day of training for incidents involving hazardous materials in accordance with NFPA 472….There were 0.00 days of training received per year and participation was 0% of those eligible to participate…earned cred. 0.00/ cred. avail. 1…

Recruit Training…max. cred. each FF should receive 240 hours of structure fire related training in accordance with NFPA 1001 within the first year of employment or tenure…There were 226.00 hours received per year and participation was 100% of those eligible to participate…earned cred. 4.71/cred. avail. 5…

Pre-Fire Planning Inspections….max. cred. pre-fire planning inspections of each commercial, industrial,  institutional and other similar type building ( all buildings except 1-4 family dwellings) should be made twice per year by company members. Records of inspections should include up-to-date notes and sketched….There was 71.00% of the buildings inspected at a yearly frequency of 1.00…Participation was 100%…earned cred. 8.52/cred. avail. 15…

To determine your credit for Training, the points credited in items 580 a. thru 580 h. (above training cat.) are summed …

For max. cred. records should be kept of all training, NFPA 1401 outlines manner to accomplish….deduction of up to 20 points (20% for each item) is made for lack of records…deduction of 10% is made for incomplete records/20% for no records for each sub. item…A total of 0.00 points is deducted to reflect a deficiency of record keeping for LBTS…

Finally, this sum is divided by 100 and then multiplied by 9 points available for the “Credit for Training”…These points calculated for LBTS resulted in 2.34…(out of 9)..

Final step in determining credit for Fire Department is to add up the following 8 components…

513 credit for engines companies-earned cred. 7.20/ cred. avail. 10….cred. for reserve pumper-earned cred. 0.36/ cred. avail. 1…cred. for pumper capacity-earned cred.5.00/ cred. avail. 5….cred. for ladder service -earned cred. 2.97/ cred. avail. 5…cred. for reserve ladder & service trucks-earned cred. 0.07/ cred. avail. 1…cred. for distribution-earned cred. 2.37/ cred. avail. 4.-cred. for company personnel-earned cred. 9.25/ cred. avail. 15….cred. for training- 2,34/ cred. avail. 9

Total Credit ….earned credit 29.56/ credit available 50

If the score LBTS achieved for the fire department was translated into a 100-point scale instead of the 50-points actually used, the relative Fire Suppression Rating Schedule classification for this section of the review would be a (relative ) CLASS 5….

page 29 was water supply.-all good…page 32-34- inspection and conditions-had to deal with Pompano for water system…

Condition of hydrants…standard -There were 0 hydrants considered in standard cond. max factor 1.0…usable -There was 1 hydrant considered in usable condition max. factor 0.5….Not Usable- There were 13 hydrants considered NOT usable…max. factor 0.0….earned cred 0.04/ cred. avail 1.0

The points calculated for the inspection and condition of hydrants for LBTS resulted in the following CIC (credit for inspection and condition)=0.02

BC- What’s with the hydrants?…

credit for supply system- earned cred. 35/ cred. avail. 35….cred. for hydrants- earned cred. 2.00/ cred. avail. 2…cred for inspec. and cond.- earned cred 0.02/ cred. avail 3

Total Credit – earned cred. 37.02/ available cred. 40

If the score LBTS achieved for water supply was translated into a 100 point scale instead of 40 points actually used, the relative Fire Suppression Rating Schedule classification for this section of the review would be a (relative) CLASS 1…

page 34…DIVERGENCE…

Divergence considers a difference between the protection provided by the Fire Department and the Water Supply. This difference would prevent the better feature from being utilized to its fullest extent. Therefore, an adjustment is made to reflect any difference between these two features. Because of the difference in total weights assigned to the two features, the total for the Fire Department, which has the higher total weight, is adjusted to make the comparison reflect the relative adequacies of these two features…(included was the formula)..

BC- I have requested the BSO Fire ISO report to compare…and will post upon receipt…

Let the “games” begin on the “spin” of this report…and where we go from here…

more to come….

http://www.isomitigation.com/ppc/0000/ppc0001.html

Post Division

Update…ISO Was Here ….Where Were You?….

March 20, 2009 by Barbara

“WELCOME TO LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA”….

That was the response given by the few who showed to hear the ISO give a “community outreach” presentation…embarrassed by the “welcome” offered to ISO and the low turnout…….

At 8:35 this writer stood outside the locked doors of Jarvis Hall….as ISO Southeastern Regional Manager-Community Mitigation Rep. Brad Bain arrived along with Mike Morash…to find the locked Jarvis Hall door…by now  “typical” to find by those invited to this town…Adding insult to injury…Mike went into Town Hall only to walk back with a somewhat quizzical look on his face and the key to the hall given to him by the receptionist!….Brad told this writer he had played “telephone tag” with the Public Information Officer over the past few days…and had called VFD Secretary Cheryl Louvaris to confirm the 9 am start time…..He also said that ISO did not allow for their presentations to be televised or recorded…citing problems in the past with nefarious people using ISO information…It turned out after Steve d’Oliveira came around 8:50 that the Town Manager said it was up to the Commission to decide and they did not vote to allow for televising it at the last meeting…OOPS!…Commissioner Dodd arrived around 8:55 and went into Town Hall to ask Clerk White to make some calls.. …Mayor Minnet arrived at 9:10…as did Chief Perkins….2 VFD  members showed up at 9:15……leaving 2 minutes later for 2 calls…1 fire alarm/1 medical…The ISO went ahead with the presentation…a power point …that basically covered what was previously posted…as an example of what would be covered……So I will post just the highlights….comments…opinions…and links….

Vice Mayor/ VFD Deputy Chief McIntee strolled in at 9:35…with Chief Perkins returning at 9:37…..Comm./VFD member Silverstone arrived shortly after…along with a Sentinel reporter at 9:50…Deputy Chief McIntee was incredibly pompous and rude leaving his radio on…making it difficult to hear the speaker…(Where were his CIC/VFD troops? He lined them up for the Town Manager to stop her annual performance review …but for the VM’s much- touted ISO being the only required “Oversight committee for the VFD”….no “parade”…HMMMM)…During a 15 minute break Comm. Dodd asked the Chief to ask his Deputy to turn it off…The Deputy/VM was “miffed” and kept it on for a few minutes…then turned it off…Later on the beepers went off and the VM/Deputy…BFF/Comm. went flying…with McIntee returning a few minutes later…alone…it is said it was a medical call!…

Before we get into the specifics…this scenario of the Town being ill-prepared for a meeting…whether this event or the advisory boards…. is unacceptable and makes it further glaringly apparent that the Town is not managed well…If the Town staff cannot get it together…open the doors early…have coffee going and welcome those who come to our town…ask a Woman’s group to volunteer or better yet since the McIntee Walk Around Committee is kaput…how about a welcome group just for these occasions?…

Originally Brad Bain said he wanted to do a program for firefighters inviting neighboring departments to “get into the nitty gritty”…also open to the public…Too bad it did not come to fruition…that would have been interesting…and informative….He said it was asked that this be a “Community thing” …So again, where was the community?…(Perhaps the Town was worried the neighboring fire departments would take a pass?)

Brad  introduced himself and Mike Morash…explained that they were both involved in the LBTS “field survey”…that Mike Morash was the lead …and went on to explain the insurance risk and the correlation to premiums…ISO is a licensed rating organization and acts as a liaison between the community and the insurance industry…

He went on to describe the “scale” of 1-10…10 being unrecognized and 1 being the best….65 communities are rated a 1…they do 350,000 surveys a year on 3,100,000 properties with 600 field reps…they  average 17 years of experience….

“Grading” communities …are  done with “established boundaries”…specified boundaries of who is protecting the community…Brad said the ISO “fire suppression rating schedule is under review”…and they work with the average level of protection…typical buildings hotels…centers…residential …not factories…the needs of the community…comparing the needs …and how they vary by infrastructure…

He spoke of the value for insurers …that it  gives them information…and spoke of the tables ( available at ISO link) used because they have found fire losses mimic the ISO classes 1-10...http://www.iso.com/

It really all came down to water availability and distance…being the primary factors…how many hydrants…how far from fire…how strong the rate of water is from the water main…flow to the hose…the size of the hoses…….flow to the fire… water availability…the distance to the fire from a station…and then the department itself…and the equipment…

The examples used the Arkansas study…when speaking of rural locations…usually the recipients of a 9 due to the lack of water…and large distances…

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:nkbWZ-ZC2MQJ:staging.arkleg.state.ar.us/ftproot/bills/1999/htm/HB2195.pdf+arkansas+iso+study&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Also Richland, South Carolina…a “split” community …meaning some area is covered by having stations within the required distances…and some is not…either requiring an additional station to be built or a “partnering with a neighboring community to achieve coverage…”automatic aid”…to achieve the goal…

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:ztZS4jLEugoJ:www.ipspr.sc.edu/publication/Final%2520Report2.pdf+richland+south+carolina+iso+study&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Here’s what it comes down to…

Fire Alarm-10%

Fire Dept.- 50%

Water Supply-40%

Brad then spoke of first alarm basis…who’s dispatched…performance based…”pass- fail criteria”…”If you do it, you get credit”… also communication for dispatch…the structure of the calls…how many personnel on a truck……the minimum amount of apparatus…housing for the apparatus…enclosed or covered (the new canopy LBTS just bought the VFD)…and surprisingly how the fire department is “advertised” in phone books …under many different “headings”…for both emergency and non- emergency numbers…such as in the front of the book(s)…listed under the Town…the department…and “F” for fire…etc…sort of “Dummies” for fire calls…in the Yellow Pages etc……They look at the recording devices used…back-up power the “path between the communications center and the firefighters”…

The equipment…the pumper truck…the reserve pumper truck…the ladder service truck  and ladder reserve truck…..In a town of this size we need 2 trucks and a 3rd would be used as a reserve truck…a 4th truck was not required by ISO…quite a different representation than this one…(one of many such misrepresentations made by the VFD)…3/10/09 Commission meeting-public safety agenda item…being the latest one…

Public Safety Report exchange excerpts….

Commissioner Dodd-” I came and spoke to you a couple of weeks  back and I felt it was something the public should know, that we are getting a truck”…he asked the Chief to elaborate…

Chief Perkins- ” Ah, the truck we’re buying is a pumper. It’s similar to the engine that we bought a while back, Engine 212. It’s going a backup reserve and a training truck and yes it does help our ISO rating. Ah, with equipment, hoses, nozzles etc. It’s gonna be great truck to have another truck. It will be our fourth truck.”

The VM went on to again lead the Chief about the new truck and ISO…

CP-” Ah, yes they were here last week and they wanted to know if it (the truck) was on its way and ah, he he waited long enough to turn in his information. He couldn’t wait any longer so , and he’s gonna  come back on the 19th where he’s gonna do that class here and he’s gonna then check the truck out and make sure it’s what we said it was.”

The VM asked the chief if he had any indication of how it went with ISO and the equipment and such….

CP-” He, um indicated to me we were doing a very good job protecting this town.”

Fro Brad Bain ” No bonus for extra engines”….”Got 4 engines, need to be able to staff them”….”Sensible for smaller services (towns) to have a reserve ladder truck, probably not.”…”For every 8 engines-1 reserve”…

BC- we now have 4 trucks…and we still do not have a 100 ft ladder truck…which according to ISO is a must to increase a rating…A 100 ft. ladder gives a community a 100% (or the height to the tallest building)…75 ft. ladder…75%….A ladder truck is for 5 or more buildings over 3 stories…BUT…

Brad made this startling statement…(an example not intended to say they will do this for LBTS)…alarmingly strange though…He said that they are a “kinder gentler ISO” “So when you get your report and it says you have a ladder truck,you may look at it and wonder where this guy was”  …The ISO report now says you have a ladder truck when in fact you do not!…Same example was used for a reserve….HUH?….

Asked at the end of the presentation about how many trucks this size town needed it was affirmed 2 and a 3rd could be the reserve..and the 4th we will get credit but it will not improve our rating….( a ladder truck might have done that)…it was not required by ISO…The VM clearly unhappy …(Gotcha)….said it was a positive thing…it couldn’t hurt…that was affirmed by Brad…This writer responded by saying… “That was not the question.”…..The  VFD Chief said the 4th truck was for hurricanes…when it would really be needed…..WHAT?…

Just a quick aside…originally it was said this 4th truck was bought to replace a pumper…then the Chief said it was a reserve/training vehicle…and now it is for hurricanes?….Too many stories…

Brad spoke of  the “method of operation”…the ladder service locations…and if they were within the 2.5 mile distance from fire station to fire hydrant…are they serviced annually…the number of personnel…training rules are the same for both volunteer and professional departments…”some volunteers are upset about that” Brad said…He went on to talk about facilities used for training …”training towers”…”standpipes”…”drills using multi-company…multi-apparatus…night time training”…”company training…leadership -officer training…driver training…Hazmat training….recruits….pre-planning and return visits to hydrants and buildings 2x a year) and who responds on 1st alarms…credits for volunteers are different than paid firefighters because of the “restricted availability of volunteers”…”Who is at the station ready to roll”……

Brad said to himself… “Do you guys cover response times?”…the answer “NO”….He said there are “so many issues with that”…Depending on the community …such as “We start the clock here”…”We don’t capture that”…” A fire department that writes it down on a napkin”…”No response time given”…so the ISO works on
average travel time of 35 mph calculated in 1.5 miles”…”Should be 3.2 minutes”…

The report…will not be ready for another 60-90 days from now…( we were told by the VFD it would be 60-90 days from Oct.)…Brad and Mike was going after the meeting (which ended at 11 am) to inspect the new VFD pumper….They are “still working on the analysis” and after that we will receive a report with our number…( Which we have heard…not from ISO will be either a 4 or a 3…higher numbers have to do in large part to the water…the size of the town)…Then we are updated every 2 years unless called in or any major changes occur such as annexation…

Brad said when asked by this writer about ISO evaluating fire department management they only looked at level of service…”Our job is not to tell folks what to do, but evaluate what you do.”…”We don’t tell them how to run their departments”…

ISO can be reached at- 1-800 444-4557

The below site was recommended…registration is required…open to anyone…worth the time…

http://firechief.com/

more to come……..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop….3/10-11/09 LBTS Commission Meeting…#5…Public Safety…The Set Up…

March 14, 2009 by Barbara

24 HOUR WRITTEN QUESTIONS….REQUIRED….

http://khushi.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/questions.gif

6. Public Safety….

VFD…

Commissioner Dodd asked if he was the only Commissioner to put his questions in writing….Chief Perkins answered he was….

CD-” I came and spoke to you a couple of weeks  back and I felt it was something the public should know, that we are getting a truck”…he asked the Chief to elaborate…

Chief Perkins- ” Ah, the truck we’re buying is a pumper. It’s similar to the engine that we bought a while back, Engine 212. It’s going a backup reserve and a training truck and yes it does help our ISO rating. Ah, with equipment, hoses, nozzles etc. It’s gonna be great truck to have another truck. It will be our fourth truck.”

BC- Where will this truck be parked? We were told that the Town needed to pay for covering of the 3rd truck we have to comply with ISO…the canopy …the one the VM did the purchasing on…as stated in the backup materials…So where will this one be stored?…Is the Town looking at yet another cost for covering a truck?….HMMM…

CD- ” This was purchased with the fire departments funds?”

CP- “This was purchased with our own funds ah, no tax dollars.”

BC- The VFD keeps saying this money comes from the Booster Club Funds….When was the last Booster Drive?….

CD-” Third question, what is your anticipated number of medical calls after you instigated a policy of only essential medical calls or haven’t you yet instigated?”

BC- This was addressed at the last Comm. meeting…regarding “medical calls-other”…those calls for which there is no need for VFD assitance…The Chief said they could call and stop the response to dispatch on these types of calls and they were working it out with AMR to do just that…This writer has been told that such medical calls would not even come  the VFD unless they requested BSO dispatch to include them ….

CP- ” Um, we did , we did what we told you we were going to do and we ah, did call offs not as many as I would like because its the situations really sticky when the call comes over um, it, bleeding or whatever it may be, may be more than what it says on the pager. Each call has a life of its own. And ah, we are averaging at least $70 for each medical call and I feel that $70 is very well spent. It’s a win win for everybody. And um, I’m gonna continue to make rational decisions on these calls that come over the pager. If I feel as Chief that we need to send an engine, it’s gonna go. And because you feel you want to lower our budget um, I can’t do that. I’m looking for the safety of this town and that’s where my mind is staying on the safety of the town and if it costs us a few extra thousand dollars than that’s just too bad.”

CD- ” No, I never said I wanted to lower your budget. Um, my concern is that we have a number of VFD ah, in a hurry trying to get to the station and then in a hurry in the truck running around town and there are certain calls that come in and I’ve listed some of them just as a matter of academics from Sunday where we had, and let me just briefly run through some of them which was two males stung by jellyfish.”

BC- OK…Before the Vice Mayor’s calculated point of order…that seems to be courtesy of that 24 hour written notice that ONLY applied to Comm. Dodd…a few points…Comm. Dodd was in receipt of the VFD pager …his turn after Comm. Clottey…he (Dodd) was able to see the calls going pout from BSO dispatch…and the response from the VFD…during this time he was able to see how often the VFD sent out their members for “Bleeding”…”Feeling ill”…”Diabetic”…medical calls…calls that no matter how many FF go on…they can do nothing for the patients…that would be for AMR to do…Comm. Dodd with the pager could see the calls the VFD went on sending out the entire department all trucks …for something like an apparent drowning at the beach…What would the entire VFD do?…Run into the ocean?….

BC- It does not take a brain surgeon or a statistician to figure out the chances of accidents are higher for sending out a call requiring a fast response both to the station and the scene than not sending out that call at all…Why take the chance?…

BC- So tonight a few  things were decided ahead of time for the Chief to say…that the money doesn’t matter…that Comm. Dodd was trying to put money over safety…and to get that pager away from Comm. Dodd…and here we go on that one….

Vice Mayor- ” Point of Order, we’re getting into Hipaa problems here. I want approval from the Town Attorney about it. This is serious stuff.”

BC- The Mayor tried to stop him…But what the Mayor and the audience did not know…the VM had already spoken to the Town Attorney about this…courtesy of the Town Manager …prior to the meeting…

BC- As previously posted…this was a VFD matter and as such should have been handled by the VFD attorney for them to pay for…Comm. Dodd has asked the Town Manager to see that the Town is reimbursed for the costs…just as this writer and the Future paper were billed for time when the Town Attorney was used…After all the VFD as the Town Manager so often informs us is a separate entity..a contracted corporation…HMMMM…..

CD-” This is very serious stuff Vice Mayor, and I have not….”

BC- The Mayor wanted Comm. Dodd to continue …and implored the Vice Mayor to stop…but again he had this all planned…and would not be thwarted…

VM-” I won’t until I get a decision from the attorney if he can discuss Hipaa violations across the public air. Town Attorney could you give me an opinion on that?”

Town Attorney Trevarthen- ” Vice Mayor in response to your question we were asked apart from this meeting whether certain messages contained information that protected and shouldn’t be disclosed. Ah, we were asked prior to the meeting to look into the issue of whether certain messages on the pagers ah, were protected. We did advise the Town Manager of the results of our research this afternoon and um, when there is a level of detail that is in those pager messages, yes it is protected by Hipaa.”

VM-” So it should not be discussed, is that correct?”

TA- “I would recommend not using the identifiable individual.”

BC- WOW!…This is the same VM that spoke about the heavy man in Terra Mar…the same VM that has time and time again given out information …and did nothing until this last month to change the monthly VFD reports that gave specific addresses of residents on medical calls…despite this writer repeatedly calling it to their attention….This VM has given a pager to the VFD photographer Marc Furth who is an honorary FF with no training …and AMR has decided that the Commission will take turns sitting in on medical review meetings where Hipaa information will be divulged…a fact the Town Attorney must not have been privy to….Selective Hipaa to get Comm. Dodd out of the loop on the calls being answered…no doubt!…

CD-” And the essence is the identifiable individual and can I ask ( Town Attorney) who were you asked by? Because we have a rule on this dais that an individual Commissioner can’t ask for individual legal opinions. And I would also ask for Mr Liddle (AMR) to come up and stand here and explain to everybody here because he is unbelievably tied down by Hipaa. And I was told provided I do not identify the incident, the individual or disclose any medical information, correct me if I’m wrong that I am allowed to make reference to it.”

Brook Liddle-AMR- ” Actually, I didn’t hear you finish what you were going to say in terms of your description. Ah, I do, I am aware of the information that goes out across the pagers and ah, what the Town Attorney identified. Again, without hearing what you say what you were gonna say, um, I can’t really comment on that. That it’s correct that the subject to privacy acts from Hipaa. We have to be very careful of what we discuss and what format we discuss it in so.”

CD-” I’m very aware of that and I have caged my questions so that the individuals concerned in any of the events were not identifiable, because I have read your (AMR) reports where you very carefully say an incident occurred between a certain block unlike previous reports from the VFD where they were actually originally put out as contravene to Hipaa. And I am very, very careful and I would like the dais’ discretion and if I slip over the line, the Town Attorney and you (Liddle)  step up to say that I have stepped over the line when I identified an individual.”

BC- TOUCHE’

TA- ” Through the Chair I just wanted to respond to the question that was asked (Comm. Dodd) in regards to why we had investigated this matter and it was at the request of the Town Manager.”

BC- As previously posted …the Town Manager decided to “have at it” towards Comm. Dodd about her calling the Town Attorney…and include that she (TM) had called the Town Attorney on Comm. Dodd’s behalf also…BUT- again this was a VFD matter …not a town matter…Blurry..blurry Madam Manager…

CD- ” I am going to go ahead and ask…” Comm. Dodd asked about several calls on the pager that were as described above an ill female…a bleeder…and 2 jelly fish stings that brought out 17 FFs…He went on to say he did not identify who these individuals were but still wanted to know why they are continuing on the type of medical call….and had the VFD in fact decided to maintain the position of going on every medical call….

CP-“Not every medical call, no sir. We do call off.  If it’s a nosebleed we’re not gonna go. If it’s a bleeding, doesn’t tell us where the bleeding is we’re going. Every call is important, every single call and I don’t care how much it costs we’re going to every single call unless it comes over the pager where it’s we’re not needed.”

BC- HUH?…The Chief is going on “every single call” unless they are not needed according to the pager…But…earlier he said you cannot tell from the pager?….

BC-Somebody please…ask AMR when do they require the VFD?….What qualifications do the VFD have that 2 AMR ambulances with 5-6 EMT/Paramedics do not?…How many fire/EMS personnel can fit into the average LBTS home?….

CD- Went on to ask if the VFD had “the finances to deal with that?”

CP- ” Yes sir, I’m the Chief of this department and I take care of all the finances and we’re doing fine. We’re not over budget, we’re right on budget. Even with all these calls we’re still right on budget.”

BC- What background does Chief Perkins have to “take care of the finances’?…..We hear that there has been discussion by the Chief that there is a concern about the costs…of the call…away from the podium …

Commissioner Dodd said that was terrific…and finished off by asking about the poles and the life rings that we were told were painted by the municipal workers months ago…the Chief looked a little lost on this one…asking the Town Manager if they were ordered…and seeing an affirmative response said the poles were waiting..and then they would go up with the life ring arrival…anytime now……

CD- decided to “recap” the new truck question he had sent the Chief pertaining to its cost and negotiations…

CP- ” The ah, new truck we called up where we bought the old truck from UCrest Fire Department in New York and ah, we asked the price, they gave it to us over the phone and we went back to our monthly meeting , discussed it agreed on it called them back up and said we’d like to buy it. And that was it….http://www.ucrestfire.org/

BC- We hear the VM was back home in Buffalo and made a visit to see and check out the truck…and in his Commissioner comments the VM admitted he contacted and negotiated for the new truck…saying he got a $40,000 dollar truck for $11,000…HMMM…. another Ethics conflict?….He had to admit it…because who buys a firetruck sight unseen with just one phone call?….YIKES!

Commissioner Dodd asked who the “we” were…and the Chief answered the whole fire department…the whole fire department voted…

CP- ” Yes sir, we don’t make individual decisions, we vote as a group.”

Commissioner Dodd again told the chief he was not trying to trap him.. with an audible remark from the VM ” Yes you are!”…The Mayor responded to the VM…”Please!”…

NOT DONE YET….THE SETUP….

CP-” I’d like to say one more thing about the Hipaa violation the problem is that um, a lot of information comes over these pagers addresses, names, sicknesses and um, the problem is, is Mr Dodd you having the pager MAY BE a Hipaa violation because you’re not part of the fire department. You MAY not be able to know this information and that’s where the problem lies. So we MAY have to pull the pager. I’m sorry but UNTIL WE GET LEGAL ADVICE, but that’s where we stand. I THINK THAT’S THE ISSUE.’

BC- You betcha that’s the issue…the plan…the setup…get that pager away from Comm. Dodd….the next day the Town manager asked Comm. Dodd for the pager…Now why would the Town Manager be involved?…Blurry again….Comm. Dodd did not have it…and returned the pager to the Chief…and as stated above informed the Chief/Manager and Town Attorney of Marc Furth, the AMR monthly meetings…and why he felt it was desired by the VFD for him to return it.

This writer was very interested in the Chief’s assertions of “may be”…and “until we get  legal advice”…and the big guffaw…”where the problem lies and I think that’s the issue”…Yep…that’s the issue alright!

The Mayor took issue with the Chief calling Commissioner Dodd…Mr Dodd…correcting him for future reference…She then acknowledged the next Commissioner to speak…

Commissioner Dodd said this should not be allowed as he asked and it was stated by the Chief he (Dodd) was the only member of the dais to follow the 24 hour rules…and if it was not going to be required for his fellow Commissioners it should be discarded with a vote…

The Mayor understood his stance and while she “appreciated it” and agreed with him …as Chair she was going to let the others be recognized to speak…

Commissioner Clottey did not have a question for the Chief…but did have one for the Town Manager…and as has happened in the past…Comm. Clottey asked the right question that brought out a very different answer than the previous responses seemed to imply for the Town Manager… She (Clottey) asked about the trucks the Town owned and the Police cars…At previous meetings the Town Manager had answered that the Town owned all of the trucks and the police cars…this meeting she answered more in the abstract until the BSO police spelled it out…

TN- ” Yes, all the police cars THAT WERE TRANSFERRED in the BSO TRANSITION and equipment are Town property. I’d have  to check the inventory.”

The Vice Mayor then asked Chief Gooding how many police cars were assigned to the district…and the Chief said 24 that are “take home” vehicles…the VM asked how many the Town owned and the Chief also used the “TRANSITION’ stating 3 patrol cars and possibly a command vehicle…therefore the Town owns 4 of the 24 vehicles and BSO Sheriff’s office owns the rest!…
BC- We were under the inpression when we were told the Town needed to purchase the lat VFD firetruck that the Town owned all the police vehicles….

The VM couldn’t help but take one last shot at Comm. Dodd by asking Chief Perkins about the sirens…the noise…and the “charges” of danger from responding to the calls…asking how many in a day…the Chief responded 3.5 to 4 calls a day…($70- ? x 4)….The VM asked where the sirens were coming from and the Chief said from our neighbors ( Pompano Beach/ Ft. Laud. EMS)…..going to Holy Cross through our town…The VM asked and answered his own question about sirens from the VFD informing the audience that a Hazmat call received that very day was answered with no sirens…and asking about the caution the volunteers take in responding to a call to get to the station and to the scene…The chief responded in the affirmative to the VM’s leading questions…

The VM went on to again lead the Chief about the new truck and ISO…

CP-” Ah, yes they were here last week and they wanted to know if it (the truck) was on its way and ah, he he waited long enough to turn in his information. He couldn’t wait any longer so , and he’s gonna  come back on the 19th where he’s gonna do that class here and he’s gonna then check the truck out and make sure it’s what we said it was.”

The VM asked the chief if he had any indication of how it went with ISO and the equipment and such….

CP-” He, um indicated to me we were doing a very good job protecting this town.”

The VM thanked him…

BC- The ISO only checks for response time…and equipment…they do not deal with management…and it will be interesting to see what response times were given to the ISO?….

Comm. Silverstone- ” I just had a point of clarification for Commissioner Dodd. I am the one who mentioned the ah, the ah, the ability for the Chief to have 24 hour notice on questions. And the reason that was done is TO MAKE SURE THAT HE COULD HAVE THE PROPER ANSWERS AND DO HINGS IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER.  Last meeting you (Dodd) made a um, note to I think Chief Gooding that you’re (Gooding) a professional, you run a tight ship,you, but you know what’s going on so you have no problems answering these questions. Well, that was a slap in the face I feel to the VFD. The only reason that was put on there to give enough time to GIVE THE RIGHT ANSWERS instead of saying I’ll have to come back to you, I’ll have to come back to you.That was the only reason. I think anybody allowed to ask any questions or anybody up here any questions they want to but the only purpose of doing that was to GIVE HIM ( Chief Perkins) enough time so he WOULD BE PREPARED you know a CORRECT ANSWER so he doesn’t have to come back to you. That was, that was the full intent of that happening. If we want to change that I have no problem with that, that was it, that was the only reason that was done. In fact I gave Scott Gooding, Chief Gooding a heads up on an issue and I believe he thanked me through the Town Manager about it, you know thanks for the heads up and so forth. I try to do that when possible so when you come up here we have a meeting, we’re not wasting time, so they have to come back at a future date with the answers. It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I proposed that to happen and that’s all I have.”

BC- Sometimes Comm. Silverstone less is more…especially when throughout this dissertation you have said what most believe…. the Chief  in the eyes of the “2-Hats” cannot answer questions without being “prepared”…the question though…. “prepared” by whom?…And did you send questions and give a “heads up” to BSO fire/EMS in 2006-2007?..

CD- Made one last attempt to clarify his point that the other 2 departments had no problem with answering questions without a written inquiry…and again called for a vote to dispense with the requirement which had only been adhered to by him….He made the motion…and it was 2nd by Comm. Silverstone…

The Mayor repeated the motion…making the mistake of saying it was made by the VM…with the VM responding…” Not me!”…and correcting herself to say Comm. Dodd…with Comm. Silverstone again asking Chief Perkins if he ha “no problem” with it…the Chief acknowledged he had none…

NOT OVER YET…

As they prepared to vote…the VM…chimed in ” Wait, I have a question on this. I’m gonna vote yes” ( why does he say how he is voting prior to pushing his button?)” But, if this turns into a snooker to go after our chief or Police Chief It’s not gonna last.”

BC- The audience laughed loudly!…

Passes 5-0…

More to come……

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