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Fire Department 2020 Annual Report

The fire department staffs the fire station with dedicated and professional personnel 24-hours per day.

Staffing

  • sixteen full-time firefighter/paramedics
  • one customer service representative
  • fourteen part-time firefighter/paramedic/emergency medical technicians

Equipment

  • two medic ambulances
  • one rescue pumper
  • one fire engine
  • one quint fire truck
  • one support/hydrant maintenance vehicle.

Emergency medical service incidents continued to be one of the priorities of the department and represented 67 percent of the total incident volume.

Total loss from fire in the community was $47,320.  The department attributes the low number of fire incidents to fire prevention efforts and the fire inspections conducted by fire safety staff.  In a modern fire service, preventing the outbreak and serious spread of fire is considered as essential to public safety as proficiency in fighting fires.

Pandemic – COVID 19

A global pandemic was declared in March of 2020 and the State of Ohio issued a series of Department of Health Orders that shut down most of the community and City non-essential operations for the rest of the year.  Many individuals in the community worked from home and schools suspended in person classes for a period of time.  In the fall of 2020, some things began to open up with modified health restrictions and schools were in session using a model of hybrid learning.  The fire department spent the spring months working to acquire personal protective equipment for EMS personnel to handle COVID infected patients.  Operations were modified to handle contagious patients and decontamination procedures were utilized following all incidents.  The Montgomery community tracked 650 positive covid cases between March and December 31, 2020. November and December saw the majority of positive cases and it became evident the pandemic was increasing as it headed into 2021. A vaccine was developed and was available to fire department personnel during the last week of December.

Insurance Service Office (ISO) Rating

The department received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 2 as a result of the review of the department’s operations.  The ISO rating system uses a scale of 1 to 10 for its rating system.  If a community has a score of 10, its residents will pay a much higher premium than a community with a lower score. Current data show there are 43,094 fire departments across the country.  In 2020, 305 departments were rated Class 1, and only 1,482 departments were rated as Class 2.  The other 41,307 fire departments were a Class 3 or higher, resulting in those communities seeing higher insurance costs for their businesses and residents.

Fire Department Funding

After 19 years of funding the department from a 5.5 mil levy, the City proposed to the community a new 6 mil levy in the spring of 2018.  The levy was approved by the community to fund the operations of the fire department.  Through careful planning and budget controls, the current levy should fund the department through 2030.  The department also receives revenue through the billing of EMS patients who are not property owners in the City.

Public Education

Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, all Public Education Programs were cancelled after March of 2020.

CERT

A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was organized in 2012 and educated 28 residents on how to handle emergencies in the event they are first on the scene to a crisis in their neighborhood.  The CERT members are dedicated to assisting emergency services in responding to significant emergencies that affect the region when local resources are exhausted but still awaiting regional, state, and federal resources.  Such large-scale emergencies include tornados, long-term power outages, winter storms, and other natural disasters.  Additionally, CERT members are responsible for assisting with public education as they work with their neighbors in preparation for disasters and emergencies.  In 2019, CERT members also supported the department with traffic management during the Independence Day Parade and in mock disaster drills.

Smart911

Smart911 is a web-based program available to the residents of Montgomery to assist with information that is needed during an EMS emergency.  Once a resident registers on the secure website through this link on the City website, the City’s paramedics can quickly, reliably, and securely access the resident’s health history to aid in providing emergency care during a 911 response.  Smart911 is an abbreviated version of a person's health history stored on a secure personal webpage.  It includes items such as medications, chronic health conditions, allergies, and doctor’s contact information.  This service is free of charge and is in partnership with the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency.  Learn more at alerthc.org.

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