|Achieving Economies Will Enable the BCFD to Improve and Modernize the Department
|By achieving these economies, the BCFD could invest more in EMS and modernize the entire system, including the fire suppression side. The Department lacks adequate information technology systems. There is no e-mail, no computerization of payroll or personnel records, and no local or wide area network. The enhanced productivity seen in virtually all sectors of today’s economy is not found in BCFD and as a result, city taxpayers are not getting a fair return from their tax dollars.Despite the expenditure of enormous overtime dollars, BCFD is not meeting testing, inspection, and maintenance standards. Equipment testing is inadequate, the inspection and prevention goals set by the BCFD itself were not met in FY99, and the maintenance of the fleet needs improvement. In time, the vehicles will not respond as needed. By cutting down the size of the firefighting bureaucracy, these matters can be addressed.In short, by not stretching its precious resources across so many pieces of fire equipment and station houses, the fire suppression bureaucracy can focus on areas of improvement and modernization. These efforts should not be stalled by neighborhoods misplaced belief that there is safety in a firehouse several blocks closer to them. A nearby stationhouse which does not have sufficient number of ambulances and paramedics, and which houses equipment that is not properly inspected and maintained creates an illusion of safety. All of the citizens of Baltimore would be better served by a Fire Department operating in a modernized and streamlined fashion, efficiently covering the entire city.The following recommendations are interconnected and address with specificity these matters. The project team urges the City and the BCFD to adopt an integrated approach, utilizing these recommendations as a starting point to bring modern technology and efficient management to bear on these important public safety issues.
Introduction: Fire Department
Baltimore City Needs More Emergency Medical Resources
Resources Should Be Reallocated from Fire Suppression to EMS
The City’s Firefighting Bureaucracy can be Streamlined Without Sacrificing its Effectiveness
Achieving Economies Will Enable the BCFD to Improve and Modernize the Department