FIRE DEPARTMENT: SHIFT RECRUITMENT EFFORTS

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FIRE DEPARTMENT: SHIFT RECRUITMENT EFFORTS

 

Problem Identification:
The ratio of fire suppression to EMS personnel is disproportionate to the public’s demand for services.

Recommended Action:
Shift recruitment efforts from fire suppression to EMS, and establish a separate entry system for paramedics, who should not be required to qualify as firefighters.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Organizational

Functional/Operational Area:
EMS

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
Existing personnel-related practices.

Projected Implementation:
180 days

Next Steps:
A separate entry system for EMS staff should be developed and implemented. Technical assistance in dual-entry programs should be requested from area jurisdictions currently operating successful systems.

Analysis:
The Department suffers from a shortage of trained EMS personnel. This situation, furthermore, is exacerbated by the heavy workload that leads to high turnover rates.

Currently, the Department recruits and trains personnel to perform both fire suppression and EMS functions. The Department’s training process takes in excess of three months. While there is certainly a need for some cross-training, the Department’s pressing staffing needs relate to EMS and, as such, this should be the focus of recruitment efforts. A dual-entry system would allow for more focused and, ultimately, shorter and less expensive training periods.

Finally, incentives should be explored to encourage current fire suppression staff to obtain and retain paramedic status and seek assignment to medic units.