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Council suggests building a training facility

February 17, 2001

Council suggests building a training facility



Following are some of the suggestions of the Emergency Services Council contained in its report to the Washington County Commissioners:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Have the county buy property for a countywide training facility and then design and construct it. The cost of the multi-year project is estimated at $1.8 million. The council is not asking for it to happen until at least two years from now. The center could be used by fire and rescue companies and law enforcement agencies.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> At a cost of about $50,000 per year, hire a training coordinator/instructor to manage the facility after it opens.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Have the county help pay for a new emergency services communication center, which would also serve as an Emergency Operations Center to be used during disasters. The project would also be funded by the federal government. The cost and location is unknown.

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Fire and ambulance companies should file with the county annual financial audits and uniform annual capital and operating budgets.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Companies must also file with the county a 10-year apparatus replacement plan, updated every two years. The plan would require endorsement by the commissioners.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Fire and rescue companies should consider the feasibility of centralized third party billing countywide.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Evaluate the county's level of fire and EMS risk and make adjustments in the emergency vehicle flee to meet those needs. This may include a reduction in the number or type of vehicles owned and operated by some companies.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> At an estimated annual cost of $450,000 for 27 stations, have the county pay for apparatus fuel and utility costs for the fire and rescue companies, not including those costs resulting from for auxiliary buildings and social halls.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Keep the county funding level for fire and rescue companies at its regular, uniform level, which has been about $40,000.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Hire an emergency management specialist to oversee emergency management planning, at a cost of about $50,000.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Realign service protection boundaries where necessary to provide for the closest emergency service unit to respond on an emergency incident.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Conduct response time and facility studies to evaluate the need for additional ambulance units in the county. In the interim, mandate medic assist response by all fire companies to life-threatening medical emergencies.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The council should continue meeting quarterly for at least one year to evaluate the effectiveness of its recommendations. It should re-evaluate fire and rescue priorities once every three years.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The county should assist the fire and rescue companies with fund drive programs, possibly providing a centralized distribution service and a standard marketing format. The contributions would still be mailed directly to the fire and rescue companies. The change could save each company up to $5,000 as well as many man hours.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Funding consideration should be given to substations and companies that provide both fire and rescue transport services.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Make it a county goal to train all county residents in CPR and first aid.

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