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03/06/2012 03Cii Response to Citizen: Fire Department Brown Outs I t BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT /7 1,r Item No. Cf • For Meeting of: March 6, 2012 G A .'1,` 4 2r F�. .:_a•� �. .:xa. ,., r. r -: _r �,t�hr itd..s:: ..'_..�.A:,a 27 4 s,. r'iy E y ITEM TITLE: Response to Walt Ranta regarding Fire Department Brown Outs SUBMITTED BY: David Willson, Fire Chief CONTACT Chief Willson, 575 -6165 PERSON/TELEPHONE: SUMMARY EXPLANATION: This report is in response to the citizen request for a report from the Fire Chief concerning brown outs that have occurred since January 1, 2012. Resolution Ordinance Other (specify) Contract: Mail to: Contract Term: Amount: Expiration Date: Insurance Required? No Funding Phone: Source: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL: City Manager STAFF RECOMMENDATION: BOARD /COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Click to download ❑ Memo re Brown Outs Oltlly4 'ministration e Suppression Ls% VA Tire Investigation & Education .41\-1 401 North Front Street, Yakima, WA 98901 (509) 575 -6060 Training Communications Fax (509) 576 -6356 REOEQ' = www.yakimafire.com February 28, 2012 TO: Honorable Mayor, Members of City Council Michael A. Morales, Interim City Manager FROM: Dave Willson, Fire Chief SUBJECT: YFD Brown Outs — Response to Walt Ranta's request at Feb. 21, 2012 Council Meeting Purpose of Brown Outs Due to budget reductions and increased medical costs, the 2012 Yakima Fire Department overtime budget was adjusted as a means to prevent the layoff of three Yakima Fire Department employees. To meet the overtime budget we need to reduce the amount of times we hire overtime to fill engine companies in service at certain times. The Yakima Fire Department has 78 personnel assigned to fire suppression shift duty. Excluding the Battalion Chief and the Airport Crash Rescue person, we have 24 persons per shift which equates to eight (8) three person engine companies. There are five positions available for earned leave on each shift which leaves 19 persons reporting for duty. Any illnesses or injuries then reduce these numbers even lower. Typically cities our size in Washington send seven engine companies to all structure fires. The Yakima Fire Department sends five companies to a structure fire, which is a bare minimum by industry standards. In past years we have had six companies on duty and kept one in service in the City while the other five responded to the structure fire. By not hiring overtime to staff the sixth company, we would send all five companies to the fire and not have coverage by the sixth company until an off duty crew was called in. This "browning out" is something that should only be viewed as a temporary solution to budget issues, not as a sustainable practice. Brown Outs from January 1 — February 28, 2012 Out of 31 days in January, there were 5.5 days of brown outs of one vehicle, which was the aid car at Station 91. During that same time period, Yakima Fire Department had: 5 apparatus in service for 5.5 days, 6 apparatus in service 21.5 days and 7 apparatus in service 4 days. Prior to 2012 (pre brown out), we maintained six apparatus at all times as a common practice, and it was also mandated by the Council in the 2011 Concession Memorandum of Understanding with International Association of Fire Fighters. Out of 28 days in February, there have been 11.5 days of browning out of one vehicle, which was the aid car at Station 91. During those 28 days, Yakima Fire Department had: 5 apparatus in service 11.5 days, 6 apparatus in service 14.5 days and 7 apparatus in service 2 days. From January 1 through February 28 the Yakima Fire Department was browned out to five apparatus a total of 17 days. Sick leave usage from January 1 through February 28 totaled 2,735 hours compared to 2,100 hours during the same time frame of 2011. This is an increase of 29.8% (26 shifts). My estimates for brown outs using 2011 figures would be a brownout 69 times during the year. This equates to 5.75 brown outs per month. So far this year we have had 17 brownouts or 8.5 per month. This increase in estimated brownouts can be attributed to the 29.8% increase in sick leave usage so far in 2012. State mandate requires firefighters be cleared by a physician to be 100% fit before returning to duty from an injury. We cannot return to duty with a soft cast or reduced ability to perform a rescue etc. This causes an increased rate of sick leave. Despite the increase in sick or injured firefighters the brown out plan is nearly on schedule as estimated. cc: Walt Ranta