“We feel that setting goals gives us a framework for the new year,” said Chief Todd Queen. “We have also found this process is a good way to maintain focus and keep us on task.”
This year, priority will be given to the following:
Complete construction of a vehicle extrication area in the Training Center and begin to host joint classes with Company partners.
Finish renovation of station kitchen facilities and begin apparatus review to develop specifications for a new engine.
Review the current training program and make changes, if needed.
During 2011, the department:
Re-organized the hydrant program
Placed the Technical Rescue trailer in service and completed staff training
Implemented a fire training program for area departments
Completed a review and update of department SOP/SOG manual
Evaluated the fire station and developed a plan to update several areas.
Queen said the department was successful in completing most of this list.
“We completed our hydrant program re-organization and now have an easier method of identifying and maintaining the City’s system,” he said. “The technical rescue trailer was placed in service and the entire department was trained to the Trench Rescue operations level.”
In addition, the command vehicle was replaced with a new Ford Expedition. A joint training program with Polk County Firefighters has begun.
Chief Queen sees three issues he hopes will be addressed during 2012:
Increased cooperation and improved relations with area departments due to the increased number of incidents that require more manpower or technical knowledge than is available within one department.
Employee relations brought by the slow economy where staff is asked to do more with less.
Up-grade long-range plans and be prepared to deal with growth.
Despite tight funding, the department benefited from several donations during 2011.
A $500 grant from Wal-Mart to assist in the development of the Training Center.
The Polk County Foundation presented a $1,000 grant for prevention and education programs.
Notable projects and events were:
Completing a pressurized container firefighting simulator in the Training Center.
Hosted a joint City/County structure training burn with over 60 firefighters participating.
Completed several training classes to bring the Department to 100 percent compliance of all hazardous material technicians and trench rescue operations.
Completed fire prevention programs for elementary schools with over 1,000 children.