Proposed Fire/EMS Budget Actions

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Alison Alter
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Proposed Fire/EMS Budget Actions

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear Colleagues,

In my discussions with city staff, I have learned that the construction of the Loop 360/Davenport Fire and EMS Station will extend past Fiscal Year 2022, leading to some measure of cost savings for the City in the proposed budget. The savings from reduced staffing needs realized from this change in timeline can only be used for one-time costs and in my view should remain within AFD and EMS respectively. Here is my proposal.

AFD:

This week, 24 of our firefighters participated in a wildfire operational training event designed to prepare them to respond to a fire event in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). This “train the trainer” event enables these 24 firefighters to train the remainder of the department in the “Responding to the Interface” curriculum. In order to get this training done at its highest level and in a timely manner, we will need an investment of $300,000 from the Loop 360/Davenport cost savings.

I have also identified a need for key one-time resilience investments within AFD, which may include generator repairs, armored vests, and certain wildfire-related equipment expenses.

EMS:

There are two one-time investments that would better position our EMS medics when they respond to active attacker events and other dangerous situations.

* Active Attacker Training, which would provide a one-day awareness course for all personnel, and additional training for certain medics and command oversight.

* Upgrading current safety equipment, including higher-level ballistic vests to protect medics who respond to hazardous situations.

Together these EMS and AFD investments account for the funds made available by the delay in opening the Loop 360/Davenport Fire and EMS station.

Furthermore, as I mentioned at the Tuesday work session I will be bringing forward a budget initiative to fund the following investments and have identified a potential funding mechanism for these items:

* Phase II of implementing the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO), which includes an additional Deputy Medical Director over Health Equity and Professional Development, and three coordinators who will work on system research and development, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular service lines, and trauma and cardiac arrest service lines.

* Three additional Paramedic Practitioners, who provide care on-site to low acuity patients and alleviate strain on the EMS system as a whole.

In addition, I am working on a plan to fund EMS staffing and leadership positions.

I will provide additional details and finalized numbers next week, and I invite colleagues interested in working with me on
these items to reach out to my office. I look forward to Tuesday’s work session discussion and the updates related to the Emergency Communications Department, Victim Services, and the Fire/EMS optimization study, as well as further discussions on funding PARD, the OVP, climate/resilience work, and supporting our senior community.

Regards,
Council Member Alter
Council Member, District 10
Alison Alter
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Proposed Fire/EMS Budget Actions

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear Colleagues,

I am looking forward to this afternoon’s briefings and discussion regarding the FY22 budget. Today we will be receiving a briefing regarding the Fire/EMS optimization study, which was released on Friday and includes a lot of information which will require deeper discussion between us as a Council in the coming weeks beyond FY22 budget considerations.

The study includes some recommendations regarding our fee schedule that I have identified as a potential funding source to pay for the important EMS/OCMO investments (leadership positions for EMS, additional FTEs and paramedic practitioners for OCMO) I highlighted as my budget priorities on the message board. The potential fee changes may include an increase to the transport fee, a first responder surcharge for non-residents, or other adjustments. We also should see considerable benefit from adjusting our charity care procedures as well as continuing our overhaul of the billing system and our efforts to charge insurance for non-transport care. One or more of these can be implemented in the FY22 budget; others will require some time to implement.

I have asked the Budget Office to run the numbers on potential revenue if we made some of these fee changes and will share out the information I receive. I also will be bringing forward budget direction for staff to identify a path for bringing on 10 medics per year over the next four years to get us to appropriate EMS staffing levels, relying on the revenue streams created as we act on the study’s recommendations.

Regards,
Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10
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