Aerial Fire Truck Resolution

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Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Aerial Fire Truck Resolution

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »

Dear Colleagues,

I am excited to share with you a drafted resolution I have authored that could make a significant impact on our community's safety and well-being. As some of you may know, I have been working closely with the Austin Fire Association and other stakeholders to identify critical needs in our fire department.

One of the most pressing needs we have identified is the need for additional aerial fire trucks and staffing for those trucks. By adding more aerial fire trucks and staffing them properly, we can significantly enhance our community's safety and reduce the risk of devastating fires. This investment will also help our fire department respond more quickly and effectively to emergency situations, which could save lives and prevent property damage.

I invite all of you to review the drafted resolution, which can be found at ... 175407.pdf.
If you share my belief that this is an essential investment for our community, I encourage you to join me as a co-sponsor of this resolution and offer additional suggested language on this message board post.

Our goal is to have this item on either the March 23, 2023, agenda, or the April 13, 2023 meeting and we must act to meet the deadline for the agenda office. Please indicate your support for this critical initiative in this forum before March 8, 2023. I wanted to start the discussion now and invite co-sponsors so that we can ensure we have the most robust direction for the interim city manager available.

I would like to thank Council Member Fuentes for co-sponsoring this item with me.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to working with you to make our community safer and stronger.

Best regards,

Council Member, District 6
Vanessa Fuentes
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:02 am

Re: Aerial Fire Truck Resolution

Post by Vanessa Fuentes »

Colleagues -

I appreciate CM Kelly raising this issue. While I intend to support this need as a co-sponsor, I cannot support the resolution as it is currently drafted. As I mentioned to her yesterday, I am still looking into the issue for myself with AFD and am considering several changes to the resolution. I strongly support the additional ladder trucks needed, especially at the new Goodnight Ranch Station in District 2, and I appreciate CM Kelly’s support for this and another in District 10. Yet, while the need for improved aerial ladder truck response time is apparent, Council has not received enough information about all of our current public safety needs to determine that this one need should be placed at the top of the list.

Just yesterday, during the Public Safety Committee meeting, we were told that the ladder trucks that we already have are understaffed with an unfunded need for an additional 32 employees. The AFA has also raised the issue of several FIre and joint Fire/EMS stations that are desperately in need of investment, not to mention the known need for ambulances and boats for lake response in our EMS fleet. Our response times across the board need improvement, and we should be looking at ways to strategically reduce calls for service as we have with our Airport/EMS pilot program. Because of this, and other possible capital improvement needs that have yet to be brought to our attention, I believe more consideration is needed before proposing an immediate spending mandate as it is currently proposed.

We also have a new Interim City Manager along with new leadership over our Public Safety Departments, and Council has yet to hear from them on these issues. I would like to give them the opportunity to assess overall departmental needs and come up with a comprehensive recommendation to address them, rather than preemptively singling-out any particular project.

With rapidly-increasing costs, growing community needs for services, and mandated revenue limits forced on cities by the State, I encourage all of my colleagues to be deliberate and strategic as we consider how we budget for and spend our limited local resources. I look forward to continuing the discussion about our public safety needs and will keep you all updated with any new language for the proposed resolution.

Yours in community,
Council Member, District 2
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