Fire and Rescue Department Review and Assessment

Fire and Rescue Department Review and Assessment
Posted on 10/07/2019
The Village of Pleasant Prairie contracted McGrath Consulting Group, Inc. to conduct an audit of the Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department. The audit included current operations, staffing, and fiscal resources of the Fire & Rescue Department. McGrath Consulting presented their report during the Village Board meeting on Monday, October 7.

McGrath Consulting highlighted that the Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department is a well-run, highly trained, organized department. The Fire Department has strived to keep up with the growth of the community. The consultants made recommendations for a new fire station, staffing measures, and fire apparatus replacements for the Village of Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department.

The Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department operates out of two fire stations. Station #1 (located at 3801 Springbrook Road) was built in 2015 and contains all the latest technology for a fire station. It is currently staffed with three personnel assigned 24 hours a day. One of the two Assistant Chiefs offices is located at Station #1. Station #2 (located at 8044 88th Avenue) was built in 1994 and serves as the headquarters for the Department. It was not originally built to house full-time personnel and modifications were made in 1999 to accommodate the full-time staff although space is still limited. Station #2 has a minimum of three and up to six personnel assigned 24 hours a day. A third fire station has been considered for the Village for many years.

In making the determination of what adequate staffing should be, the consultants analyzed the workload which includes incident totals, training, apparatus maintenance, public education assignments, pre-planning, fire inspections and other scheduled activities, and the community risk profile. It is rare that fire departments have staffing that exceeds their needs. The consultants believe increasing the minimum staffing for each station from three to five would be beneficial to the community and the fire department personnel. Station #1 current minimum and maximum staffing is three personnel, therefore the recommendation is for two personnel a day for each of the three shifts for a total of six new personnel. Station #2 current minimum staffing is three personnel but the current maximum is five personnel. The new staffing model would be five personnel at Stations #1 & #2 and three personnel at Station #3. Station #3 would be considered a “jump company” where the crew would respond in an ambulance or engine based on the incident needs.

The consultants stated that the Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department apparatus overall is in good shape. All the Department’s Advanced Life Support (Paramedic) ambulances are state-of-the-art and contain all the necessary lifesaving equipment. The Department recently replaced an aged aerial fire truck with a new ladder/tower in 2017. A report from the Department shows that 90% of the community is fully supplied with fire hydrants. Because the Village has adequate water supply with fire hydrants, future vehicle replacements will not need to contain the large oversized chassis. This will allow for vehicles that have greater maneuverability and will be more versatile to the response needs of the community. Currently, Station
#1 has three pumper/tenders that are aged and will need future replacement. The consultants recommended the purchase of both an aerial ladder “Quint” for Station #1 in addition to a Rescue Pumper. The Rescue Pumper is a type of fire vehicle that carries specialized rescue equipment and still functions as an engine/pumper.

The consultants said that the members of the Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department are very well trained. All the career members are crossed trained as Firefighters and Paramedics. Three out of the seven part-time employees are equally crossed trained. The remaining part-time members are trained as Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians at the Basic level.

Pleasant Prairie is well balanced with residential, commercial, and industrial property. There are inherent dangers associated with each of these types of structures. Due to these inherent dangers, Fire Chief Craig Roepke requires all members to be fully trained to handle any type of emergency that may occur within the community. All career personnel are certified in fire suppression, driving, pumping, and aerial operations of fire apparatus, hazardous materials, surface water/ice rescue, technical rescue, operations disciplines including: rope high/low access, confined space, trench, and structural collapse, confined space operations, and certified/licensed as paramedics. The consultants commended Pleasant Prairie’s Fire and Rescue Department fire and emergency medical services education and training as it surpasses all the surrounding communities’ requirements. Dr. Benjamin Feinzimer, the Project Medical Director, under which all department paramedics operate under, highly applauds the Department’s aggressive approach to paramedicine training. 

Related documents for the Pleasant Prairie Fire & Rescue Department assessment can be found here.
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