Fire Rescue 3rd Quarter Status Report

by Yvonne Lopez | Jul 08, 2021

Introduction

Coconut Creek is in the process of establishing a Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department to be fully operational by October 1, 2021.  In addition, the City is in the process of transitioning Police and Fire Dispatch services from the Broward Sheriff’s Office to the City of Coral Springs.  These modifications in service delivery will result in increased level of services for our residents and police and fire personnel.  This report is a summary of activities to date.  Each quarter this report will be updated and shared with the Coconut Creek community, the City Commission, and the Public Safety Advisory Board.  New quarterly updates will be in red. 

Implementation Team

An internal operating team consisting of 22 personnel from the following departments has been established to oversee this project:

  • City Manager’s Office
  • City Attorney’s Office
  • Community Relations
  • Finance and Administrative Services
  • Fire Administration
  • Human Resources and Risk Management
  • Information Technology
  • Police
  • Public Works
  • Sustainable Development

Other staff members participate as necessary and appropriate.

Vision of the Fire Rescue Department

Coconut Creek’s new Fire Rescue Department is envisioned to be a first class agency providing the highest level of services while focusing on meeting our community’s needs with excellent customer service, professionalism and responsiveness. We will

use robust data and analyses measured against performance standards for accountability. Core values include great leadership, respect for all people and property, transparency and openness, compassion, and integrity.

Accreditation

Coconut Creek Fire Rescue is being established with the goal of becoming accredited through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). The response standards and Fire Department Manual will be developed to enable us to meet our goal of being accredited within three (3) years.

ISO Insurance Services Office

2nd Quarter Update

  • Our GIS department is developing the map as requested by ISO.

Meetings with the ISO representative are ongoing to coordinate and prepare to maintain ISO class 1 rating through closest unit response, automatic and mutual aid agreements.

Department Organization

The Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department will include 79 positions, including 63 certified personnel working the operational shift of 24 hours on-duty and 48 hours off-duty; 11 certified administrative personnel; four (4) non-certified administrative personnel; and one (1) contracted Medical Director. Additionally, four (4) staff members will be added as support positions (Human Resources, Purchasing, Payroll, and IT).

Coconut Creek’s contract with Margate calls for Coconut Creek to hire 44 firefighter/ paramedics. Coconut Creek will complete the personnel complement from recruitment in order to meet our staffing goal.

Status of Implementation Staffing

3rd Quarter Update

  • 44 Margate employees were extended conditional job offers and began the final pre-employment screening process.
  • Interviews for the other Captain, Lieutenant, Driver Engineer and Firefighter/Paramedic positons are scheduled for the week of June 28th.
  • Conditional job offers were extended to two Division Chief and two Battalion Chief candidates.
  • Cristina Santillan was hired as Logistics Coordinator on April 25th.


Cristina Santillan
is originally from North Lauderdale and served over 5 years in the US Army and was honorably discharged as a Supply Sergeant. She deployed to Kandahar Afghanistan for one year. Cristina has a Bachelor of Science in Logistics Management and just obtained her Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. She is married to her wife, Sandra, for over 7 years.

Pedro Bas was hired as Assistant Chief of Operations on June 21st Pedro Bas was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and his family migrated to the United States (South Florida), when he was six.  Chief Bas has an Associate’s Degree of Science in Emergency Medical Services from Broward College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas.  He has over 33 years of public safety experience with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, moving up from Firefighter/Paramedic to the civil service rank of Division Chief.  As a Division Chief, he served in several assignments including the Fire Prevention Division, Operations, and Airport Fire Chief. Chief Bas is married to Angela, who serves as the Chief, Budget & Grants Division Manager for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and they have two children, a 29 year old daughter Melissa and a 23 year old son Ryan.  They enjoy family life and traveling abroad with his parents, Vicente and Maria.  They have a passion for the old European cities.  He is an avid sports fan, and particularly loves cheering on the Miami Heat.

Brian Blizzard was hired as Assistant Chief of Administration on June 21st Brian Blizzard is originally from Ft. Lauderdale and Plantation for more than 20 years.  He began his career in emergency services in 1986 as a volunteer firefighter with the Plantation Fire Department and he also worked for an ambulance service that provided emergency transport for Broward County EMS. In 1991 he was hired by the St. Lucie County Fire District as a paramedic firefighter, where he completed over 30 years of service, finishing as the Assistant Fire Chief. Chief Blizzard has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Warner University. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP). Chief Blizzard is credentialed and designated as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He is married to his wife Shari for over 27 years and they have three children, Austin, Lexi and Jake. He enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, diving, boating, and camping.

Stevenson-Jean Louis has been promoted to Senior Fire Inspector. He has been working as a Fire Inspector in Coconut Creek for over five years. He began his fire career as a firefighter/Inspector for Plantation Fire Department. He married his high school sweetheart and has a son and daughter. As Senior Fire Inspector Steve will be responsible for plan review and construction related inspections.


2nd Quarter Update

  • Initial interviews for Margate employees have been completed. Background screenings for the Margate employees will continue through April.
  • Testing has been completed for all other candidates for Firefighter/Paramedic, Driver/Engineer, Lieutenant, and Captain.
  • Interviews for the Assistant Chief candidates have been scheduled during the month of April.
  • A job offer was given to a Logistics Coordinator candidate with projected start date of 12th.
  • Ryan Banyas promoted to Fire Marshal.
  • Melinda Mahoney was hired as Fire Inspector/Training Specialist.


1st Quarter Update

  • From December 14 – January 4, the positions of firefighter/paramedic, Driver/Engineer, Lieutenant, and Captain were opened to Margate employees.
  • From January 25 - February 16, the positions of firefighter/paramedic, Driver/Engineer, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Division Chief, and Assistant Chief were opened to the public.
  • Numerous quality applications have been received. 
  • Initial screening has begun and the first interviews are scheduled to begin March 3, 2021.
  • Fire Marshal Jeffery Gary has been promoted to the position of Fire Chief.
  • A contract with Dr. Craig Kushnir to act as Medical Director for the Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department has been approved.


Stations

3rd Quarter Update

  • Fire Station 113
  • Electric, water and sewer were connected.
  • Fire Station alerting was installed and beginning testing the week of July 12th.
  • Appliances have been delivered and furniture is on order.
  • Shade canopy design was updated and construction started.


2nd Quarter Update

  • Underground electric, water, and sewer at Temporary Fire Station 113 is complete.The City is beginning the connection to the modular unit.
  • Furniture design at Temporary Fire Station 113 is complete with anticipated delivery in June.
  • Shade canopy design Temporary Fire Station 113 is complete and out for bid.


1st Quarter Update

Coconut Creek currently has two fire stations: 

  • Fire Station 94 located at 4555 Sol Press Boulevard
  • Fire Station 50 located at 4500 Coconut Creek Parkway
  • A third temporary station, Fire Station 113 will be located at 5450 Wiles Road.
  • The modular building that will be the temporary fire station is now on site.
  • Site preparation is currently underway, including utilities, lighting, and parking.
  • Roadway markings to alert motorists to fire apparatus entering Wiles Road will be included.Traffic signalization is also under study.
  • A permanent Fire Station, Station 113, is planned in the MainStreet area near Monarch High School to be built as MainStreet is developed.

Fleet/Equipment

3rd Quarter Update

  • Ford Expedition delivered.
  • Ford Escape delivered.
  • Pierce Engine delivered on June 24th. Equipment beginning to be mounted.
  • 3 Ford F150 trucks have been delivered.
  • Ford Transit has been delivered and placed in to service for Logistics.


2nd Quarter Update

  • Ford Expedition ordered for Deputy Chief position.


Large Vehicles

The City currently owns:

  • Engine 50 which is a 2016 Pierce pumper
  • Rescue 50 which is a 2016 Wheeled Coach/ambulance
  • Quint 94 which is a 2013 E-One 78-foot aerial
  • Rescue 94 which is a 2020 Wheeled Coach/ambulance
  • Spare rescue truck which is a 2012 Wheeled Coach/ambulance

Coconut Creek has purchased for Fire Station 113:

  • Quint 113, which is a 2020 Pierce 75 Aerial (to be delivered November 2021)
  • Rescue 113, which is a 2020 Wheeled Coach/Ambulance similar to below (to be delivered July 2021)
  • A 2021 Pierce Class A pumper (to be delivered in July 2021)
  • A 2021 Braun/ambulance (to be delivered in August 2021)


Small Vehicles

Vehicles for staff to be delivered in July 2021:

  • 1 Ford F250 for the Battalion Chiefs
  • 1 Ford F250 and 3 Ford F150’s for command staff
  • 1 Ford Transit for the Logistics Coordinator


Mutual and Automatic Aid

ISO requires the use of automatic aid agreements throughout the entire city to ensure prompt fire response to our residents and to meet the ISO requirements.

  • The current Automatic Aid agreements in place with Coral Springs and BSO/Deerfield Beach are being updated to remain in effect after October 1, 2021.
  • We are currently seeking additional automatic aid agreements with Pompano Beach and Margate for the remaining part of the City.
  • We are currently reviewing a proposed countywide automatic aid agreement through the Fire Chiefs Association of Broward County and anticipate signing this agreement at the same time as the other municipalities.


Administration 

Budget
2nd and 3rd Quarter Updates

  • FY22 Department budget currently being developed.

The project implementation budget has been derived over multiple years and from various sources of funds including monies from the General Fund, Seminole Tribe and Fire Impact Fees. 

Updated budget:


Other

3rd Quarter Update

  • Signed agreement for payroll software
  • EMS Billing contract is in place and transition planning has begun.


2nd Quarter Update

  • Final review and Beta test of payroll software system is scheduled to be complete by end of April.
  • The contract with Advantage Medical Waste Solutions has been signed and containers placed in Fire Department administration and Police Department PD Lobby.


1st Quarter Update

Coconut Creek is securing service contracts, licenses, and other administrative items needed for operations.

  • Coconut Creek is currently in the process of adding additional software and updating the payroll system to handle the unique scheduling that comes with the Fire Department.
  • A training program is being developed that all new Coconut Creek Fire Rescue employees will participate in during the month of September, 2021.
  • Coconut Creek staff is in the process of reviewing contracts for a uniform vendor.
  • Department Manual, EMS protocols, Administrative Orders, and a Logistics plan are all in varying stages of completion.
  • Coconut Creek is in the process of submitting an ALS application to the State of Florida to allow us to begin ALS/BLS transport by October 1, 2021. Our current Broward County Certificate of Convenience and Need is being retitled with the new name of Coconut Creek Fire Rescue.
  • Coconut Creek has applied to the State of Florida to re-instate our National Fire Incident Reporting number and Florida Fire Incident Reporting number. This will allow us to begin providing fire service and sending data reports to the State and FEMA beginning on October 1, 2021.
  • We are working to have the following contracts in place prior to September 1, 2021:

EMS billing
Radio maintenance
Large vehicle maintenance
Medical waste disposal
Fire equipment purchase
Medical supply purchase
Stretcher maintenance
Ladder testing and maintenance
Hose testing and maintenance
SCBA testing and maintenance
Medical equipment repair and maintenance
Stretcher repair and maintenance
Bunker gear cleaning, repair and maintenance
Uniform purchase
Fire station alerting repair and maintenance

Dispatch Transition

3rd Quarter Update

  • GIS address data complete and provided to Coral Springs
  • Mobile Data laptops delivered and software is being installed.


2nd Quarter Update

  • The fiber optic connection between Coral Springs and Coconut Creek has been connected to temporary fire station 113.
  • GIS address data is 95% complete and provided to Coral Springs.
  • Dispatch Project Charter has been completed with Broward County Office of Regional Communications and Technology.
  • Mobile Data Terminal Laptops for Engine 50, Rescue 50, Quint 113, Rescue 113, Battalion 113, Quint 94, and Rescue 94 have been ordered.
  • The contract ESO Solutions to provide Fire Records Management System (RMS), Emergency Medical Services Reporting, and EMS billing data transfer has been signed.
  • The City is conducting a final review for the EMS billing contract.


1st Quarter Update

Coconut Creek has contracted with the City of Coral Springs to provide Police and Fire Dispatch services beginning October 1, 2022.  The extensive implementation lead-time is necessary for Coral Springs and Coconut Creek to create communication lines and add the hardware and software necessary to transition dispatch services as well as for Coral Springs to hire and train new dispatchers.

  • The fiber optic line between Coral Springs and Coconut Creek is complete and ready to be connected.
  • Coconut Creek is providing GIS mapping data, response zone data and other necessary data to build up the Coral Springs CAD system to be ready to seamlessly add Coconut Creek in 2022.
  • In addition, Coconut Creek is coordinating with Broward County to obtain the needed hardware and software to add the Fire Rescue units to the Broward Regional Dispatch Center in time to begin responding on October 1, 2021.
  • All the hardware and software being purchased is designed to work on the Regional System and seamlessly transfer to the Coral Springs system next year.

    Software includes:

    • Fire Records management system
    • EMS reporting
    • Automatic vehicle location