UNION TWP SAFETY COORDINATOR POKING NOSE INTO EMERGENCY SERVICES – twp should take care not to alienate volunteers

February 17, 2016 Township of Union Mayor and Committee 140 Perryville Road Hampton, NJ 08827 Re: Recommendations from Review and Audit Conducted on the Fire Companies that Serve Union Township To All:

I would like to thank the Mayor and Committee for the opportunity to serve as their Public Safety Coordinator for Union Township. I would also like to thank the Fire Chiefs from the four (4) Fire Departments that provide fire protection to Union Township (UT). Their time and dedication is second-to-none and I could not have completed this assessment without their cooperation and assistance.

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On July 15, 2015, I emailed Chief Walter Dorf, Chief Brad Patkochis and Chief Jeff Smith and requested information of their respective fire companies. This information was received on August 4, 2015. After reviewing the submitted information, I found it to be in order and complete. On July 1, 2015, I emailed Chief Dan VanFossen of the Pattenburg Fire Company requesting information. As reported at the December 16, 2015 Committee Meeting, the last of the requested information was received on December 14, 2015.

 

While the PVFC is generally sound overall, there are a number of items outlined below that should be mandatory and would make their operations better.

I. The appropriate Township official shall be notified of: a. Any fire apparatus is out of service b. Any fire apparatus is out of UT for non-emergency reasons c. When normal alerting procedures are disrupted/not functioning d. When the fire station is staffed for emergency reasons e. Any incident involving four (4) or more agencies (EMS, FD) f. Any incident requesting/involving County and/or State resources g. Any changes in fire box alarms in UT h. Any incident at any public buildings (schools, municipal building, etc.) i. Any confirmed incident at a high hazard structure 140 Perryville Road – Hampton, NJ 08827 (908) 735-8027 – Fax: (908) 735-0591 website: www.uniontownship-hcnj.gov – email:mstrauss@ahco1.com j. Any request for the CERT Team, or any OEM Equipment (trailers, gator, command bus, etc.) k. Any issue involving response areas, problems with another agency Chief/Officer/Member, not following policy, etc. l. Any suspicious incident, phone call, email, inquiry and interaction with someone that can be construed as criminal and/or terrorism related m. Any resource requests (K-9, missing persons, land searches, large-scale incidents, etc.)

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n. Any mutual-aid fire apparatus to cover UT for all non-emergency reasons o. Any fire apparatus to cover another jurisdiction for all non-emergency reasons p. Any PVFC fire apparatus is involved in a traffic crash or damaged q. Any fire company injuries/line of duty deaths r. Any serious injuries or deaths to civilians as a result of a fire or motor vehicle crash s. Anytime Reverse-911 is used t. Any violation of prohibited use of fire department vehicles for private use, profit or advantage, and any penalty prescribed for the violation thereof II. In order to further training efforts/requirements, and improve operations, it is recommended that PVFC do the following: a. Utilize the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center for classroom training included but not limited to: 1. Structural firefighting 2. Car fires 3. Extrication

4. RIT Training 5. Advanced Firefighter Training b. Utilize the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center for training in live burn scenarios 1. At least two (2) live burn scenarios per year c. Increase training/drills with Quakertown, Clinton and High Bridge FD’s d. Reduction and/or consolidation of fleet. Sell off older and/or apparatus no longer being used e. Increase fund raising activities to help offset costs f. Only active members with formal fire training should be allowed to ride on fire apparatus g. Increase recruitment and retention initiatives h. Line Officers must have mandated training, and must meet requirements of interior/ structural firefighters i. Re-evaluate PVFC responses out of UT j. Annual review of LOSAP 1. Township Ordinance/Guidelines 2. Qualifications/Violation/Penalties k. Prohibit use of fire vehicles for private use, profit or advantage, and prescribe penalties for the violation thereof l. Fire Chief to attend all meetings of HCFCA m. File copies of mandatory training documents and certifications with appropriate UT Official

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n. Provide copy of liability insurance policy to appropriate UT Official 140 Perryville Road – Hampton, NJ 08827 (908) 735-8027 – Fax: (908) 735-0591 website: www.uniontownship-hcnj.gov – email:mstrauss@ahco1.com Currently I meet with the four (4) fire chiefs at least quarterly and/or as needed to address any issues that come up. All complaints that were brought to my attention during the months of July to November 2015 were investigated and the outcomes were discussed with all four (4) fire chiefs on Monday, November 12, 2015.

A group meeting was set for Monday, January 18, 2016 but had to be rescheduled due to a conflict; a new date has not yet been set. Finally, I will submit a list of recommendations regarding the other three (3) fire departments as well as they relate to Union Township.

Once we have finalized concerns with the fire departments, I will move to do an assessment of the Rescue/EMS agencies that provide coverage in Union Township. Please note that I have already collected considerable information with the assistance of Committeewoman McBride. As always please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need further information

. Respectfully submitted, Marc. H. Strauss Public Safety Coordinator Township of Union