A Needs Assessment of the Fire Service NEW JERSEY

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A Needs Assessment of the Fire Service NEW JERSEY June 2004 A Needs Assessment of the Fire Service NEW JERSEY John R. Hall, Jr., Ph.D. Michael J. Karter, Jr. Fire Analysis & Research Division NFPA 1 Batterymarch
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A Needs Assessment of the Fire Service NEW JERSEY June 2004 A Needs Assessment of the Fire Service NEW JERSEY John R. Hall, Jr., Ph.D. Michael J. Karter, Jr. Fire Analysis & Research Division NFPA 1 Batterymarch Park Quincy, MA June 2004 FOREWORD When the national results of the first comprehensive study of the needs of the U.S. fire service were released in 2002 by NFPA for Congress, I described it as a call to action. That study showed clearly that most fire departments in the U.S. severely lack resources to respond to challenging incidents like terrorism. Today s fire service is a broad-spectrum emergency-response service, as well as a leader in the drive to prevent emergencies. In area after area of critical importance to our safety, fire departments are attempting to operate with insufficient personnel, equipment, and training. Nowhere is this shortfall more evident than in the area of terrorism preparedness. Now firefighters are faced with additional needs, including specialized training and equipment to combat terrorism. In all sizes of communities, most departments don t have that training or that equipment. This concise state version of the needs assessment for your fire service will help policymakers and others closely examine where individual shortfalls exist and work toward providing greater safety for citizens in your state and the firefighters who protect them. James M. Shannon President NFPA May 2004 i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study is based on data collected in a cooperative study by NFPA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Fire Administration. Thanks to the many people in the USFA whose comments, ideas, and recommendations shaped our approach. Particular thanks to Project Officer Mark A. Whitney, who not only provided sound technical guidance but also helped us through innumerable procedural steps. Thanks to the many fire departments who carefully reviewed their departments capabilities and described those capabilities in forms submitted to us for use in this study. Thanks to the many individuals who guided us in selecting the most important questions to ask and the most appropriate interpretations of answers received. These include our Technical Advisory Group: Steve Coffman, Captain, Dallas (TX) Fire Department Arthur Cota, Director, California Fire Service Training Robert DiPoli, Chief, Needham (MA) Fire Department Jeff Dyar, U.S. Fire Administration Dr. James Genovese, US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Joseph Kay, Battalion Chief, Dallas (TX) Fire Department Eric Lamar, International Association of Fire Fighters Edward Plaugher, Chief, Arlington County (VA) Fire Department Ernest Russell, State Fire Marshal, Illinois Gary Santoro, Fire Marshal, Wethersfield (CT) Fire Department Heather Schafer, Executive Director, National Volunteer Fire Council Eric Tolbert, formerly Administrator, North Carolina Emergency Management, and currently on staff with FEMA Jeff Wagoner, Campbell County (WY) Fire Department Mark A. Whitney, Fire Programs Specialist, U.S. Fire Administration We also received extensive and essential comments at several stages from colleagues at NFPA: Gary Tokle, Assistant Vice President, Public Fire Protection Division Carl Peterson, Assistant Director, Public Fire Protection Division Steven Foley, Senior Fire Service Specialist, Public Fire Protection Division Bruce Teele, Senior Fire Service Specialist, Public Fire Protection Division Rita Fahy, Manager Fire Data Bases and Systems, Fire Analysis & Research Division iii Lastly, thanks to the administrative personnel at NFPA, whose painstaking attention to detail and extended hours of work were instrumental in transforming a set of questions and a stack of forms into a unique database and this analysis report: John Baldi John Conlon Frank Deely Myles O Malley Kevin Tape Norma Candeloro Helen Columbo Laurie Eisenhauer For these state-specific reports, special thanks go to Helen Columbo for document preparation and to Helen and Marty Ahrens for proofreading. iv EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PL , Section 1701, Sec. 33 (b) required that the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct a study in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to (a) define the current role and activities associated with the fire services; (b) determine the adequacy of current levels of funding; and (c) provide a needs assessment to identify shortfalls. The Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey was conducted as a census, with appropriate adjustments for non-response. The NFPA used its own list of local fire departments as the mailing list and sampling frame of all fire departments in the US. The Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey was sent only to departments with administrative and reporting responsibilities, in order to minimize double-counting. This means that the total number of departments we contacted may be much lower than the total number of departments in the state, as reflected in the state s own records. The data in this state report is least affected by this discrepancy in results reported separately by community size. Any statistics for the entire state must be used with caution and may not give sufficient weight to conditions in the smallest communities. For New Jersey, we analyzed responses from 255 of the 495 fire departments in the state. Analysis of the results by state was done by NFPA after and outside of the Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey contract. Those results have not been reviewed or approved by anyone at the Department of Homeland Security (new parent agency of FEMA). All statistics calculated as percents of firefighters are based on percents of departments by population interval, combined with national figures on ratios of firefighters per department between population intervals. Ratios have not been developed for individual states. Personnel and Their Capabilities In communities with less than 2,500 population, 9% of fire departments, nearly all of them all- or mostly-volunteer departments, deliver an average of 4 or fewer volunteer firefighters to a mid-day house fire. Because these departments average only one career firefighter per department, it is likely that most of these departments often fail to deliver the minimum of 4 firefighters needed to safely initiate an interior attack on such a fire. Of fire departments that protect communities of at least 10,000 population, 0-100%, depending on population interval, have fewer than 4 career firefighters assigned to first-due engine companies. It is likely that, for many of these departments, the first arriving complement of firefighters often falls short of the minimum of 4 firefighters needed to safely initiate an interior attack on a structure v fire, thereby requiring the first-arriving firefighters to wait until the rest of the first-alarm responders arrive. An estimated 6% of firefighters are involved in structural firefighting but lack formal training in those duties. An estimated 21% of fire department personnel involved in delivering emergency medical services (EMS) lack formal training in those duties. An estimated 87% of firefighters serve in fire departments with no program to maintain basic firefighter fitness and health. Facilities, Apparatus and Equipment An estimated 644 fire stations (65% of total fire stations) are estimated to be at least 40 years old, an estimated 516 fire stations (52%) have no backup power, and an estimated 534 fire stations (54%) are not equipped for exhaust emission control. Using maximum response distance guidelines from the Insurance Services Office and simple models of response distance as a function of community area and number of fire stations, developed by the Rand Corporation, it is estimated that three-fifths to three-fourths of fire departments nationally have too few fire stations to meet the guidelines. Statistics specific to New Jersey have not been developed. An estimated 306 engines (18% of all engines) are 15 to 19 years old, another 238 (14%) are 20 to 29 years old, and another 101 (6%) are at least 30 years old. Therefore, 38% of all engines are at least 15 years old. An estimated 38% of the emergency responders on a shift lack portable radios. An estimated 17% of firefighters per shift are not equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). An estimated 12% of emergency responders per shift are not equipped with personal alert system (PASS) devices. An estimated 1% of firefighters lack personal protective clothing. Ability to Handle Unusually Challenging Incidents Only 9% of fire departments can handle a technical rescue with EMS at a structural collapse of a building with 50 occupants with local trained personnel. vi ! 28% of all departments consider such an incident outside their scope.! Only 8% can handle the incident with local specialized equipment.! Only 18% have a written agreement to direct use of non-local resources.! All needs are greater for smaller communities. Only 9% of fire departments can handle a hazmat and EMS incident involving chemical/biological agents and 10 injuries with local trained personnel.! 37% of all departments consider such an incident outside their scope.! Only 8% can handle the incident with local specialized equipment.! Only 19% have a written agreement to direct use of non-local resources.! All needs are greater for smaller communities. Only 7% of fire departments can handle a wildland/urban interface fire affecting 500 acres with local trained personnel.! 53% of all departments consider such an incident outside their scope.! Only 6% can handle the incident with local specialized equipment.! Only 12% have a written agreement to direct use of non-local resources. Only 11% of fire departments can handle mitigation of a developing major flood with local trained personnel.! 48% of departments consider such an incident outside their scope.! Only 8% can handle the incident with local specialized equipment.! Only 11% have a written agreement to direct use of non-local resources. vii TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword Acknowledgements Executive Summary Table of Contents List of Tables and Figures i iii v ix xi Introduction 1 The US Fire Service 3 Personnel and Their Capabilities 5 Facilities, Apparatus and Equipment 21 Ability to Handle Unusually Challenging Incidents 41 Appendix 1: Survey Methodology 73 Appendix 2: Survey Form 74 ix LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table 1. Department Type 4 Figure 1. Estimated Percent of Firefighters Involved in Structural Firefighting Who Lack Formal Training 6 Table A. Estimated of Firefighters Involved in Structural Firefighting Who Lack Formal Training 7 Figure 2. Estimated Percent of Personnel Involved in EMS Who Lack Formal Training 8 Table B. Estimated Percentage of Personnel Involved in EMS Who Lack Formal Training 9 Figure 3. Estimated Percent of Firefighters Whose Fire Departments Have No Programs to Maintain Basic Firefighter Fitness and Health 10 Table C. Estimated Percent of Firefighters Whose Fire Departments Have No Program to Maintain Basic Firefighter Fitness and Health 11 Table 2. For All- or Mostly-Volunteer Departments, Average of Volunteer Firefighters Who Respond to a Mid-Day House Fire 12 Table 3. For All- or Mostly-Career Departments, of Career Firefighters Assigned to an Engine/Pumper Apparatus 13 Table 4. Does Department Provide Structural Firefighting? 14 Table 5. For Departments That Provide Structural Firefighting, How Many Personnel Who Perform This Duty Have Received Formal Training? 15 Table 6. Does Department Provide Emergency Medical Service (EMS)? 16 Table 7. For Departments That Provide Emergency Medical Service, How Many Personnel Who Perform This Duty Have Received Formal Training? 17 Table 8. Does Department Provide Hazardous Material Response? 18 Table 9. Does Department Provide Technical Rescue Service? 19 Table 10. Does Department Have a Program to Maintain Basic Firefighter Fitness and Health? 20 Table D. of Fire Stations With Characteristics Indicating Potential Need 21 Figure 4. Percent of Engines and Pumpers That Are At Least 15 Years Old 25 Table E. of Engines in Service, Limited to Engines At Least 15 Years Old 26 Figure 5. Percent of Emergency Responders on a Shift Who Lack Radios 27 xi LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES (Continued) Table F. Emergency Responders on a Shift Who Lack Radios 28 Figure 6. Percent of Firefighters per Shift Lacking Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) 29 Table G. Firefighters per Shift Lacking SCBA 30 Figure 7. Percent of Emergency Responders per Shift Lacking Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) Devices 31 Table H. Estimated Average Percent of Emergency Responders per Shift Not Provided With PASS Devices 32 Figure 8. Estimated Percent of Firefighters Lacking Personal Protective Clothing 33 Table I. Firefighters in Department Where Not All Firefighters Are Equipped With Personal Protective Clothing 34 Table 11. of Fire Stations and Selected Characteristics 35 Table 12. Average of Engines/Pumpers and Ambulances in Service and Age of Engine/Pumper Apparatus 36 Table 13. How Many of Department s Emergency Responders on a Single Shift Are Equipped With Portable Radios? 37 Table 14. How Many Emergency Responders on a Single Shift Are Equipped With Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)? 38 Table 15. What Fraction of Emergency Responders on a Single Shift Are Equipped With Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) Devices? 39 Table 16. What Fraction of Emergency Responders Are Equipped With Personal Protective Clothing? 40 Table J. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain Necessary Personnel With Specialized Training [Technical Rescue and EMS at Structural Collapse With 50 Occupants] 42 Table K. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain the Necessary Specialized Equipment [Technical Rescue and EMS at Structural Collapse With 50 Occupants] 43 Table L. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Type of Plan for Using Non-Local Resources [Technical Rescue and EMS at Structural Collapse With 50 Occupants] 44 Table M. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain Necessary Personnel With Specialized Training [Hazmat and EMS for Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries] 46 xii LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES (Continued) Table N. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain the Necessary Specialized Equipment [Hazmat and EMS for Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries] 47 Table O. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Type of Plan for Using Non-Local Resources [Hazmat and EMS for Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries] 48 Table P. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain Necessary Personnel With Specialized Training [Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres] 50 Table Q. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain the Necessary Specialized Equipment [Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres] 51 Table R. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Type of Plan for Using Non-Local Resources [Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres] 52 Table S. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain Necessary Personnel With Specialized Training [Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood] 54 Table T. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Where They Obtain the Necessary Specialized Equipment [Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood] 55 Table U. Departments by Whether They Can Handle This Kind of Incident and Type of Plan for Using Non-Local Resources [Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood] 56 Table 17. Is Technical Rescue and EMS for a Building With 50 Occupants After Structural Collapse Within the Scope of Department? 57 Table 18. For Departments Where Technical Rescue and EMS for a Building With 50 Occupants After Structural Collapse Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient People With Specialized Training to Handle Such an Incident? 58 Table 19. For Departments Where Technical Rescue and EMS for a Building With 50 Occupants After Structural Collapse Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient Specialized Equipment to Handle Such an Incident? 59 Table 20. For Departments Where Technical Rescue and EMS for a Building With 50 Occupants After Structural Collapse Is Within Their Scope, Do They Have a Plan for Working With Others? 60 xiii LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES (Continued) Table 21. Is a Hazmat and EMS Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries Within the Scope of Department? 61 Table 22. For Departments Where a Hazmat and EMS Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient People With Specialized Training to Handle Such an Incident? 62 Table 23. For Departments Where a Hazmat and EMS Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient Specialized Equipment to Handle Such an Incident? 63 Table 24. For Departments Where a Hazmat and EMS Incident Involving Chemical/Biological Agents and 10 Injuries Is Within Their Scope, Do They Have a Plan for Working With Others? 64 Table 25. Is a Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres Within the Scope of Department? 65 Table 26. For Departments Where a Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient People With Specialized Training to Handle Such an Incident? 66 Table 27. For Departments Where a Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient Specialized Equipment to Handle Such an Incident? 67 Table 28. For Departments Where a Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Affecting 500 Acres Is Within Their Scope, Do They Have a Plan for Working With Others? 68 Table 29. Is Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood Within the Scope of Department? 69 Table 30. For Departments Where Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient People With Specialized Training to Handle Such an Incident? 70 Table 31. For Departments Where Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood Is Within Their Scope, How Far Do They Have to Go to Obtain Sufficient Specialized Equipment to Handle Such an Incident? 71 Table 32. For Departments Where Mitigation of a Developing Major Flood Is Within Their Scope, Do They Have a Plan for Working With Others? 72 xiv INTRODUCTION PL , Section 1701, Sec. 33(b) required that the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct a study in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to (a) define the current role and activities associated with the fire services; (b) determine the adequacy of current levels of funding; and (c) provide a needs assessment to identify shortfalls. The questionnaire developed to meet this requirement principally involved multiple approaches to answering the question what does the fire department need?. Most of the questions were intended to determine what fire departments have, in a form that could be compared to existing standards or formulas that set out what fire departments should have. Some of the questions asked what fire departments have with respect to certain cutting-edge technologies for which no standards yet exist and no determinations of need have yet been proposed. The questionnaire also sought to define the emergency-response tasks that fire departments considered to be within their scope. For su
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