Fire Distr. 3 board begins a plan based on 7 goals

Fire District No. 3 held a swearing in ceremony for two new board members, John Dimick and Harvey Tonn, and for Jim Gillin, who was re-elected. Officers for the coming year were also elected. Jim Gillin will serve as president, Colin Fagan as vice-president and Cindy Hauser will continue as secretary/treasurer.

The collective bargaining agreement from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014 was approved.
Salaries and benefits were approved for 2011-2012. The agreement  reflects a two percent cost of living based on the Consumer Price Index from May 2010 to April 2011.

The board authorized the donation of a surplus 1996 Ford van to Hearts with a Mission.
Fagan noted Hearts with a Mission is a safe place for many homeless teens and said they could certainly use the van.

Approval was given to an updated agreement with the county regarding the well water at the Dodge Bridge station. The county has agreed to be responsible for the required testing, routine maintenance of the well head and supplying materials for the chemical dosing system to comply with state requirements. After discussion between the district and the county, it was agreed the county was equipped to handle the well issue far better than was the fire district.

In January, the board of directors adopted seven strategic goals. Based on those goals, the district has defined 121 objectives and tasks involving each department and its lead personnel. Fire Chief Petersen provided the 2nd quarterly report at the July meeting.

During the fourth quarter of this year, this process will lead to a formal strategic plan covering the next three to five years. Involved in that 4th quarter analysis will be:

•Workshop for the board, budget committee, members of the district and community leaders to review performance and look at the district’s  SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.)

• From that review, a steering committee will develop the next set of goals. Once the board has adopted the goals, staff will develop objectives.

• Utilizing the accumulated data, the 2012-13 budget process will begin in January 2012.

• Each fall the staff will review the process. A formal process could begin if the staff and board feel it is necessary.
Seven Strategic Goals
• Maintain long-term strategic planning and exceptional financial practices.
• Maintain and develop highest possible level of service.
• Develop and maintain professional, proactive management and leadership.
• Expand community outreach efforts to advance vision.
• Develop and maintain collaborative strategic partnerships.
• Develop succession planning throughout the district.
• Strengthen internal relations and communication.
With each goal an outcome is listed.

As part of the strategic planning process, a number of critical issues are noted by the staff. Some of these include:
• Economic forecast, has the bottom been reached?
• Financial sustainability
• Lack of task level completion of strategic plans for last several years.
• Focus on volunteer program.
• Lack of training program
• Lack of data analysis capabilities
• Recovery from last five years of turmoil
• Lapse of CFAI Accreditation
• Succession planning not in place
• Lack of confidence in staff
• Lack of expectation &utilization of staff.

As part of the continuing analysis, revision in analyzing calls has been developed. It looks at types, population and response time and then provides a letter grade. There were 10 categories. Of those 10, the district gave itself four As, four Cs, one C+ and one F. The F grade reflects the need for more staffing for structure fires a greater percentage of the time.

Individual fires and rescues during the month of June were reviewed. These included the three acre fire at Crystal and Hwy. 62, which was moving toward residences; the Medford tragedy of July 18; the fire on Rogue River Drive ; motor vehicle accidents and water rescues. The district typically sees six water rescues during the year and thus far they have experienced six. High water, removal of Gold Ray Dam and drinking have been the major issues with rescues.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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