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PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT PFD Needs to Reconsider Its Brownout and Rotation Policies February 2016

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  • PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT

    PFD Needs to Reconsider Its Brownout and Rotation Policies

    February 2016

  • February 5, 2016 Derrick J.V. Sawyer, Commissioner Philadelphia Fire Department Fire Administration Building 240 Spring Garden Street Philadelphia, PA 19123 Dear Commissioner Sawyer: Pursuant to Section 6-400(d) of the Home Rule Charter and with the assistance of Robert C. Drennen, consultant and former Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) battalion chief, the Office of the Controller conducted a performance audit of the PFDs fire emergency response times. Our objective was to determine the impact, if any, of your departments policies regarding brownouts and the rotation of firefighters. A synopsis of the results of our work, which was performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, is provided in the executive summary to the report. We discussed our findings and recommendations with you and your staff at an exit conference and included your written response to our comments as part of the report. We believe that our recommendations, if implemented by management, will improve the operations of the PFD. Our recommendations have been numbered to facilitate tracking and follow-up in subsequent years. We would like to express our thanks to you and your staff for the courtesy and cooperation displayed during the conduct of our work. Very truly yours, ALAN BUTKOVITZ City Controller cc: Honorable James F. Kenney, Mayor Honorable Darrell L. Clarke, President and Honorable Members of City Council Members of the Mayors Cabinet

  • PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARATMENT PFD NEEDS TO RECONSIDER ITS

    BROWNOUT AND ROTATION POLICIES EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Why The Controller's Office Conducted The Audit Pursuant to Section 6400(d)of theHomeRuleCharter, andwith the assistanceofRobertC.Drennen,consultant and former Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) battalion chief, the Office of the Controller(ControllersOffice)conductedaperformanceaudit toassessthe impactofthePFDsrollingbrownoutandrotationpoliciesonresponsetimestofireemergenciesintheCityofPhiladelphia.Morespecifically,westudiedthe impactthesetwopolicieshadontheabilityofthePFDtomeetthenationalstandardforresponse,assetforthbytheNationalFireProtectionAssociation(NFPA)1andadoptedbythePFD. What The Controller's Office FoundTrendsinPhiladelphiaresponsetimedatasuggestthatthePFDsdecisionstoimplementabrownoutpolicyas away to cutovertime costsduring tough economic times, andmandate a rotation schedule amongfirefighters toensureall firefightershaveequalopportunity towork invariousassignmentsandacquirediverse skills, only exacerbated the departments already underachieving response to fire emergencies.While theNFPA standard calls for the firstdue fireengines toarriveon scenewithin5minutesand20secondsafterbeingdispatchedfor90percentoftheirruns,thePFDhasbeenunabletomeetthattargettime.Thedepartmentsbestresponseoccurredin2008at82percentoftheruns,andthroughJune2015ithascontinuallylingeredinthemid70percentrange.Theeffectsofthetwopolicies,whichhavenegativelyimpactedtraveltimetofires,havejeopardizedpublicsafety. Moreover,despitethePFDsassertionsthatthebrownoutpolicywouldleadtoreducedovertimecostsof$3.8million,overtimeforfirefightersactuallyclimbedfrom$15.7millioninfiscalyear2010to$34.2millioninfiscalyear2014.Othermattersweobservedduringtheauditincluded:

    PFD firefighters take significantly longer than recommended by theNFPA to suit up, get to thevehicle,boardthevehicle,andsafelysecurethemselvesfortravel(turnouttime).

    Thenumberof firestationshasnotalwayskeptpacewith theCitysdevelopment,which in turnhasperhapscontributedtothedepartmentsinabilitytomeettheNFPAstandardforresponse.

    DataregardingonscenearrivaltimesinthePFDsCADwassometimesincompleteandinaccurate,oftenwhenthefireincidentinvolvedadeathorinjury.

    What The Controllers Office Recommends TheControllersOfficehasdevelopedanumberofrecommendationstoaddresstheabovefindings.Theyinclude:(1)eliminatetheBrownoutandFirefighterRotationpolicies;(2) investigatewhatmaybecausingpoor turnout time for its engines and develop corrective action; (3) examine the coverage area of firestationstodetermine if location is impedingquickerresponsetofireemergencies;and(4) investigatethecauseofmissingorinaccuratecomponentsoftimeintheCADanddevelopcorrectiveaction.

    1NFPA1710StandardfortheOrganizationandDeploymentofFireSuppressionOperations,andSpecialOperationstothePublicbyCareerFireDepartments2010Edition.The2010editionofNFPA1710wasapprovedasanAmericanNationalStandardonJune15,2009.

  • CONTENTS

    PageINTRODUCTION Background....................................................................................................1FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS PFDsBrownoutandRotationPoliciesHaveNegatively

    ImpactedFireResponse............................................................................7HistoricalTrendShowsPFDHasFallenShortoftheNationalStandardforFireResponse..............................................................7

    TravelTimeHasBeenIncreasing.........................................................8PublicSafetyisBeingJeopardized.......................................................9SlowerTravelTimeMayHaveContributedtoIncidentsInvolvingDeathandInjuries...........................................................12

    DespiteClaimsofSavings,OvertimeCostsGrewSignificantly..........15Conclusions........................................................................................15Recommendations.............................................................................16

    OtherMattersComingtoOurAttention.....................................................17

    PoorTurnoutTimeAddingtoPFDsResponseProblem...................17FireStationLocationsHaveNotAlwaysKeptPacewithCitysDevelopment..................................................................................19

    OperationalDataSometimesIncompleteandInaccurate................20

    APPENDICES AppendixI:Objectives,Scope,andMethodology.......................................22AppendixII:GlossaryofTerms....................................................................25AppendixIII:ResponseTimeEffectivenessByFireDistrict.........................26

    TABLES Table1:FireStationsbyDistrict....................................................................2Table2:EstimatedTravelTimeandDistanceofPerimeterFire EnginestoCoverBrownedOutFireStations................................10Table3:TotalTurnoutTimebyEngineandYear.........................................17Table4:NumberofIncidentsUsedtoComputeResponseTime................23FIGURES Figure1:AnnualNumberofFireResponses.................................................4Figure2:TrendinResponseTime.................................................................7Figure3:IncreasingTrendofTravelTimes....................................................8Figure4:Ladder8sRouteto1655MiddletonStreet.................................14Figure5:FirefighterOvertimeandStaffingLevelsforFiscalYears2008

    Through2015...............................................................................15Figure6:TurnoutTimeforFirstRespondingEngineImproving..................19

    AGENCY RESPONSE DerrickJ.V.Sawyer,FireCommissioner......................................................27AUDITORS COMMENTS ON AGENCY RESPONSE .................... 60 CONTROLLERS OFFICE CONTACT AND STAFF ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.......................................................................61

  • INTRODUCTION

    1 | P a g e

    ThePhiladelphiaFireDepartments(PFD)missionis to provide efficient and effective fireprotection, emergency rescue and emergencymedical services to the citizens and visitors ofPhiladelphia. The PFD was established by thePhiladelphiaHomeRuleCharter toperform thefollowing functions: extinguish fireswithin thecity and, upon the request of appropriateauthorities, outside the city; administer the fire

    coderelatingtofireandexplosivehazards;instituteandconductprogramsof public education in fire prevention and safety; train, equip,maintain,superviseanddisciplineanadequatenumberoffirefighters;andoperateafire alarm system. ThePFD consistsof fourmajordivisions that includeEmergency Medical Services, Operations, Technical Services, andAdministrativeServices. Eachof thesedivisionshas the responsibility forcarryingout thevarious functionsofemergencymedicalservicesand firefighting. A fire commissioner,who is appointed by the citysmanagingdirector,andfourdeputycommissionersmanagethedepartment.

    OverviewandDemographics

    The City of Philadelphia covers a 134 squaremile area in SoutheasternPennsylvania. Ithas a nighttimepopulationof 1.5million people and adaytime population of 1.6million. According to the PFD, excluding firstresponderruns,enginecompaniesrespondonaveragetoabout1,500callsayear. At theendof fiscal2015, thenumberofPFD firefighters totaled1,790.Thisisadecreasefrom2,039infiscal2008.

    Philadelphias fire suppression services are delivered from 63 locationsthroughout theCityofPhiladelphia. The fire stations are staffedwith avariety of equipment including pumpers, ladders, andmedic units. Anenginecompanyconsistsofoneofficerand three firefightersassigned toan apparatus equipped with a water pump, fire hose and other toolsrelated to fire extinguishment. One of the three firefighters on everyengine must be an Emergency Medical Technician. This requirementassures that each engine company responding to a fire is staffed by anindividualcapableofapplying lifepreservingmeasures, ifnecessary,untilmoreadvancedmedicalassistancearrives. Laddercompaniesarestaffedby one officer and four firefighters. The primary objectives of a laddercompany are search and rescue operations. All ladder companies areequippedwith the Jaws of Life extrication device. As is the casewithenginecompanies,atleastonefirefightermustbeanEMT.FireEngineLocationsAsindicatedabove,thePFDcurrentlyhas63firestations.ThelocationsofthefirestationsarepresentedinTable1below.Nearly35percentofthe

    Background

  • INTRODUCTION

    2 | P a g e

    Table1:FireStationsbyDistrictDistrict/Location Engine LadderCenterCity/SouthBroadStreet 5NorthPhiladelphia(Lower)/242632N2nd Street 2 3SouthPhiladelphia/20010WashingtonAvenue 3WestPhiladelphia/422129MarketStreet 5 6Kensington&Richmond/2601BelgradeStreet 16Kensington&Richmond/3780 KensingtonAvenue 7 10CenterCity/10115N. 4th Street 2Germantown&ChestnutHill/6900GermantownAvenue 9 21SouthPhiladelphia/1357S. 12th Street 10CenterCity/60109SouthStreet 11Roxborough&Manayunk/4445 MainStreet 12NorthPhiladelphia(Lower)/154147ParrishStreet 13NearNortheast/165254FoulkrodStreet 15WestPhiladelphia/151719BelmontAvenue 16NearNortheast/8205RooseveltBoulevard 18Germantown&ChestnutHill/30210 ECheltenAvenue 19 8CenterCity/133N. 10th Street 20 23FarNortheast/3270ComlyRoad 22 31SouthPhiladelphia/1200S20th Street 24Kensington&Richmond/2937 BoudinotStreet 25NorthPhiladelphia(Lower)/190115OxfordStreet 27Kensington&Richmond/2520E.OntarioStreet 28NorthPhiladelphia(Lower)/40008W. GirardAvenue 29Kensington&Richmond/4750RichmondStreet 33NorthPhiladelphia(Lower)/1301N. 28th Street 34Germantown&ChestnutHill/4208RidgeAvenue 35 25NearNortheast/7818FrankfordAvenue 36 20Germantown&ChestnutHill/101WHighlandAvenue 37NearNortheast/6601KeystoneStreet 38Roxborough&Manayunk/6630RidgeAvenue 30Southwest/2201S.65th Street 40 4WestPhiladelphia/1201N. 61st Street 41 24CenterCity/2110 MarketStreet 43 9WestPhiladelphia/3420HaverfordAvenue 44NorthPhiladelphia(Lower)/2401N. 26thStreet 45 14FarNortheast/9197FrankfordAvenue 46SouthPhiladelphia/3031 GraysFerryAvenue 47SouthPhiladelphia/2612 S. 13th Street 49NorthPhiladelphia(Upper)/1325W. CambriaStreet 50 12Olney/5931OldYorkRoad 51 29NearNortheast/4501VanKirkStreet 52SouthPhiladelphia/400 SnyderAvenue 53 27WestPhiladelphia/1923N. 63rd Street 54NorthPhiladelphia(Upper)/101W.Luzerne Street 55 22NearNortheast/834 RhawnStreet 56WestPhiladelphia/5559ChestnutStreet 57FarNortheast/812HendrixStreet 58NorthPhiladelphia(Upper)/2207WHuntingParkAvenue 59 18SouthPhiladelphia/2301S24th Street 60 19

  • INTRODUCTION

    3 | P a g e

    Table1:FireStationsbyDistrict(continued)District/Location Engine LadderOlney/5334RisingSunAvenue 61FarNortheast/9845BustletonAvenue 62 34Olney/1224 OakLaneAvenue 63NearNortheast/6100RisingSunAvenue 64Roxborough&Manayunk/7720RidgeAvenue 66Southwest/801S. 52nd Street 68 13Southwest/8201TinicumAvenue 69NearNortheast/4800LangdonStreet 70NearNortheast/1900CottmanAvenue 71 28Olney/1127W. LoudenStreet 72Olney/7515OgontzAvenue 73Southwest/13HogIslandRoad 78SouthPhiladelphia/Delaware&WashingtonAvenues MU1SouthPhiladelphia/PassyunkAvenue&SchuylkillRiver MU2Source:PreparedbytheOfficeoftheControllerbasedoninformationprovidedbythePFD

    firestationsarecomprisedofbothanengineandaladdercompany,whilethe remainder are comprised of one or the other of these firefightingapparatuses.AdministrationFourDeputyCommissioners superviseandcommand thedivisionsof thePFD,whichinclude:Operations,TechnicalServices,AdministrativeServicesand Emergency Medical Operations. A Deputy Fire Commissioner ofOperationscommands thePFDsFireSuppressionandSpecialOperationsDivisions,theFireAcademy,theSafetyOffice,andtheAviationOperationsDivision. The Fire SuppressionDivision has twoDivision Chiefswho areeach responsible for overseeing the fire department operations for onehalfoftheCityofPhiladelphia. Division1consistsof5battalionsand29fire stations2,while Division 2 has 6 battalions and 34 fire stations. ADeputyFireCommissionerofTechnicalServicescommandsthePFDsFireCommunications, Fire Prevention, FireCode, FireMarshal, and TechnicalSupportDivisions.ADeputyFireCommissionerofAdministrativeServicescommands the PFDs Fiscal, Human Resources, Information Technology,Information Services, Computer Services, and Facilities MaintenanceDivisions.Finally,aDeputyCommissionerofEmergencyMedicalServicescommandsEmergencyMedicalServicesOperationsandtheEMSRegionalOffice.DemandforFireSuppressionServicesThe Operations Division responds to all calls for fire emergencies. Suchemergenciesaccount for16percentofall incidents (fireandmedical) towhich the PFD has responded in recent years. As depicted in Figure 1

    2 ThisincludesthetwoMarineUnitsinSouthPhiladelphia.

  • INTRODUCTION

    4 | P a g e

    below,while in some years therehasbeen lessdemand in fire services,overallfrom2008to2015ithasincreasednearly6percent.

    Figure1:AnnualNumberofFireResponses

    *2015totalisprojectedbydoublingtheamountofcallsduringthefirsthalfoftheyear.Source:PreparedbytheCityControllersOfficebasedonthePFDsComputerAidedDispatchSystem.

    FireCall/DispatchProceduresIndividuals inneedofemergencyassistancedial the911center,which islocated at police headquarters. All calls for fire or emergencymedicalservices are immediately transferred to the Fire Communications Center(FCC) at the Fire Administration Building. The FCC is responsible forprocessing and dispatching all phone requests for fire and medicalassistance. Once a 911 call is received by the FCC, a calltaker thereidentifies the call as either a fire emergency or a medical emergency.Whenacallisclassifiedasafireemergency,FCCcalltakersmakeinquiriesusing established protocol. Such inquiries include: asking the callerslocation; determining the nature of the fire; determining the type ofstructure on fire; and inquiring if andwhere there are civilians trappedinsideabuildingordwelling.

    Whilecalltakersremainonthelinetogatheradditionalinformation,theyelectronicallylogtheincidentfordispatchintotheFCCComputerAssistedDispatch (CAD) System. Each incident is assigned a minimum initialdispatchassignmentsuchasEngine,TacticalBox,orFullBox.PFDImplementedaBrownoutPolicyOn August 2, 2010, the PFD implemented its controversial rollingbrownout policy. In general, a brownout involves taking an engine orladdercompanyoutofservicetemporarilyandredistributingthestaff.InPhiladelphia,everyweekthreeenginecompaniescloseduringthedayshift

    40,000

    42,000

    44,000

    46,000

    48,000

    50,000

    52,000

    54,000

    2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015*

  • INTRODUCTION

    5 | P a g e

    and two engine companies and one ladder close during the night shift.PFDmanagement has asserted this temporary redistribution of staff isdone for either training purposes or to fill in personnel gaps in othercompanies.Management also stated the brownout policy would reduce overtimecosts. It rationalized thatwhen therehadbeen aneed forpersonnel inother fire companies, the PFDwould call firefighters intowork and paythemovertime.PFDmanagement indicated thatbrownoutswouldallowthe department to redistribute its personnel and pay everyone withstraighttime(normalshiftpay),thusreducingtheneedforovertimeandsavingthecityanestimated$3.8millioninthegeneralfundbudget.Since its inception, the PFDs brownout policy has continued to be thesubjectofenormous controversy.Not longafter its implementation, themediareportedthataftertwochildrenperished inafirewithinthecitysOlney section, a union official questioned whether Philadelphiasbrownoutpolicycontributedtotheirdeaths.3AndduringthemostrecentPFD budget hearings in April 2015, brownouts dominated the FireCommissionersdiscussionwithCityCouncil.PFDEstablishedaRotationPolicyBeginning February2013, thePFD instituteda second very controversialpolicy its FirefighterRotation Policy.4 This policy imposed involuntarytransfersof senior firefighters toother fire stations. Asadopted, itwasmeanttoensurethatallfirefightershaveequalopportunitytowork invarious assignments and acquire diverse skills. PFD management alsoasserted that the rotation of firefighters will enhance their ability toachieve greater opportunities to facilitate upwardmobility through theranks, if desired. Additionally, the policy indicated that by ensuringthat all firefighters serve at least one rotation in the busiest battalionsduringtheircareer,theonthejobtrainingthatresultsfromexperienceismorelikelytooccur.As with the brownout policy, the departments decision to imposemandatory transfersamong firefighterswasgreetedwithoppositionandskepticism.ThemediareportedthatbothfirefightersandmembersofCity

    3Melwert,Jim.FirefighterUnionOfficialQuestionsBrownoutRoleinFatalOlneyFire.CBSPhilly,February23,2011http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/02/23/firefighterunionofficalquestionsbrownoutroleinfatalolneyfire/ 4TheFirefighterRotationPolicywasadoptedwiththePFDsGeneralMemorandum#12134issuedNovember1,2012totakeeffectin2013.

  • INTRODUCTION

    6 | P a g e

    Council were critical of the policy.5 They viewed the policy as punitivebecause of a longrunning contract dispute the firefighterswere havingwiththeadministrationatthetimePFDmanagementrolledoutthepolicy.Moreover,asthemediareported,CriticsonCouncilfearthetransferswillbreak up effective firefighting teams, remove firefighting expertise fromneighborhoodsand threaten the traditional familyculture thatspartofaneffective fire station. Inbrief,manycriticsbelieved thepolicywouldhaveadetrimentaleffectonpublicsafety.PurposeoftheAuditBecauseofthecontroversysurroundingthePFDsbrownoutandrotationpolicies, and more importantly, the potential consequences of thesepoliciesonpublic safety, theOfficeof theController (ControllersOffice)believed itnecessary toassess the impactof thesepolicieson thePFDsresponse times to fireemergencies. Accordingly,pursuant toSection6400(d)of theHomeRuleCharter,we conducted thisaudit todeterminetheneedforrecommendationsregardingthesepolicies.

    5 Graham,Troy.RotationPolicyUnderFire.TheInquirer,October,17,2013.http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/heardinthehall/RotationPolicyUnderFire.html

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    7 | P a g e

    TrendsinPhiladelphiaresponsetimedatasuggestthatthePFDsdecisionsto implement a brownout policy as away to cut overtime costs duringtough economic times, and mandate a rotation schedule amongfirefighters to ensure all firefighters have equal opportunity to work invarious assignments and acquire diverse skills, only exacerbated thedepartments alreadyunderachieving response to fire emergencies. Theeffectsofthesetwopolicies,whichhavenegativelyimpactedtraveltimetofires, have jeopardized public safety, andmay have contributed to theactual loss of lives. Moreover, despite the PFDs assertions that thebrownout policy would lead to reduced overtime costs, in reality, theoppositeoccurred.AlthoughthePFDassertsthatitsfireemergencyresponsefromdispatchtoonscenearrivaltimefellbelowthenationalstandardestablishedbythe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)6 and adopted by thedepartment, our analysis of the data going as far back as 2008 showsotherwise.WhiletheNFPAstandardcallsforfirstduefireenginestoarriveon scenewithin5minutesand20 secondsafterbeingdispatched for90percentof their runs, thePFDhasbeenunable tomeet that target time.Itsbestresponseoccurredin2008at82percentoftheruns.However,asFigure2illustrates,since2008theresponseratedroppedtoitslowestrate

    Figure2:Trendin Response Time

    *2015datarepresentsthefirstsixmonthsofthecalendaryear.Source:PreparedbytheofficeoftheControllerbasedonPFDsCADdata.

    6 Inresponsetoadirect inquiry fromtheOfficeoftheControllertotheNationalFireProtectionAssociationregardingwhattypesoffire incidentsarecoveredbyNFPA1710,theNFPArespondedthatthestandardappliestoany incidentwhereafireapparatus(fireengine)isresponding.AccordingtoNFPA1710,Thisstandardappliestothedeploymentofresourcesbyafiredepartment to emergency situations when operations can be implemented to save lives and property. An emergencyincident as defined by NFPA 1710 is any situation to which an emergency services organization responds to deliveremergencyservicesincludingrescue,firesuppression,emergencymedicalcare,specialoperations,lawenforcement,andotherformsofhazard controlandmitigation. SpecialOperationsasdefinedbyNFPA1710arethoseemergency incidents towhichthefiredepartmentrespondsthatrequirespecificandadvancedtrainingandspecializedtoolsandequipment.

    70%

    75%

    80%

    85%

    90%

    2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    82%80%

    77% 76% 76% 77% 76%78%

    PercentageofTimesPFDMet5:20Standard

    PFDs Brownout and Rotation Policies Have Negatively Impacted Fire Response

    Historical Trend Shows PFD Has Fallen Short of the National Standard for Fire Response

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    8 | P a g e

    of76percentafterthePFDadoptedthebrownoutpolicyinAugust2010.Theabovechartrepresentsmorethan242,000fireincidentsthatoccurredbetween calendar years 2008 through the first half of June 2015. Foralmost 54,000 of these incidents, it took the PFD over 5 minutes 20secondsforafireenginetoarriveonsceneafterreceivingadispatchfromtheFCC.Oftheseincidents,closeto751ofthemtook8minutesorlongertoreachthefirescene.Amajorcomponentoffireresponseistraveltime,thatis,thetimeittakesanenginetotravelfromthefirestationtothesceneofafire.Itisthetimeanengineleavesthefirestation,navigatesthroughtthestreetsandfinallyarrivesat theemergency. Fourminutes isconsidered the time it shouldtakethefirstarrivingenginetotraveltothesceneofanemergencyanditshouldbeaccomplishedfor90percentofallfireoperations.7Analysesoftraveltimeoverthenearlyeightyearperiod (Figure3below)showedthatonaverageithasbeenonanupwardtrend.In2008,forthePFDsnearly32,000 fire runs thatyear, it took firefightersanaverageof2:43toarriveonscene.WhenthePFDintroducedthebrownoutpolicyinAugust 2010, average travel time jumped 8 percent to 2:56. After theforcedrotationbegan in2013,averagetraveltime increasedevenfurtherto3:07thefollowingyear.OverthenearlyeightyearperiodPFDaveragetraveltimehasrisenover14percent.

    Figure3:IncreasingTrendofTravelTimes

    Projectedfor2015.Source:PreparedbytheOfficeoftheControllerfromthePFDsCADdatabase.

    Ouranalysisof theCADdata shows thatevenbefore implementationofthebrownoutandrotationpolicies,thePFDhadnotbeenmeetingthefour

    7 SeeNFPA1710:StandardfortheOrganizationandDeploymentofFireSuppressionOperations,EmergencyMedicalOperationsandSpecialOperationstothePublicbyCareerFireDepartments,(NFPA1710).

    02:43

    02:48

    02:5602:59

    03:02 03:03

    03:07 03:06

    02:36

    02:40

    02:44

    02:48

    02:53

    02:57

    03:01

    03:06

    03:10

    2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    AverageTime

    BrownoutsImplemented08/2010

    RotationsBegin02/2013

    Travel Time Has Been Increasing

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    9 | P a g e

    minute,90percentmarkforanyoftheyearsweexamined.Forexample,in2008,fireenginesarrivedonthescenewithinfourminutesforonly86percentofthecallstowhichtheyweredispatched.Theratedroppedtwopercent in2009to84percent,andby2010,theyearthePFD introducedthe brownout policy, the ability of firefighters to arrive onscenewithinfour minutes dropped to 81 percent. Thereafter, the percentage ofincidents forwhich the PFD arrivedwithin fourminutes dropped to 80percent,where itstablilizeduntildropping to77percentayearafter theadoption of the rotation policy. As discussed in a later section of thisreport, formany firestations theareaofcoveragemaybeacontributingfactortotheinabilityoffirefighterstoreachtheemergencyscenetimely.WhenthePFDtemporarilyclosesafirestation,itleavesagapincoverage,thusincreasingthedistancearespondingenginemusttravel.Thiscanaddminutes to the response timewhenamatterofsecondscouldmean thedifferencebetweenlifeanddeath.The InsuranceServicesOffice (ISO)states thata fireengineshould travelnomore than 1.5 roadmiles to reach the scene of a fire.8 The ISOsformulaasshownbelow,considerstheaveragespeedforafireapparatusrespondingwithemergency lightsand sirenat thirtyfivemilesperhour.Thatspeedconsidersaverageterrain,averagetraffic,weather,andslowingdownforintersections.

    Time=0.65+1.7(Distance)

    .65=avehicleaccelerationconstantforthefirst.05miletraveled1.7=avehiclespeedconstantvalidatedforresponsedistancesranging

    from.5milesto8.0miles

    Adapting the above formula to the NFPA travel time standard of fourminutes,wecalculatedatraveldistancebenchmarkastworoadmilesforthemaximumdistanceinwhichafirstrespondingengineshouldarriveonscene.

    .65+(1.7x2miles)=fourminutes3secondsBrownoutsHaveCompromisedCoverageforHighHazardAreasWhenafirestation istemporarilyclosed,surroundingstationfireenginesmusttravelgreaterdistances leadingto longerresponsetimes. Usingthetwomilebenchmarkweanalyzedthedistancethatperimeterfireengineswouldhavetotravelwhencoveringforabrownedoutfirestation.Wedidthis forasampleof firedistricts throughout thecity,where therewasat

    8 TheInsuranceServiceOffice(ISO)isaleadingsourceofinformationaboutproperty/casualtyrisk.PertheFireChiefsOnlinewebsite, the ISO evaluates municipal fireprotection efforts in communities throughout the United Stateshttps://firechief.iso.com/FCWWeb/mitigation/ppc/3000/ppc3015.jspl.

    Public Safety Is Being Jeopardized

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    10 | P a g e

    Table2:EstimatedTravelTimeandDistanceofPerimeterFireEnginestoCoverBrownedOutFireStationsBrownoutClosuresofFireCompanies

    BrownoutEngine

    Company

    CoveringEngine

    Company

    TargetHazard

    NazarethHospitalHolyFamilyNursing

    HomeWesleyEnhancedLiving WillsEyeSurgicalCenter

    ResponseDistance

    EstimatedTravelTime

    ResponseDistance

    EstimatedTravelTime

    ResponseDistance

    EstimatedTravelTime

    ResponseDistance

    EstimatedTravelTime

    Engine18

    Engine46 2.4 4:44 2.7 5:14 2.7 5:14 3.2 6:04Engine36 1.9 3:53 2.2 4:23 2.2 4:23 3.4 6:26Engine71 1.9 3:53 2.1 4:13 2.2 4:23 3.5 6:36Engine56 2.3 4:34 2.5 4:54 2.5 4:54 3.5 6:36Engine62 2.8 5:25 2.8 5:25 2.9 5:35 2.2 4:23

    St.Joseph'sHighSchool SaintJoseph'sHospital AMEUnionChurch GesuSchool

    Engine27

    Engine29 1.3 2:52 1.2 2:41 1.4 3:02 1.5 3:12Engine34 1.1 2:31 1.1 2:31 1.2 2:41 1 2:21Engine43 1.7 3:32 1.8 3:43 2.1 4:13 1.9 3:53Engine45 1.9 3:53 2 4:03 1.6 3:22 1.7 3:32

    St.VincentHomeforOrphans IndustrialComplex MarjamSupplyCo. OrthodoxAutoCo.

    Engine38

    Engine36 1.9 3:53 2.1 4:13 2 4:03 2.4 4:44Engine52 2.1 4:13 1.6 3:22 1.8 3:43 1.7 3:32Engine33 3 5:45 2.5 4:54 2.7 5:14 2.6 5:04Engine46 3 5:45 3.5 6:36 3.3 6:16 3.8 7:07

    WestPhiladelphiaAchievementSchool SaintDonatoSchool

    Lamberton ElementarySchool

    CongregationBethYeshuaSynagogue

    Engine41

    Engine54 1.3 2:52 1.1 2:31 1.6 3:22 1.6 3:22Engine57 1.9 3:53 1.7 3:32 2.9 5:35 3.0 5:45Engine16 2.6 5:04 2.3 4:34 3.2 6:04 3.4 6:26Engine68 3.1 5:55 2.9 5:35 4.0 7:27 4.2 7:47

    AMTRAKStation StateofPennsylvaniaParoleBoardKIPPPhiladelphiaCharterSchool

    MasteryCharterSchoolClymerCampus

    Engine50

    Engine59 1.6 3:22 2.2 4:23 2 4:03 2 4:03Engine45 1.4 3:02 Engine55 2 4:03 2.3 4:34 2.4 4:44 2.2 4:23Engine72 2.3 4:34 Engine2 1.2 2:41 1.4 3:02 1.4 3:02Engine27 2 4:03 2 4:03 2.3 4:34

    CentralHighSchool PennellSchool HighRiseResidentialBuildingGermantownEvangelical

    Academy

    Engine51

    Engine72 1.4 3:02 1.7 3:32 1.3 2:52 1.2 2:41Engine19 1.4 3:02 1.5 3:12 1.4 3:02 1.5 3:12Engine63 1.6 3:22 1.5 3:12 1.6 3:22 1.7 3:32Engine61 1.9 3:53 1.9 3:53 1.9 3:53Engine73 2 4:03

    RobertoClementeMiddleSchool

    SaintChristopher'sHospitalforChildren

    ThomasEdisonHighSchool BrightsideAcademy

    Engine55

    Engine7 2.1 4:13 1.6 3:22 1.9 3:53 1.7 3:32Engine50 1.5 3:12 1.8 3:43 1.8 3:43 1.7 3:32Engine2 2 4:03 2.1 4:13 Engine61 2 4:03 1.9 3:53 1.7 3:32 1.8 3:43Engine72 1.7 3:32 2.2 4:23

    CheltenhamNursing&RehabilitationCenter

    TreeviewManorApartments

    GardenApartmentComplex

    St.JudeSyroMalankaraCatholicChurch

    Engine63

    Engine51 1.7 3:32 1.5 3:12 1.9 3:53 1.8 3:43Engine73 2 4:03 2.3 4:34 2.4 4:44 2.4 4:44Engine61 2.6 5:04 2 4:03 2.1 4:13 2 4:03Engine64 2.6 5:04 2.3 4:34 2.3 4:34 2.2 4:23

    Note:Responsedistanceismeasuredinmilesandtraveltimeismeasuredinminutes.Source:OfficeoftheControlleranalysis

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    11 | P a g e

    leastonehighhazardoccupancy9requiringadistanceofmorethantwomiles10forthefirstdueenginetocoverinabrownedoutenginesdistrict.Table2above illustratesexamplesofdistricts inthecity,wheretherearehighhazardoccupanciesthatincludehospitals,schoolsandnursinghomes,inwhichtheperimeterengineofabrownedoutenginesdistrictmightfindit difficult to arrive on scenewithin the established benchmark of fourminutes. For example, when Engine 18 is brownedout, half of theperimeter engines are over two miles from the selected hazards.Therefore,itwillbeextremelydifficultforthoseenginestoarriveonscenewithinfourminutes.Eachcompanybrownedout,as illustrated in thetableabove,results inacompanyrespondingfromagreaterdistance,thusincreasingtheresponsetime.Delaysinresponsetimecanleadtomoredangerousfiresthanwouldbeencounteredwithoutthebrownouts,ultimatelyincreasingtherisksformoreinjuriesandpossibledeathstofirefightersandcivilians.ForcedRotationofFirefightersCouldLeadtoInexperiencedResponsesItisveryimportantthatfirefightersbecomeknowledgeableaboutthelocaldistricts inwhichtheyareassignedtofightfires. Forexample,theymustbecomefamiliarwiththetypesofstructuresanddwellings inthedistrict;theymust learn the locationofhighhazadardoccupancy;and theymustbecome acquainted with neighborhood roads and highways they willnavigatetoreachfireemergencies.Notonlymusttheybeknowledgeableabout theirowndistricts, it is incumbentupon them tobecome familiarwith those same aspects in surrounding districts where they may bedispatchedasseconddueinorhavetoprovidebrownoutcoverage.To gain an understanding of how the rotations affected fire companiesthroughout thecity,we reviewedPFDs listofplanned rotations foreachyear the policy has been in place.We noted thirtynine fire companieswhere therewere threeormore firefighters fromoneplatoonscheduledto be rotated. In addition, the ControllersOffice found three extremecasesatEngine5,Ladder6andLadder14,wherefourfirefightersoneachplatoonwereon therotation list. Thiscouldprovedisastroussince theirreplacementsmaynotknowthelocaldistrictandworkasafullcrewforatour of duty. And, as discussed earlier and depicted in Figure 3, weobservedtraveltimeforfireenginesincreasingsincerotationsoccurred.

    9 Ahighhazardoccupancyisdefinedasanoccupancythatpresentsahighlifehazardorlargefirepotentialduetoitsconstruction,configuration,orthepresenceofspecificmaterials,processesorcontents.10 UsingGoogleMaps,wedeterminedtheshortestroutesbyroadmilesfromthecoveringdistrictstotheidentifiedhighhazardoccupancy.

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    12 | P a g e

    Slowertraveltimeswouldsuggestahigherriskforinjuryandlossoflives.In recentyears, severalmediaaccounts,whichwehave confirmed,havereportedthatfireenginestookaverylongtimetoarriveonscene.Intheincidentsdescribedbelow,theclosestenginewastemporarilyclosedduetobeingbrownedout.These fires resulted inboth firefighterandcivilianinjuries,aswellasciviliandeaths. Noonecansayforsurewhetherthesedeaths or injuries may have been prevented with a quicker response.However, in general, the severity of a fire can be controlled when anenginearrivesonsceneintheleastamountoftime.Itisimportanttonotethat formostof thesespecific incidents, theonscenearrival timeof theenginesweremissingfromtheCADdatabase.

    OnAugust7,2010,fivedaysafterthebrownoutbecameeffective,a12yearoldautisticchilddiedinaWestPhiladelphiarowhousefire.Engine57,whichistwotenthsofamilefromthesceneofthefire,was unfortunately brownedout. Therefore, the first due enginebecameEngine68whichis1.2milesfromthefirescene.Themediareportedthatwitnessesdidnotbelievetheenginearrivedtimely.Areview of the incident in the CAD shows the onscene time forEngine68wasmissingfromthesystem.

    OnFebruary22,2011,twochildrena7yearoldanda9yearold

    werekilledinahousefireinthecitysOlneysection.Inadditiontothetwofatalities,eightothervictimswereinjuredfourchildrenandfouradults. The localdistrict iscoveredbyEngine61which isonly 1.2 miles from the fire scene. Because Engine 61 wasbrownedout,Engine51, located1.6miles fromthescenebecamethefirstdueinengine.ReviewoftheincidentintheCADrevealedEngine51sonscenetimewasmissingfromthesystem.

    On February 16, 2014 an elderly woman was killed in a West

    Philadelphiahousefire.Engine41,whichis.5milesfromthesceneof the fire,wouldhavebeen the firstonscene,butunfortunatelyEngine 41 had been dispatched on a medical emergency call.Engine57wasthenextclosestenginecompany,butEngine57wasbrownedout thedayof the fire. Therefore, the first and seconddue engines were Engine 16 and Engine 54, respectively.Subsequently, after the initial dispatch, Engine 68was also sent.Although therewas no conclusive evidence as towhether Engine16,Engine54orEngine68 arrived firston location, theonscenetimesforallrespondingenginesweremissingintheCADsystem.

    OnOctober08,2014threefirefighterswere injured inahousefire

    in the citys Tacony section. Engine38which is .6miles from thesceneofthefirewasbrownedout.Therefore,thefirstdueengine

    Slower Travel Time May Have Contributed to Incidents Involving Death and Injuries

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    13 | P a g e

    Source:PhiladelphiaFireDepartment

    became Engine 36which is 1.3miles from the scene. Engine 36arrived on scene in three minutes and 16 seconds beating thenational benchmark. However, Engine 38 would have arrived inunderhalfthetime,possiblypreventingtheinjuriesfromoccurring.

    Perhapsoneofthemostegregiouscasesofslowresponsewasafire incidentthatoccurredduringDecember 2014 involving the death of aPhiladelphiafirefighter.Andalthoughtheincidentconcerned a ladder company,which fell outsidethe scopeof thisaudit, theControllersOffice isdiscussing ithere tohighlight the importance foranytypeoffirefightingequipmenttoarrivetimelyonthescene.

    The primary objectives of ladder companies aresearchand rescue.11 Laddercompany crewsare

    also responsible for removing heat, smoke and gases to allow greatervisibility. On December 9, 2014 at approximately 2:50 am, a fire wasreportedat1655MiddletonStreetintheWestOakLanesectionofthecity.ThePFDpromptlydispatchedtwoengines,twoladders,andoneBattalionChief(Engine73,Engine63,Ladder8,Ladder21,andBattalion2).Withinfourminutesofbeingdispatched,Engine73arrivedon sceneandbeganfire fighting operations. Approximately nine minutes after dispatch,Command12 attempted to raise Ladder 8 with no response. A secondattempt was made a minute later with no response. After the thirdattempt, Ladder 8 acknowledged command over tenminutes after theinitialdispatch.CommandnotifiedLadder8sofficertheyhadtogetthisplaceventilatedforthefirstinengine,13butitwasnotuntilapproximately14minutes afterbeingdispatched that Ladder8notified command thattheywere stuckbehindacar. Unfortunately,Ladder8didnotarriveonsceneuntilovereighteenminutesaftertheyweredispatchedtothefire.Afirefighterwhodiedinthefirewasfoundatapproximately3:15am.According to an internal critique of the December 9th fire, several keyissueswereidentifiedincludinginadequateventilationinthehouse,delaysingettingladdertruckstothefire,andpoorcommunicationsatthescene.Per the internal critique, Ventilationon the fireground isdone for twoimportant reasons: toassist firefighterswith tacticaloperations (ventingforfire)ortoassisttrappedciviliansduringrescueoperations(ventingforlife).... Ventilation creates an environment more survivable for both

    11SeethePFDswebsite:http://www.phila.gov/fire/units_and_services/units_operations_abate_vehicles.html.12 PerthePFDsOperationsProcedure#19,thetermCommandorIncidentCommandermeansthepersonresponsiblefortheoverallmanagementofallincidentactivitiesincludingthedevelopmentandimplementationofstrategy.Whentheincidentcommanderattemptstoraiseaunit,he/sheisattemptingtocommunicatethroughradiowiththeunit.Thelackofresponsepreventstheincidentcommandersabilitytoproperlymanagethefirescene.13 BasedonthePFDsFireCommunicationsCentersrecordingsofthefireonDecember9,2014at1655MiddletonStreet.

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    14 | P a g e

    victims and firefighters. It reduces the environmental impact ourfirefightershavetooperate inandwillacceleratetheirabilitytofacilitatefire control and extinguishment. If civilians are trapped inside, orfirefighters are operating inside, then lifting the heat and smoke even acoupleinchesmaymeanthedifferencebetweenachievingornotachievingtheoverallobjectives."14 Ladder8s latearrivaldelayedthestartofmuchneededventilation.AreviewofLadder8s1.9mileroutefromthefirestation locatedat300East Chelten Avenue to the scene of the fire at 1655Middleton Streetindicatesmuchoftheroute isastraight line(seeFigure4below). Basedon the distance to be traveled,we estimate that Ladder 8 should havearrived at the firewithin fourminutesof leaving the fire station.15 PFDrecordsshowthattheonscenearrivalofLadder8waseighteenminutes,27 seconds, which was over ten minutes above the 8 minuterecommendedtime.

    Figure4:Ladder8sRouteto1655MiddletonStreet

    Source:GoogleMaps

    Atthetimethisreportwasbeingdrafted,PFDhadyettoreleasetous,ormake public, its Line of Duty Death (LODD) Report regarding the 1655

    14 PhiladelphiaFireDepartmentAfterActionReportfor1655MiddletonStreet,RichardDavison,MS,MBA,DeputyFireChief.15 EstimatedResponseTime=0.65+1.7(1.9miles)

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    15 | P a g e

    MiddletonStreet fire. Theconclusions in that reportmayhaveprovidedinformationonwhy it tookLadder8over18minutes toarriveonscene.Accordingly,we couldnot corroborate statementsmanagementmadeattheentranceconferenceforthisauditthatLadder8became lostenroutetothefire.Receiptof the LODDReportmayhave shed lighton the impact that theFirefighter Rotation Policy had on Ladder 8s response time to thespecificfireat1655MiddletonStreet.Nevertheless,areviewofLadder8sroster showed that firefighters on duty that morning may have beenunfamiliarwiththecommunityandtheirfirstalarmdistrict. For instance,weobserved that twoof the firefightershadbeen transferred to the firestation just 10months earlier in February 2014. A third firefighter hadbeenassigned inFebruary2013 less than twoyearsearlierand thecaptain on duty had been assigned to the station only since December2011.

    Uponannouncingtheimplementationofbrownouts,thePFDassertedthecitywould save about $3.8million dollars in overtime costs. However,since inceptionofthebrownouts,cityrecordsshowthatovertimeforthePFD firefightersmore than doubled at its peak in fiscal year 2014. Asdepicted inFigure5below,sincethebrownoutsbegan in2010,overtimecostsclimbedfrom$15.7millioninfiscalyear2010to$34.2millioninfiscalyear2014.

    Figure5:Firefighter OvertimeandStaffingLevelsforFiscalYears2008through2015

    Source:PreparedbytheOfficeoftheControllerbasedontheCityofPhiladelphiaPayrollRegisters.

    The PFDs brownout and rotation policies jeopardized public safety bynegatively impacting the departments ability to provide efficient andeffectivefireprotectionandemergencyrescuetothecitizensandvisitors

    17.6 17.9 15.7 19.2 24.4 30.1 34.2 31.6

    2,039

    1,9621,907

    1,857

    1,788

    1,8481,899

    1,790

    1,650

    1,700

    1,750

    1,800

    1,850

    1,900

    1,950

    2,000

    2,050

    2,100

    $10

    $15

    $20

    $25

    $30

    $35

    $40

    2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    Staffin

    gLevels

    Overtim

    eCo

    st(inmillions)

    Overtimevs.StaffLevels20082015

    Despite Claims of Savings, Overtime Costs Grew Significantly

    Conclusions

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    16 | P a g e

    ofPhiladelphia.Traveltofireemergenciescantakegreatertimesbecauseoflongerdistancestraveledbyfireenginescoveringforothersinbrownedout fire stations. Further impacting response times, the PFDs rotationpolicycanplacefirefightersincommunitieswithwhichtheyareunfamiliar,thus increasing the risk theymay become lost enroute or not take theshortestpath to the fire; thereby adding additional time to their arrival.And finally,while the impetus of the brownout policywas financial, thecostssavingsprojectednevermaterialized.TheControllersOfficemakesthefollowingrecommendationsthataddressthe effects of PFDs decisions to implement a brownout and firefighterrotationpoliciesamongfirefighters:

    PDFmanagement andmembers of themayors administrationshould cease the practice of BrowningOut stations on arotatingbasisasawaytoreduceovertimecosts[201315.01].Theultimate goal ofmanagement should be tomake sure the firstarrivingenginestraveltimetoafireemergencyisfourminutesinaccordancewith the national standard. In addition, eliminatingbrownoutswould allow flexibility for training activitieswhen anapparatusistakenoutofservice.

    PFDmanagement andmembers of themayors administrationshould eliminate the Firefighter Rotation Policy [201315.02].The Firefighter Rotation Policy replaces veteran firefighterswhohavebecomeexpertsintheirlocaldistrictwithfirefighterswhoarenot.Inouropinion,whenanewfirefightergraduatesfromthefireacademy, the best scenario in which on the job training wouldoccurwould be to pair themwith a veteran firefighterwho hasknowledge of the intricacies of the neighborhood streets andstructures. This invaluableknowledge includesthebeststreetstotakedue to the sizeof their trucks, the trafficpatternsbasedonthetimeofday,whichstreetshavelowhangingwires,overpassesortightcorners,thelocationofthefirehydrants,andwhichhouseshavesideandbasementdoors,etc.

    Recommendations

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    17 | P a g e

    Aspartofourauditwork,weobserved threeadditionalmatters thatwebelieve require the PFDmanagements attention. In our opinion, thesemattersdirectlyimpacttheabilityoffirefighterstoreachthesceneoffireemergencieswithin the NFPAs criteria. More specifically,we observedthatafterbeingnotifiedabouttheemergency,thetimeittakesfirefightersto suit up, get to the vehicle, board the vehicle, and safely securethemselves for travel (TurnoutTime) is longer than recommendedby theNFPA.Additionally,inmanyareasofthecity,thePFDappearstohavenotkeptpacewiththechangingdevelopmentovertheyears,andthis inturnhadperhaps contributed to thedepartments inability tomeet theNFPAnational standard even before implementation of the brownout androtationpolicies. Finally,duringour reviewofdata in thedepartmentsCAD,weobservedinstancesofwhenrecordedtimeswereincompleteandsometimes inaccurate. Many of these instances involved emergencieswhereadeathorinjuryoccurred.Eachofthemattersisdiscussedbelow.According to theNFPA, an engine should turnout in80 seconds,no lessthan 90 percent of the time. Our analysis of engine response timesdepictedinTable3below,showsthatnoneofPFDs56engineswereabletomeet the 80 second benchmark. Inmany instances, (those shaded)certain engineswere consistently50percentorbelow achieving the80secondgoalduringtheeightyearperiod.

    Table3:TotalTurnoutTimebyEngineandYear EngineCompany 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    Engine2 50% 43% 42% 44% 48% 55% 65% 77%Engine3 35% 38% 26% 52% 69% 71% 72% 84%Engine5 44% 42% 40% 34% 43% 50% 67% 61%Engine7 31% 44% 33% 37% 50% 47% 54% 63%Engine9 33% 36% 29% 31% 34% 37% 49% 54%Engine10 38% 37% 44% 43% 35% 45% 59% 63%Engine11 30% 33% 41% 45% 41% 43% 48% 44%Engine12 25% 28% 29% 32% 39% 40% 48% 39%Engine13 45% 42% 41% 39% 43% 39% 56% 57%Engine16 49% 46% 43% 40% 39% 53% 68% 67%Engine18 36% 31% 29% 25% 23% 34% 51% 50%Engine19 22% 21% 27% 27% 42% 48% 58% 47%Engine20 35% 32% 36% 43% 63% 55% 62% 62%Engine22 21% 15% 18% 21% 22% 39% 49% 54%Engine24 * 42% 43% 52% 63% 69% 65% 72%Engine25 46% 46% 49% 51% 64% 68% 76% 78%Engine27 32% 31% 30% 28% 53% 54% 54% 60%Engine28 51% 43% 38% 52% 56% 65% 68% 70%Engine29 43% 38% 37% 38% 40% 46% 65% 72%Engine33 25% 28% 20% 33% 37% 47% 63% 57%Engine34 38% 44% 39% 34% 52% 48% 60% 63%Engine35 30% 25% 27% 24% 22% 23% 31% 46%

    Other Matters Coming to Our Attention

    Poor Turnout Time Adding to PFDs Response Problem

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    18 | P a g e

    EngineCompany 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    Engine36 29% 25% 24% 25% 29% 42% 59% 62%Engine37 22% 28% 28% 32% 32% 27% 40% 43%Engine38 38% 33% 43% * 37% 53% 55% 53%Engine40 48% 44% 42% 49% 57% 65% 81% 80%Engine41 49% 51% 46% 40% 56% 65% 77% 70%Engine43 26% 24% 26% 28% 35% 41% 45% 51%Engine44 38% 33% 37% 25% 35% 33% 37% 42%Engine45 41% 45% 46% 43% 59% 52% 59% 71%Engine46 22% 29% 32% 37% 24% 32% 53% 50%Engine47 31% 37% 32% 32% 43% 44% 44% 50%Engine49 40% 37% 41% 33% 39% 35% 51% 52%Engine50 28% 30% 27% 32% 39% 33% 39% 47%Engine51 27% 30% 26% 30% 50% 47% 46% 59%Engine52 38% 39% 40% 38% 44% 48% 54% 65%Engine53 26% 34% 38% 38% 39% 43% 57% 60%Engine54 45% 43% 42% 37% 36% 45% 48% 55%Engine55 38% 39% 42% 48% 38% 50% 71% 74%Engine56 19% 14% 23% 36% 49% 56% 60% 44%Engine57 47% 44% 42% 38% 35% 42% 57% 76%Engine58 20% 23% 22% 20% 35% 38% 47% 55%Engine59 47% 44% 46% 46% 64% 74% 75% 84%Engine60 31% 31% 30% 38% 53% 58% 61% 59%Engine61 37% 37% 43% 51% 54% 46% 55% 53%Engine62 25% 30% 30% 34% 37% 43% 52% 65%Engine63 33% 30% 31% 29% 50% 55% 53% 54%Engine64 39% 49% 45% 43% 39% 42% 42% 62%Engine66 43% 36% 32% 21% 31% 46% 52% 50%Engine68 26% 34% 32% 34% 58% 74% 69% 55%Engine69 19% 22% 21% 19% 22% 32% 35% 46%Engine70 32% 36% 41% 38% 39% 50% 55% 66%Engine71 25% 31% 26% 28% 31% 39% 45% 59%Engine72 35% 35% 36% 31% 39% 46% 62% 56%Engine73 36% 39% 31% 32% 41% 42% 61% 68%Engine78 60% 57% 69% 64% 65% 56% 62% 69%*Enginewastemporarilyclosed.Source:PreparedbytheOfficeoftheControllerbasedonthePFDsCADfile.

    AlthoughfortheyearsunderreviewthePFDhadnotachievedthenationalbenchmark for turnout time, ithasmade considerable improvement. In2008,thePFDmetthe80secondbenchmarkonly35percentofthetime;however, through the first six months of 2015, its achievement rateclimbedto60percent(seeFigure6).Because our audit was to ascertain the impact of the PFDs rollingbrownoutandrotationpoliciesonresponsetimestofireemergencies,wedidnotfocusonturnouttime.However,webelievethatturnouttimemay also be impacted by brownouts and/or firefighter rotation. Thefirefighters levelofknowledgewiththegapareaaroundthebrownedout

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    19 | P a g e

    companycan result ina longer turnout timebecause firefightersneed todeterminea travelroute to theaffected location in thegap. Inaddition,recently rotated firefightersmay not be familiarwith their local district.Beforeresponding,theyneedtodetermineandconfirmtheshortesttravelroute to the incident. As such,we did not establish reasons the PFDsturnouttimeoverthealmosteightyearperiodwassopoor. However, inaddition to these two policies,we believe thatmore likely than not thecausesforthePFDsslowturnoutmightpossiblybeattributedto(1)poorprocedures, (2) untrained staff, (3) firefighter disatisfaction; or acombinationofanyofthesefactors. Theeffectsofanysinglefactororacombination of these impediments to timely response could ultimatelyincreasetherisksformore injuriesandpossibledeathstofirefightersandcivilians.

    Figure6:TurnoutTimeForFirstRespondingEngineImproving

    *2015datarepresentsthefirstsixmonthsofthecalendaryear.Source:PreparedbytheOfficeoftheControllerbasedonthePFDCADData

    We recommend thatPFDmanagement investigatewhatmaybe causingpoor turnout time for its engines. After identifying the problem, orproblems,itshoulddevelopcorrectiveaction[201315.03].Theareaofcoverageforfirestationsmaybecontributingtotheinabilityoffirefighters to reach the emergency scene timely. A visual view of thedistrictmap inAppendix IIIshowsthatmanyenginescoveravastlywiderareathanothers. For instance,Engine22 locatedat3270ComlyRoad inthefarNortheastsectionofthecityandmeetingthetraveltimegoalof4minutes fiftyfive percent of the time in 2014, covers a territory ofapproximatelyeightsquaremiles. Contrast thissuccess ratewithEngine27,whichmet thegoaleightyonepercentof the time in2014.This firestationislocatedat190115OxfordStreetinlowerNorthPhiladelphia,andcoverslessthanonesquaremile.

    35% 35% 35% 35%44% 49%

    57%60%*

    0%

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    60%

    70%

    2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    Percen

    tSuccess

    PercentageofTimesFirstDueEngineMettheNationalStandardforTurnoutTime

    Fire Station Locations Have Not Always Kept Pace with Citys Development

    Recommendation

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    20 | P a g e

    Again,asaddressedon thepreviouspage, thescopeof thisauditwas todetermineifthebrownoutandrotationpolicieswerehavingimpactonthePFDs response to fireemergencies. Indoing so,weobserved thatevenbefore implementation of these policies the PFDwas not achieving thenationalstandardforarrivingtimelytofires. Therefore,webelievetheremaybetoofewfirestationstocovercertainareasofthecity,whichovertimehavedevelopedorredevelopedandbecomemorepopulated.

    Forexample,on thegroundsof the formerPhiladelphiaStateHospitalatByberry,closedin1990,nowstandsTheArboursatEaglePointe.This55+active adult community has approximately 290 structures, covered byEngines 22 and 58, which are bothmore than twomiles away from amajorityofthedwellings.

    Aswestressedthroughoutthisreport,slowerresponsetofireemergenciescanmean the difference between life and death. In our opinion, PFDmanagementand themayorsadministrationneed to letpublicsafetybethemaindrivingforcebehinditsdecisionmaking.We recommend that PFD management and members of the mayorsadministration investigateothercauses impedingquickerresponseto fireemergencies.Inparticular,wesuggesttheyexaminethecoverageareaoffirestations. Ifcoverageisadrivingcause,thentheadministrationneedsto develop a viable financial solution to building fire stations whereappropriate[201315.04].Formanagementcontrolstobeeffective,itisessentialthattheunderlyingdata thatmanagersuse to computeperformancemeasures is complete,accurate, and reliable. Throughout this review, the Controllers Officeobserved instances when data contained in the PFDs CAD System wasincomplete and inaccurate. Many of these incidents involve fireemergencieswhere there occurred a death or injury (see section titledSlowerTravelTimeMayHaveContributedtoIncidentsInvolvingDeathandInjuries).About5,500,orroughly11percentofthecalendaryear2014fireincidents,lackedacomponentoftimenecessaryforcomputingresponsetime. Themost frequent missing time component was onscene time, but theenroute timewasalso sometimesmissing. According toPFDDirective#42 FireDepartmentCommunications,Section4.6.7a TacticalBoxandBox Assignments, The first arriving unitwill verbally acknowledge theirarrival at the assignment immediately, giving specific location andconditions as observed and orders for incoming companies. The firstarrivingunitwillalsousetheOnScnbuttontodocumenttheirarrivalonthe incident scene. All other units will use their OnScn buttons todocumenttheirarrivalattheincidentscene.Soasstated,allotherunits

    Recommendation

    Operational Data Sometimes Incomplete and Inaccurate

  • FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    21 | P a g e

    willusetheirMDT16tosendanenrouteandonscenemessagetotheCADsystem.WhentheControllersOfficerequestedPFDmanagementtoexplainwhytherewasnoresponsetime listedforcertain incidents intheCAD,theyrespondedthatthemissingonscenetimecouldbetheresultofan upgraded incident in which a civilian was trapped thus getting intoservicebecame immediatepriorityforthefirstarrivingenginesaswellasFCC dispatchers. It is understood that life safety is always a priority.Additionally,itisunderstandablethatwhenthefirstdueenginearrivesonlocationandhasmany tasks toperform, there isalwaysapossibility thatthe officer of this unit cannot acknowledge arrival on radio because ofradiomessages. Butasstated inthePFDDirective#42,allunits includingthe firstarrivingunit,willuse their onscenebuttons (onMDTunit) todocument in the CAD their arrival time at the incident scene.17DocumentingtheonscenetimeoffireunitsthroughtheMDT iscriticalinformation. However,thepracticeofnotreportingonscenetimesviaMDT,formultipleunits,iscriticalmissinginformationforspecificincidents.

    WerecommendthatPFDmanagementinvestigatethecauseofmissingorinaccuratecomponentsof time in theCADanddevelopcorrectiveactionthatmay includeholdingeither theengineand ladder companiesor theFCCresponsiblefornotrecordingtheappropriatetimecomponentsintheCADperPFDDirective#42[201315.05].

    16 AnMDTisaMobileDataTerminalwhichisalaptopinstalledinPDFvehicles.TheyareacomponentoftheCADandareconnectedbyEVDOaircards.Theyreceivedispatchnotificationsandallowofficerstoupdatetheirunitstatuswithoutusingtheradio. 17 InDecember2012,PFDDirective#42wasupdatedtoincludeallunitsrespondingtoafireincidenttousetheonscenebuttonontheMDTunitaswellascontinuingtorequirethefirstrespondingunittoverballyacknowledgetheirarrivaltime.Priorto2012,onlythefirstrespondingenginewasrequiredtoverballyacknowledgetheirarrivaltime.

    Recommendation

  • APPENDIX I: OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY

    22 | P a g e

    Thisappendixprovidesinformationonthescopeofworkandmethodologywe used to ascertain the impact of the PFDs rolling brownout androtationpolicieson response times to fireemergencies inPhiladelphia.Weperformedourworkwith theassistanceofRobertC.Drennen,M.S.,M.Ed., CFPS, CFI, CFO. Mr. Drennen is a consultant and former PFDbattalionchief.InanalyzingtheimpactofthePFDsrollingbrownoutandrotationpolicies,weconsideredthetimelineofeventsbetweenthe initialdispatchandthefirstenginesarrivalon scene.Wedidnotexamine the timelinebetweenthecalltothe911callcenteranddispatch.Toaccomplishourobjectiveweperformedthefollowingwork: Requested andobtained thePFDs computer assisteddispatch (CAD)

    system files for calendar years 2008 through 2014, and January 1through June30,2015. Using computer assisted audit software, foreachyear,wedeterminedthefrequencywithwhichthePFDsfirstdueenginesarrivedonsceneafterthe initialdispatch. Inarrivingatthesefrequencies,wefirstidentifiedthenumberofincidentsclassifiedasfireemergencies(vs.medicalemergencies).Wethenusedthispopulationof incidents tocompute response times. Becausewithanygiven fireemergency call there may be more than one engine to begin aresponse,incomputingresponsetimes,weusedtheresponsetimeofthefirstenginetoarriveonsceneatthefirelocation.18 Webelievethisapproach yielded the fairest assessment of the departments besteffort to respond to a call for assistancewith themost appropriateengine.

    Incomputingthefrequencyofresponsetimes,thescopeofourworkwas restricted because thousands of CAD records contained errors.Some records contained errors in the enroute times, while othersfailed to show an onscene entry for the incident. Additionally, incomputingresponsetimes,weeliminatedfromtheanalysesthosefireincidents inwhichnoneof the first fiveapparatuseswereanengine,primarilyduetothefactthattheCADfiledidnotreflecttheonscenetimesfordispatchedengines. Table4belowshowsasummaryofthenumberofincidentsusedtocomputeresponsetimesinourwork.

    Comparedactual frequencyofresponse times tobenchmark timesset

    forth in National Fire Protection Association 1710: Standard for theOrganization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations,EmergencyMedicalOperationsandSpecialOperationstothePublicbyCareerFireDepartments,(NFPA1710),whichhasbeenadoptedbythe

    18Forallfireresponsestheminimumresponserequiredisatacticalbox,whichrequirestwoenginestorespond.

  • APPENDIX I: OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY

    23 | P a g e

    PFD. Inmakingour comparisons,we focusedon twoelementsof thebenchmark: (1) turnout time (the time interval that begins withnotification of the emergency response units by either an audiblealarmorvisualannunciationorbothandendsatthebeginningpointoftraveltime)of80secondsor lessforfireresponsesat least90percentof the time;and (2) travel time (the time interval thatbeginswhenaunit is en route to the emergency incident and ends when the unitarrivesatthescene)of240secondsorlessforthearrivalofthefirstdueenginecompanyatleast90percentofthetime.

    Table4:NumberofIncidentsUsedtoComputeResponseTime 2015* 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008TotalCADincidents 159,429 320,075

    307,533

    304,336 305,236

    297,674

    294,938

    292,389

    Less:CADincidentsclassifiedasmedicalresponseorothernonfireincidents 133,591 270,621 262,866 259,085 257,520

    250,227

    247,457

    243,491Uniqueincidentsidentifiedasfire 25,838 49,454 44,667 45,251 47,716

    47,447

    47,482

    48,804

    NonemergencyIncidents 4,240 8,089 6,570 6,610 8,104

    8,286

    8,366

    8,082

    Incidentswithcalltimeerrors 2,842 5,500 4,862 5,258 6,085

    6,296

    6,748

    8,113

    Uniqueincidentsinvolvinganengine 18,756 35,865 33,235 33,383 33,525

    32,865

    32,367

    32,703

    Incidentsclassifiedasoutliers 756 1,535 1,179 1,273 1,430 1,477 1,076 997Uniqueincidentsusedforcomputingresponsetime 18,000 34,330 32,056 32,110 32,095

    31,388

    31,291

    31,706

    *2015datarepresentsthefirstsixmonthsofthecalendaryear.Source:PreparedbytheOfficeoftheControllerbasedonthePFDsCADfile.

    Performed a twosample ttest19 to determine whether the

    differences between the pre and post brownout response times foreachenginerepresentedrealdifferencesbetweentheresponsetimesor ifthedifferenceswere justdue tochance. If theresultofthettestwasbelowa fivepercentprobability,wedetermined that therewasastatisticallysignificantdifference.Thetestsconcludedthat51of56 engines had a significant difference in travel time after thebrownoutsbecameeffectiveonAugust2,2010. Inotherwords,wecan conclude that the difference in response times before and afterbrownoutswasnotcausedbychance.

    19 Attestisastatisticaltestthatchecksiftwomeans(averages)arereliablydifferentfromeachother.Itisastatisticthatcanbeusedtomakeinferencesaboutthepopulationbeyondourdata.

  • APPENDIX I: OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY

    24 | P a g e

    Wealsoanalyzedcertainotherincidents,highlightedbythemedia,todeterminewhetherbrownoutsplayedasignificantpartintheresponsetimesforthoseincidents.

    Reviewed firefighter rotation general memorandums from calendar

    years2013 to2015, todetermine thenumberofengines inwhichaplatoonhad threeormoreneworrecently transferred firefighters. 20Wethenexaminedtheresponsetimesforthoseenginestodeterminewhether they were significantly less than engines with moreexperiencedfirefighters.

    Weperformedourwork fromApril2015 through January2016 inaccordancewith generally accepted government auditing standards issued by theComptrollerGeneraloftheUnitedStates.Thosestandardsrequirethatweplanandperform theaudit toobtain sufficient,appropriateevidence toprovideareasonablebasisforourfindingsandconclusionsbasedonourauditobjectives.We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for ourfindingsandconclusionsbasedonourauditobjectives.

    20 ThePFDwasunabletoprovideuswithfiscalyear2014rosters.

  • APPENDIX II: GLOSSARY OF TERMS

    25 | P a g e

    Apparatusa termusuallyusedby firefightersdescribingadepartmentvehicle(i.e.fireengine).Full Box an initial dispatch response consisting of four (4) EngineCompanies,two(2)LadderCompaniesandtwo(2)BattalionChiefs.ComputerAidedDispatchSystem(CAD)aproprietarydispatchcomputersystem operating on the Northrop Grumman Integrity Cad Platform. Itutilizes a Geo File based on the citys street centerline files for addressverificationandhasbeencustomizedbyFCCpersonneltoprovidedispatchrecommendations based on existing Philadelphia Fire Departmentoperationalproceduresanddirectives.Engineafiresuppressionvehiclethatcarriesandpumpswater.EngineCompanyagroupof firefightersassigned toanapparatuswithawaterpumpandequippedwitha firehoseandother tools related to fireextinguishment.Fire Communications Centerresponsible for the processing of Fire andEMS calls placed through the 911 system and for the dispatch andcoordinationofcommunicationswithrespondingunits.FireSuppressionactivitiesinvolvedincontrollingandextinguishingfires.HighhazardOccupancyanoccupancy thatpresentsahigh lifehazardorlargefirepotentialduetoitsconstruction,configuration,orthepresenceofspecificmaterials, processes, or contents (i.e. schools, hospitals, nursinghomes,explosivesplants,refineries,highrisebuildings,andotherhigh lifehazardorlargefirepotentialoccupancies.)LadderCompanyagroupoffirefighters,officers,andengineersthatstaffatruckthatsprimaryduty istosupply ladderstoafirescene. TheLadderCompany is also responsible for search, rescue and ventilationof the firestructure.Platoonasubdivisionofanengineorladdercompany,consistingofthreeorfourfirefighters,ledbyanofficer.TacticalBoxan initial response comprisedof two (2)EngineCompanies,two(2)LadderCompaniesandone(1)BattalionChief.Travel Timetime interval that begins when a unit is enroute to theemergencyincidentandendswhentheunitarrivesatthescene.Turnout Timetime interval that begins when the fire unit receivesnotificationoftheemergency,tothetimeittakesfirefighterstosuitup,gettothevehicle,boardthevehicle,andsafelysecurethemselvesfortravel.

  • APPENDIX III: RESPONSE TIME EFFECTIVENESS BY FIRE DISTRICT

    26 | P a g e

  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

    FIRE DEPARTMENT 240 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123,2991

    (215) 686-1300DERRICK J.Y. SAWYER , EFO FIRE COMMISSIONER FAX (215) 922-3952

    February 5, 2016

    Mr. Alan Butkovitz, City Controller City Controller's Office 1230 Municipal Services Building 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19102

    RE: PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT(PFD) RESPONSE TO-

    The Citv Controller's Soecial Audit ofthe Rolling Brownout and FF Rotation Procedures and their Impact on PFD Emergency Response Time

    Dear Mr. Butkovitz:

    I submit this letter and fact-based response by first acknowledging the time and effort committed by you and your staff to complete this special audit of the PFD's Rolling Brownout and FF Rotation Procedures and their Impact on PFD Emergency Response Time.

    I am pleased to report that the Rolling Brownoutsand Firefighter Rotations have ended.

    Please find my attached responses to specific areas of the audit. I am available to discuss any matters related to this response in further detail.

    Sincerely,

    11~;Au~ DerrickJ. v: S;Jr;r Fire Commissioner

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    PIIILADELPHIA !lIRE DijPARTM~NT RESPONSETO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE

    10

    The City COn/roil" 's Special Audit ofthe Rolling Brownout and Rota/ion Procedures and Their Impact on PFD Emergency Response Time

    February 2016

    D'e r r t c k J . V . Saw y e.r F ir e Comm;J s ; Qner

    28 11'a ge

  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview of the Fire Department's Response 3

    MANAGEMENT RESPONSES Overview and Demographics 3 Administration 3 PFD Implemented a Brownout Policy 4 PFD Established a Rotation Policy 4 Brownout and Rotation Policies Have Negatively Impacted Fire Response .4 Historical Trend Shows PFD Has Fallen Short of the National Standard for Fire Response .4 Travel Time Has Been Increasing 8 Public Safety is Being Jeopardized 9 Brownouts have Compromised Coverage for High Hazard Areas 9 Forced Rotation of Firefighters Could Lead to Inexperienced Responses 9 Slower Travel Time May have Contributed to Incidents Involving Death and Injuries 10 Despite Claims of Savings, Overtimes Costs Grew Significantly 10 Controller's Recommendations 11 Cease the Practice of Browning-Out Stations 11 Eliminate the Firefighter Rotation Policy 12 PFD Management [Should] Investigate What May be Causing Poor Turnout Times for its Engines 12 PFD Management and Members of the Mayor's Administration Investigate Other Causes Impeding Quicker Response to Fire Emergencies 13 Operational Data Sometimes Incomplete and Inaccurate 13 Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, Methodology 14 Fire Department Conclusion 15

    APPENDICES Appendix A: Philadelphia Fire Department General Memorandum #15-160 17 Appendix B: Car 2 Bulletin 14-02: Turnout Time 18 Appendix C: PFD GIS/OIT Turnout Reports (example) 20 Appendix D: Philadelphia Fire Department General Memorandum #14-77 22 Appendix E: PFn Directive #42, Fire Department Communications (selected sections) 24 Appendix F: Analysis for Dispatches with Engines on Listed Initial Dispatch Types 29 Appendix G: NFIRS Incident Type Breakdown for Incidents of CAD Initial Type Alarm

    System 30

    PFD TABLES PFD Table 1: Analysis for First Arriving Engine Unit on Tactical Box and Box Alarm NFPA

    1710 Assignments (Fire Suppression; multi-unit responses) 6 PFD Table 1a: Initial Dispatch Types for Tactical Box and Box Alarm NFPA 1710

    Assignments (Fire Suppression; multi-unit responses) 6

    PFD 1

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    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PFD Table 2: Analysis for First Arriving Engine Unit on Fire Suppression, non-EMS, NFPA 1710 Emergency Speed Responses (multi-unit and single engine responses) ..7

    PFD Table 2a: Initial Dispatch Types for First Arriving Engine Unit on Fire Suppression, nonEMS, NFPA 1710 Emergency Speed Responses (multi-unit and single engine responses) 7

    PFD Table 3: Analysis for First Arriving Engine Unit on non-EMS, non-Structural NFPA 1710 Emergency Speed Responses (single engine responses) 8

    PFD Table 3a: lnitial Dispatch Types Analysis for First Arriving Engine Unit on non-EMS, non-Structural NFP A 1710 Emergency Speed Responses (single engine responses) 8

    Figure I: Figure 2:

    Figure 3:

    PFD FIGURES PFD Organization Chart NFPA 1710 Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Pub Iic by Career Fire Departments 20 I0 Edition Overtime vs. Staffing Levels FY08-FY I5

    3

    5 I I

    PFD 2

    30 I P ag e

  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    ,

    PHJLADELPH1A FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAl. AUDIT

    OVERVIE\\' OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT'S RESPONSE

    Brownouts have ended

    Rotations have been suspended

    Total response times 10 fire incidents thai present potential for loss of life and/or property

    have consistently met or exceeded NFPA 171Q

    Turnout times show significant improvement

    FACTUAL CORRECTIONS

    Overview and PFD RESPONSE: DemographiCS

    The number of PFD uniformed personnel at the end of fiscal 2015 totaled 2,112. The audit reports 2,234.

    Administration PFD RESPONSE:

    In 2014, command of the Fire Communications Center transferred to the Deputy Commissioner of Operations. The audit reports this unit under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Technical Services.

    Additionally, in 2014, command of the Safety Office transferred to the Executive ChiefofStrategic Serv ices. The audit reports this unit under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Operations. (See PFD Figure 1.)

    PFD Figure 1.

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  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PFD Implemented a Brownout Policy

    PFD Established a Rotation Policy

    Brownout and Rotation Policies Have Negatively Impacted Fire Response

    Historical Trend Sbows PFD Has FaUen Short of the National Standard for Fire Response

    PFD RESPONSE:

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT GENERAL MEMORANDUM #15-160, which was issued on December 31, 2015, in effect , ceased the practice of "Browning-Out " stations on a rotating basis. (See Appendix A)

    PFD RESPONSE:

    The rotation policy IS under review. There will be no Firefighter Rotations in 2016.

    PFD RESPONSE:

    As disclosed in Tables I, 2 and 3, the Department's response performance to fire suppression incidents that present potential for loss of life and/or property consistently meets or exceeds NFPA J710 (See Figure 2).

    PFD RESPONSE:

    NFPA 1710 objectives for traveltime apply to "all activities performed at the scene of a fire incident or training exercise that expose fire department members to the dangers of heat, flame, smoke, and other products of combustion, explosion, or structural damage ."

    PFD meets or exceeds the total response time objectives ofNFPA 1710 for incidents where firefighters may encounter trapped victims I, rapidfire spread situations, and similar threats to life and property. Response times at emergency speed' to fire suppression incidents with the potential for loss of life and/or property have met or exceeded the national standard for fire response, during the 6-year NFLRS reporting period beginning in 20 10 through 2015 (See Table I).

    PFD recognizes that it does not meet NFPA 1710 objectives as they relate to fires involving rubbish, brush, dumpsters, grass, leaves , mail, signs, trees, vehicles , and trucks. However, turnout times for these incidents have significantly improved since 2010 and PFD is committed to continued improvement in this area .

    I In the City of Philadelphia 97-pereent of fire fatalities occur in structure fires (Eighty-three-percent nationwide). , Emergency Speed: In accordance with PFDDirective 1142 2.6.1. "Response speed with all warn ing devices in operation and incompliance with all the regulat ions dictated in Directive 1126."

    PFD4

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    PHILADELPHIA FIREDFPARTMENTRESPONSETO CONTROLLER'SSPECIALAUDIT

    Tables 1, 2, and 3 exhibit the response times for structural/fire suppression operations (multi-unit), and other fire suppression responses (single engine). Table] specifically shows PFU single engine responses to fires involving vehicles, rubbish, brush, dumpsters, grass, leaves, mail, signs, trees, and trucks. Structure fires are not included in Table 3..

    PFD Figure 2.

    NFPA~1'10

    Standard for tbe O~llDl2atiOD IlDd I>cploymCbt Dr Fin SlipPressi~ Opentions,

    Eaerxfllq Medical Opentioos, I.d Special OpentioDI to tbe Public by Career Fire Dcpartme.u

    2010 EditiOD

    ".1.2.1 The fire department shall establish the following objectives:

    (1) AIann handling time to be completed in accordancewith 4.1.2.3.

    (2) 80 SCCOtIds for turnout time for fire and special operations response

    (3t240 seconds or less travel time fur the arrivalof the first arriving engine company at a fire suppression incidentand 480 seconds or less travel time for the deploymc:ut of lID initial full aImm /Wipeol at a fire suppression incident

    AJUlelt: A.3.J.23 FinSuppression. Fire suppression includes all activities performed lit the sceneof a fire incident or training exercise that expose fire department members 10the~ of beat, flame,smoke, and other products of combustion, explosion,or structural collapse.

    PFD!">

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    PFD Table 1.

    Analysis for First Arriving Engine Uoit 00 Tactical BoX"' aod Box Alarm" NFPA 1710 Assilmmenh (I ire Suppression" multi-unit responses)

    Year Ruos ADalvzed

    TumoutTime (1:20)

    Travel Time (4:00)

    Total Respoose Time (5:20)

    2010 6,345 58% 93% 93%

    2011 6,096 58% 93% 92%

    2012 5,802 59% 93% 92%

    2013 5,634 66% 95% 95%

    2014 5,960 72% 95% 95%

    2015 5,957 77% 95% 96%

    PFD Table Ia.

    Initial Dispatch Types for Fint Arriving Engine Unit on Tactlcal Box aDd Box Alarm NFPA 1710 Assij[nments (Fire Suppression' multi-uDft resPDIIMI)

    APPLIANCE HAZMAT SCHOOL APARTMENT HEATER STORE BUILDINGS TANKER STOVE BOX HIRISE STRUCTURE

    CHIMNEY AIRPORT (PNL) SUBWAY

    DWELLING AIRPORT (PHL) TRAIN

    EXPLOSION PIER GARAGE REFINERY

    PFD Tables 1 aod Ia, shows PFD response performance to fire suppression incidents with the potential for loss oflife and/or property. As is evident in Table 1, turnout times have improved by 19-percentage points since 20 I0, the year the brown outs began. Travel time and total response times remained consistent over the six-year period, both clearly exceeding the 90% objective.

    'TACTICAL BOX:An Initial response comprised of two (2) Engine Companies. two (2) ladder Companies. and one (1) Battalion Chief 4 BOXALARM: An in it ial dispatch response consisting of four (4) Engine Companies, two (2) ladder Compan ies, and two (2) Battalion Chiefs

    PFD 6

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    PHILADELPHIA!'IRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSETO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PFD Table 2.

    Analysis for First Arriving Engine Unit on Fire Suppression, non-EMS, Emer encv Speed NFPA 1710 Responses (multi-unit and single cnalne responses)

    Year Runs AnalYZed

    Turnout Time (1:20)

    TravelTime (4:00)

    Total Response Time (S:20)

    2010 13,856 43% 84% 81% 2011 13,112 42% 83% 80% 2012 12,729 47% 83% 81%

    2013 11,767 51% 85% 83%

    2014 12,407 59% 84% 83%

    2015 12,835 64% 84% 84%

    PFD Table 2a.

    Initial Dispatch Types for First ArriVing Engine Unit on Fire Suppression, non-

    EMS, Emergency Speed NFPA 1710 Responses (multi-unit and single engine

    responses)

    APPLIANCE LEAVES TREE APARTMENT MAIL TRUCK AUTO AIRPORT (PNL) GRASS

    BUILDING AIRPORT (PHL) HAZMAT BOX PIER HEATER BRUSH REFINERY HIRlSE CHIMNEY RUBBISH STOVE DUMPSTER SCHOOL i STRUCTURE DWELLlNG SIGN SUBWAY EXPLOSION STORE TANKER

    GARAGE TRAIN EXPRESSW AY RESPONSE INCINERATOR INSIDE WlRESIDWELLING INSIDE WlRESIBUILDING

    PFD Tables 2 and 2a present PFD responses to all potential fire suppression incidents inclusive of incidents with the potential for loss of life and/or property as well as, vehicles, rubbish, brush, dumpsters, grass, leaves, mail, signs, trees , and trucks . For these types ofresponses, PFD personnel show a 21-percentage point improvement in turnout time . Again, travel time and response time remain consistent over the six-year period .

    PFD7

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  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PFDTable 3.

    Analysis for First Arriving Engine Unit on non-EMS, nen-Structural Emergency Speed NFPA 1710 Responses (slnale en lne responses)

    Year Runs AnalYZed

    Turnout Time (1:20)

    Travel Time (4:08)

    Total Reaponse Time (5:20)

    2010 7,511 30% 76% 71% 2011 7,016 29% 75% 69% 2012 6,927 37% 74% 71% 2013 6,133 38% 76% 72% 2014 6,447 47% 74% 72%

    2015 6,878 53% 75% 74%

    PFD Table 3a.

    Initial Dispatcb Types for Fint Arriving Engine .... on n~, aon-Structural Emereeacv Sneed NFPA 1710 Resoonses .t.r..nlA --

    AUTO MAIL BRUSH RUBBISH DUMPSTER SIGN

    GRASS TREE LEAVES TRUCK EXPRESSWA Y RESPONSE INCINERATOR INSIDE WIRESIBUILDING INSIDE WlRESIDWELLING

    PFD Tables 3 and 3a present PFD responses to fire suppression incidents exclusive of incidents with the potential for loss of life and/or property. For these types of responses, PFD personnel show a 23-percentage point improvement in turnout time. As previously indicated, PFD does not generally respond to these incidents at Emergency Speed.

    Travel Time Has PFD RESPONSE: Been Increasing

    NFPA 1710 sets forth the 4-minute objective for travel time to "fire suppression" incidents NFPA 1710 defmes "fire suppression" as "all activities performed at the scene of a fire incident or training exercise that expose fire department members to the dangers of heat, flame, smoke, and other products of combustion, explosion, or structural collapse," as presented in Tables 1,2, and 3. As shown in Table I, on Fire Department responses to incidents where there is potential for loss of life and/or structural property loss (primarily structure fires), the responding units have exceeded the NFPA 1710 performance objectives for turnout and travel time. Across all other incidents where there is the potential for responder exposure to heat, flame, smoke, and other products of combustion, travel times and total response times

    PFD 8

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  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    remain mostly con sistent over the six-year period. Turnout times over the six-year period show continuous improvement.

    PFO Tables I, 2, & 3 show clearly that turnout times improved significantly on all 3 tables between 2013, the start of the rotations. and 2015

    Public Safety is Being PFD RESPONSE: Jeopardized

    In this section, the audit cites travel distance crit eria as established by item 560 of the Insurance Services Office's (ISO) Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The ISO offers this disclaim er about the use of Item 560 :

    "In our analysis ofcompany distribution , ISO does not measure or use actual historical response times of individual communities. Manyfire departments lack accurate and reliable response-time information. and there is no standardized national recordkeeping system that would allow us to determine accurate departmental response times. j "

    ISO reli es on an average of 35 mph without consideration of urban traffic congestion, which is not reflective of typical Philadelphia conditions.

    It is also worth noting that the Fire Communicat ion Center does archive CAO and Firehouse data indefinitely, inc luding historical response data of average speeds on congested city streets, as well as on limited access roadways.

    Brownouts have PFD RESPONSE:

    Compromised Coverage for High Table I presents the PFO 's response time performanc e to incident s

    Hazard Areas with the potential for loss of life and/or property

    Forced Rotation of PFD RESPONSE: Firefighters Could Lead to Inexperienced PFO Tables I, 2, & 3 show clea rly that turn out times improved Responses significantly on all three (3) tabl es between the 2013 start of the

    rotations and 2015 .

    , htlps://f1,echiel .iso.com!FCWWeb!miligal ion!ppc!3000!ppc3015.jsp

    PFD9

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    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER"SSPECIAL AUDIT

    Slower Travel Time Ma y have Contributed to Incidents Inv olving Death and Injuries

    Despite Claims or Savings, Over time s Costs Grew Sl.gnificBotl)'

    PFD RESPONSE:

    PFD Tables 1, 2, & 3 show (hat travel times and total response times have beld steady and turnout limes have continually improved. The most significant of these improvements in turnou t time occu rred betwe en 20 13 and 20 14, at the start o f rotat ions.

    PFD RESPONSE :

    Fire suppress ion uniformed staffing levels con tinued 10decr ease both because of the DROP program and because no firefighters were hired from FY09 to FYI3. These factors left the Department extremely short- staffed and contributed 10 the increas e in overtime costs .

    In addition, during this same period. there was 3 significant increase in public demand for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as is the case nationwide. To meetthis demand, the Fire Department increased the number of medic units responding to calls for Emergency Medical Service from 36 medic units to 50 medic units during this same lime period. This obviously required an increase in EMS staffing. However, EMS was also understaffed and could not meet the demand. The PFD addressed this personnel shortage by temporarily assigning firefighters to Medic Units and backfilling their regular lire suppression positions with overtime personnel. Consequently, the redeployment of personnel to meet the EMS demand increased overtime costs.

    Lastly, another continuing overt ime expendi ture was the periodic cancelling of brownouts for extreme heat, snow condincns. special events. training, CIC.

    The Fire Department made staffing a high priority to address the overtime issue and the following was accomplished:

    I) 200 EMTs were hired to staff medic units in FY15; 2) 40 paramedics were hired in October 20 IS; 3) 100 Firefighters were hired in July 2015. and graduated in

    January 2016; and. 4) 200 firefighters were hired in January 2016 10graduate in June

    20 16. As a direct result of the accelerated hiring of new employees, the fire department's overtime costs decreased in FYI5 (Sec Figure 2.).

    PFO Figure 3. below presents overtime and staffing data.

    pm 10

    38 1P a g c

  • AGENCY RESPONSE

    35 1.'2.91.

    30

    25

    20

    15

    10

    5

    0

    2300

    2250

    2200

    2150

    2100

    2050

    2000

    1950

    1900

    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PFD Figure 3.

    Overtime vs. Staffing levels FY08-FY15

    40 2350

    FY08 FY09 FYlO FYll FY12 FY13 FY14 FYl5

    _ a T COST [Mil lions}Source: FAMIS

    - STAFFING LEVELS (Uniformed} Source: Annual FY Budget-Fitted Posit ions

    - - - - - - -_._- ._- -_._-- - - -- - -- - - - --'-"--" ._._--

    Controller's Recommendations

    Cease the Practice of PFD RESPONSE: Browning-Out Stations PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT GENERAL

    MEMORANDUM #15-]60, which was issued on December 31, 2015, in effect, ceased the practice of "Browning-Out" stations on a rotating basis. (See Appendix A).

    Eliminate tbe PFD RESPONSE: Firefighter Rotation Policy The rotation policy is under review, there will be no Firefighter

    Rotations in 20] 6.

    PFD 11

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    PFD Management PFD RESPONSE: [Should] Investigate What May be The current PFD administration recognized in 2014 that the turnout Causing Poor time component of total response time to NFPA 1710 eligible Turnout Times for its responses is the performance component most in need of Engines improvement. The following measures were implemented to prompt

    the changes in employee behavior that are required to consistently meet or exceed the 90th percentile performance objective for Turnout Time:

    a) In August 2014, the PFD distributed Car2 Bulletin 1402: Turnout Time6 (See Appendix B)

    b) In November of20 14, the PFD directed MIS/OIT to use GIS and FIREHOUSE SoftwarelJ to collect, track, and report department turnout time. (See Appendix C)

    c) At each Field Staff Meeting Car 2 directed Chief Officers to continually remind Company Officers of their duty as response unit supervisors for reduc ing Turnout Time.

    d) Through CY2014 and CY2015 Turnout Time compliance on NFPA 17LO eligible responses, have improved I I-percentage points over 2013 , from 66% to 77% (See PFD Table I) . In fact, turnout times have improved by an average of Zl-percentage points since 2010 (See PFD Tables 1,2, &3) .

    e) Currently the Department has applied for 911 capital funding to design and build NFP A 12217 and 1710 compliant fire station alerting systems. These systems are designed to lower responder turnout times , reduce stress on both dispatchers and responders, and meet NFPA 1221 and 1710 Standards.

    Tables I, 2, & 3 of this response confirm that turnout times continue to improve and travel times have been consistent.

    ; As set-forth, in a PFDstrategic planning retreat held in earlv 2014, Car 2's Office is the "Object ive Owner" for PFD Pertormance Mea sure 2: Fire Response Time 1 NFPA 1221: Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems

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    PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO CONTROLLER'S SPECIAL AUDIT

    PFD Management and Members of tbe Mayor's Administration Should Investigate Other Causes Impeding Quicker Response to Fire Emergencies

    Operational Data Sometimes Incomplete and Inaccurate

    PFD RESPONSE:

    In 2015, the Fire Department acquired a suite of GIS analytical software applications developed by Deccan International . This powerful strategic planning tool enables the Department to simulate various deployment scenarios (for example, station re-Iocation) which effectively test and evaluate the impact of changes if as well as make comprehensive deployment recommendations8 Procured at over a half million dollars, and with the continuing robust technical support from the vendor, the Fire Department intends to max imize its analytical potent ial by defining response areas and resource deployment. These applications will serve as an invaluable aid as the Fire Department collaborates with Public Property Capital Projects, the Finance Department, and the City Planning Commission to define the future station locations and response areas that best meet the continually emerging response demands of a growing city .

    PFD RESPONSE:

    To address the periodic occurrence of missing CAD data, the curre nt PFD administration has issued communications in the form of Operating Instructions and General Memoranda to personnel concerning the importance of documenting "on-scene" time via radio and the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) . (See Appendix D).

    With regard to specific occurrences of missing "on-scene" CAD data, on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 the Controller 's Office asked the PFD to explain why there is no on-scene time listed in CAD incidents for the corresponding engine(s) :

    120360142 - Engines 13 & 27 110530383 - Engines 51 & 63 110610093 - Engines 27, 13, & 45 111090776 - Engines 29 & 20 111570844 - Engines 13& 50 102190572 - Engine 68

    Prior to December of2012 , on tactical box and box assignments, only the first in engine, ladder, and chief had to report an "on scene" status to the FCC. In December of 2012, PFD Directive #42, Fire Department Communications, was revised (See Appendix E). Specifically, Section 4.2 .5 states, "On all Box and Tactical Box

    8 This software platform was utilized during the Papal visit with gr