Request for Proposals
Fire Department Sub-Station Study
City of Fairmont
Submittal Deadline: 07/01/2013
Section II. Background Information
The City of Fairmont is protected by a professionally staffed fire service that has historically operated from a Central Station and three Sub-Stations known as Bellview, East Side and Watson. The Central Station operates with an engine company, ladder and rescue units. The remaining Sub-Stations all house engine companies operated by 2-man crews. All firefighters are certified as First Responders or at higher level of aid.
Staffing levels are constant without regard to service levels and consist of 11 manned slots per shift. Vacation, leave and Kelley Days require an additional 2 members per shift for backfill. The Department operates three 24-hour shifts resulting in a budgeted staffing level of 39 shift positions. Three day shift training and administrative officers raise the total number of budgeted uniform positions to 42.
According to the 2010 Census, Fairmont has a residential population of 18,704 spread over 8.9 square miles. The 2010 Census also identified 9,200 housing units within the corporate limits creating an average density of 1,033 units per square mile. 88% of those units were found to be occupied with 1,067 listed as vacant housing units.
In 2006, the City of Fairmont opened a new Central Station approximately one mile from the Bellview Sub-Station. Although the City had planned to close the Bellview Sub-Station when the new Central Station was built, concerns from residents in that part of the community led City Council to the decision of leaving the Bellview Sub-Station open. In 2012 however, the City was forced to vacate the Bellview Station due to the deteriorating conditions of the facility, which was privately owned. Since 2012, personnel assigned to the Bellview Sub-Station have been reassigned to the Central Station.
The closing of the Bellview Sub-Station initially led City leaders to investigate the feasibility of constructing a new Sub-Station in Bellview. As the process moved forward, many began to suggest that now was the time to take a more comprehensive approach and study the deployment of the City’s resources to the entire community rather than just build a new Sub-Station in Bellview because historically one existed there.
The City recognizes that future growth patterns may not coincide with the location of existing facilities and that the adjustment of the location of resources could result in improved service. The newer of the two remaining sub-stations is 34 years old and there is concern that aging facilities can become limited in terms of their ability to house modern fire apparatus.
Finally, while the City of Fairmont has seen modest growth in its general revenue over the past few fiscal years, there is concern over the costs associated with implementing new facilities. Fairmont like many U.S. cities is experiencing significant unfunded liabilities with respect to its uniformed services pensions and is currently contributing in excess of $805,000 annually to the Fireman’s Pension and Relief Fund. Under the State mandated formula this cost will increase by 7% each year. With a projected FY ’14 General Fund Operating Budget of $13,839,028 for the City, $3,338,120 is being allocated to the Fire Department with $3,153,300 being attributed to solely personnel costs. At the current residential rate of $45.54/six months and $.54 plus $.0225 per square foot/six months the Fire Service and Protection fee is estimated to only generate $1,010,000 in FY ’14 leaving $2,328,120 for the general fund to make up because the fee is not adequate to cover the cost of the Department as originally designed to do.
Section III. Goals of the Study
1. To obtain information that will enable the City of Fairmont to properly place its Fire Department facilities in locations that will be the most effective and efficient in serving the needs of the citizens.
2. To obtain information that will enable the Fairmont City Council to make informed decisions for the prioritizations and allocation of resources to the Fairmont Fire Department.
Section IV. Objectives and Scope of Study
1. Comprehensive evaluation of the location, condition and operation of the existing Fire Department Sub-Stations.
2. Determine the proper location for Sub-Stations within the corporate boundaries of Fairmont.
3. Identify any potential areas to expand the City of Fairmont’s fire service territory.
4. Research, review and evaluate future population and development patterns, development plans and existing calls for service to identify potential areas where existing sub-stations could be moved or added to achieve better coverage and response times.
5. Review the Department’s workload, response times, call volume and types of incidents to determine the distribution and deployment of personnel and equipment to the sub-stations.
6. Use computer based modeling and GIS to optimize resources.
7. Provide recommendations with respect to the Fireman’s Pension and Relief Fund.
8. Review allocation of funds to the Department and receipt of fees for service.
9. Develop funding options to accomplish the recommendations of this study.
Interest parties may view and download the complete request by visiting the City's website at www.fairmontwv.gov or by requesting the document via email at the contact email listed above.