Six Ohio Fire Fighters Hired With SAFER Funds Make a Difference
“We can now run all of our fire calls with four fire fighters on an engine,” says Piqua Local 252 President Robert Bloom. “And, we also have been able to cover multiple medical calls simultaneously. We are so pleased to be able to serve our citizens better.”
Piqua fire fighters provide full-service response to both fire and medical emergencies, including hospital transport. Until the six new fire fighters were hired, first engine crews to most fires only had three on board.
“More often than not, we had to wait until a medic or fire fighters were called in on overtime before we could do an interior attack,” Bloom explains. “Until we had the right numbers on the fire ground, we did the best we could from the outside. It was frustrating because we knew, for safety reasons, we needed to get inside as quickly as possible.”
Local 252 requested a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis from the IAFF. The finished report recommended that the minimum staffing be 12 fire fighters per shift instead of the existing nine fire fighters per shift in order to ensure safety for citizens and fire fighters and adequate property protection.
Piqua fire fighters brought their staffing concerns, as well as the idea to apply for a SAFER grant to the city manager, who supported the grant application.