County of Santa Barbara Recommended Budget 2017-2019 – Fire Department

Recommended Budget & Staffing Summary & Budget Programs Chart

County of Santa Barbara Recommended Budget 2017-2019 – Fire Department Chart

Fire Department

Mission Statement


To serve and safeguard the community from the impacts of fires, medical emergencies, environmental emergencies, and natural disasters through leadership, planning, education, prevention, code enforcement, and all‐hazard emergency response.

Department Description


The Santa Barbara County Fire Protection District encompasses approximately 2,480 square miles, providing services to an estimated population of 172,000. This includes the unincorporated areas of the County as well as the cities of Buellton, Solvang, and Goleta.

The Fire Department responds from 16 fire station locations to all types of emergencies, including: fire, medical, rescue, and hazardous materials incidents. Each fire station is staffed around the clock with a minimum of 3 firefighters and a Type I (structure) engine. Specialized equipment such as Type III (wildland) fire engines, water tenders, paramedic rescue ambulances, technical rescue and water rescue equipment are strategically placed throughout the County and are cross‐staffed with existing engine personnel. In addition to fire station response capabilities, the Department staffs and responds with helicopters, bulldozers and hand crews to fire, pre‐fire, flood, and other disasters.

The Fire Department maximizes the services provided to the community by cross‐training firefighters and operating specialized programs out of crucial locations. Specialized programs include: paramedic services, ambulance transport services, water rescue services, urban search and rescue services, a search dog program, an arson dog program, and
child car seat safety checks and installations. Safety personnel are also deployed in specialized Support Services and Fire Prevention staff assignments.

Highlights Of 2013-19 Objectives


  • The Department’s top priority is to implement a Board approved improvement plan for dispatch services.
  • Continue to develop and utilize the Santa Barbara County Type III Incident Management Team to manage local
    emergency incidents.
  • Continue to operate as a high performing, collaborative and skilled fire and emergency services agency in
    response to all incidents.
  • Continue to implement the long‐term plan to address deferred maintenance and the capital projects backlog.
  • Continue to evaluate and implement the 2012 Citygate Report recommendations for needed improvements to
    critical emergency service delivery, based on priority and fiscal considerations.
  • Continue to modernize and enhance the delivery of emergency medical services and ambulance transport system
    capabilities for the County in collaboration with Public Health and the Operational Area Fire Chiefs.
  • Continue efforts to improve the radio communications system countywide.
  • Continue to enhance predictive services data collection through implementation of additional remote automated
    weather systems (RAWS) equipment.

Recommended Sources & Uses Of Funds


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Staffing Trend


FTE counts include regular staff only, and do not include extra help and contractors‐on‐payroll.

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Budget Overview


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FTE counts include regular staff only, and do not include extra help and contractors‐on‐payroll.

Changes & Operational Impact: 2017-18 Adopted to 2018-19 Recommended


Staffing

  • Increase of 2.0 in total FTEs reflects the conversion of 2.0 Extra Help Fire Crew Squad Bosses to Regular Full‐time Squad Leader positions. This will help with recruitment and retention, and will provide a succession track.

 Expenditures

  • Net operating expenditure increase of $5,987,000:
    • +$5,169,000 increase in Salaries and Employee Benefits due to:
    • +$3.0 million increase in overtime associated with increased levels of wildland fire and other emergency response activities;
    • +$0.9 million increase in regular salaries as a result of estimated cost of living and merit increases;
    • +$0.8 million increase in overtime for operational constant staffing due to vacancies, long term injuries, a movement towards bi‐annual firefighter hiring instead of annual firefighter hiring, and the impact of salary increases;
    • +$0.4 million increase in retirement benefit costs;
    • +$0.1 million increase associated with the conversion of two Extra Help Crew personnel to Regular status.
  • +$597,000 increase in Other Charges primarily due to:
    • +$0.4 million increase to transfer development impact mitigation fees to the City of Goleta for the construction of Station 10 on the western edge of Goleta;
    • +$0.1 million increase representing the Fire Department’s share of the Station 17 University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) bathroom remodel;
    • +$0.1 million increase for liability insurance.
  • +$221,000 increase in Services and Supplies primarily due to:
    • +$0.4 million increase for facilities maintenance projects
    • ‐$0.2 million decrease in computer hardware purchases due to the completion of the mobile data computer (MDC) replacements;
    • +$0.1 million increase for implementation costs associated with a workers compensation carve out program and various contingency funds in Information Technology, Operations, and Administration;
    • +$0.1 million increase for portable radio purchases and maintenance for emergency response;
    • ‐$0.1 million decrease associated with cost allocationcharges;
    • ‐$0.1 million decrease due to the completion of the replacement of air bag sets carried on engines to support extrication operations.
  • Net non‐operating expenditure increase of $4,763,000:
    • +$2,444,000 increase in Other Financing Uses due to:
    • +$2.5 million increase in transfers to General Services for capital projects that reflects a budgeted transfer in FY 2017‐18 of $4.0 million for the Buellton Operations and Administrative Center project which was deferred to FY 2018‐19 with an additional $2.0 million estimated for the project. In addition, $0.5 million first year funding for a potential Fire/EMS dispatch center project is included;
    • +$0.1 million increase in the transfer to the Sheriff for dispatch services;
    • ‐$0.1 million decrease for transfers to the General Services Vehicle Operations Fund due to the completion of several vehicle purchases in FY 2017‐18 including vehicles for a new Division Chief and new civilian inspector position and a pool vehicle for administrative staff in the Fire Prevention division.
    • +$2,320,000 increase in Capital Asset equipment purchases, primarily due to the replacement of self contained breathing apparatus that have reached the end of their life cycle and the replacement of a 37‐year‐old bulldozer. These changes result in Recommended operating expenditures of $77,805,000, non‐operating expenditures of $11,638,000, and total expenditures of $89,443,000. Revenues
  • Net operating revenue increase of $7,390,000:
    • +$4,334,000 increase in Taxes consists of three main components:
      • +$2.3 million increase represents the 25% allocation of the estimated growth in General Fund property tax
        revenues based on a General Fund estimated growth rate of 5.0%. The 25% tax revenue growth allocation
        to the Fire District was directed by the Board of Supervisors in May 2012;
      • +$1.8 million increase in the natural property tax growth increment for the Fire District based on a 4.0%
        estimated growth rate;
      • +$0.2 million increase in Redevelopment Agency (RDA) distributions reflects the estimated pass‐through
        payments and ongoing portion of the RDA dissolution impacts.
    • +$3,363,000 increase in Charges for Services primarily due to:
      • +$2.7 million increase for reimbursements associated with federal and state fire incidents;
      • +$0.4 million increase associated with the State fire protection services contract;
      • +$0.2 million increase associated with the UCSB Long Range Development Plan growth agreement.
    • ‐$326,000 decrease in Intergovernmental Revenues related to Fire’s declining proportional share of Proposition 172 Public Safety Sales Tax revenues which was originally scheduled to reduce to 4.75% in FY 2018‐19 but is actually reduced to 1.4% as the result of an additional reduction of $1,202,000 in FY 2018‐19. This reduction is in addition to the $1,170,000 that was re‐allocated from Fire’s original 5.75% share in FY 2017‐18.
    • +$19,000 increase in Miscellaneous Revenue for the purchase of three remote automated weather stations funded by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Homeland Security Grant revenues (+$56,000) offset by a (‐$36,000) reduction in the estimated revenues associated with the Allan Hancock College instructional services agreement.
    • Net non‐operating revenue increase of $3,360,000:
      • +$3,697,000 increase in the use of one‐time fund balance associated with:
        • +$2.5 million in capital project needs;
        • +$1.2 million due to the reduction in Fire’s share of Prop 172 revenues and this will be used to fund
          equipment needs.
      • ‐$337,000 decrease in Other Financing Sources due to the elimination of the General Fund share of Fire’s cost allocation charges.

These changes result in Recommended operating revenues of $80,942,000, non‐operating revenues of $8,501,000 and total revenues of $89,443,000.

For more information on the Fire Department, refer to the Web site at http://www.sbcfire.com.

Performance Measures


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Fire Program

Administration & Support


Administer, direct, and support the department through personnel management, employee training, financial management, purchasing, facilities maintenance, emergency medical services administration, public education, information technology, and communication. Promote effective community relations and provide accurate and timely information to the news media, business, and the general public.

Staffing

County of Santa Barbara Recommended Budget 2017-2019 – Fire Department-7

FTE counts include regular staff only, and do not include extra help and contractors‐on‐payroll.

Revenue & Expenditures

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2017‐18 Anticipated Accomplishments

  • Participated in the County’s RENEW ’22 initiative to identify actions and plans either already underway or for the Board to consider implementing, that will transform how the department and the County operates, positioning the organization for success now and into the future.
  • Continued recruitment diversity efforts and the development of department career, health and wellness training and programs.
  • Added a fourth Division to the department dedicated to Communications and EMS, formerly combined with the Support Services Division, and transitioned responsibilities accordingly.
  • Maximized department investments in technology in order to provide enhanced mobile access to real‐time digital media, documentation and records, resulting in improved incident situational awareness, incident management, and access to critical response information.
  • Enhanced the long‐standing relationship with Allan Hancock College through a formal facility use agreement that enables the fire department to utilize the College’s state of the art Public Safety facility in Lompoc for the department’s Fire Academy and other training activities.
  • Continued investigating, evaluating, and planning for facility renovations and construction, land and building purchases, and the associated funding sources for future capital projects included in the department’s Capital Improvement Plan.
  • Repaired and upgraded several facilities, including fire stations 18 (Gaviota), 21 (Orcutt), 22 (Santa Maria), and 32 (Santa Ynez), and fire headquarters.
  • Presented to the Board of Supervisors, under the authority of the County Executive Office and in collaboration with Public Health and the Sheriff’s Department, the final recommendations and implementation plans resulting from the dispatch study to improve 911 dispatch services within the County.
  • Through direction from the County Board of Supervisors, implemented an improvement plan for existing dispatch services that will enhance 911 capabilities, improve communications and efficiency in dispatch service delivery Countywide, and promote regional partnerships that will provide closest resource dispatch capabilities.
  • Implemented several technology upgrades to improve efficiency, user interfaces, and reporting for electronic patient care records and the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).
  • In partnership with the Public Health Emergency Medical Services Agency (EMSA), continued to work towards the consolidation of radio frequencies and initiated changes to the computer aided dispatch (CAD) for improved emergency response.
  • Continued to work with EMSA and the Operational Area Fire Chiefs to study ambulance transport system options to better serve the citizens of the County.
  • Increased departmental focus on the emergency communications center by utilizing unanticipated ongoing California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) emergency communication center funding.
  • Completed several radio communication site upgrades that will enhance the Fire Department’s communications capability within the County, to include the “Sudden” Peak radio repeater in the Lompoc area, adding Fire Command Channels 1‐6, and the radio receiver sites at “Foster” Road, “Solvang”, and “Vic Trace”.

2018‐19 Objectives

  • Continue to identify, examine and implement improvements to operational efficiencies, with an emphasis on
    long‐term cost savings and efficiency, and support the countywide RENEW ’22 initiative.
  • Continue to evaluate and implement City gate Report recommendations for needed improvements to critical
    emergency service delivery, based on priority and fiscal considerations.
  • Continue to work with the City of Goleta on the pre‐construction efforts of the Station 10 project, including the
    Coastal Commission review/approval phase (18 months), prior to beginning the construction phases for Station 10
    in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Recruit, support, and retain a high‐performing and diverse workforce.
  • Build a modern regional Fire and EMS dispatch center that will enhance 911 service and capabilities to the public
    by providing closest resource dispatching for emergency responders.
  • Modernize and enhance the delivery of emergency medical services and ambulance transport system capabilities
    for the County in collaboration with EMSA and the Operational Area Fire Chiefs.
  • Continue efforts to improve the radio communications system countywide.

Fire Prevention


Promote public safety through the continuous application and monitoring of regulatory codes and standards to ensure a safely built and maintained community. Strive to be accessible, user friendly, and still meet the intent of the safety codes. Provide fire cause and origin investigation services, code enforcement services where voluntary compliance cannot be obtained, and inspection of sensitive or hazardous facilities. Mitigate the impacts of devastating wildland fires through pre‐emptive vegetation management planning and fuels reduction activities.

Staffing

County of Santa Barbara Recommended Budget 2017-2019 – Fire Department-9

FTE counts include regular staff only, and do not include extra help and contractors‐on‐payroll.

Revenue & Expenditures

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2017‐18 Anticipated Accomplishments

  • Added two civilian inspectors to handle increased inspection volume and reporting requirements of complex occupancy types, ensuring better accountability and a more efficient inspection process.
  • Implemented a document management and indexing system in collaboration with Planning and Development that allows for the digital delivery of archived and current fire department land use and building development documents internally and to the public.
  • Completed work on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for the San Marcos Pass/Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Area Communities, and made the plan available for public comment.
  • Completed additional fuels reduction projects in critical high fire areas, utilizing the Fuels Reduction/Hand Crew.
  • Implemented mobile GIS data collection processes for defensible space inspections in support of CAL FIRE reporting requirements.
  • Enhanced predictive services data collection through implementation of additional remote automated weather systems (RAWS) equipment in Santa Ynez and Gaviota.
  • Re‐certified the arson dog to ensure continuity of the arson investigation program.

2018‐19 Objectives

  • Complete time and process studies, review all permit and inspection fees, and update Fire Prevention fees to ensure cost recovery of the service.
  • Transfer all Business Inspections requiring an Operational Permit from Engine Company to Fire Prevention Staff for better accountability and quality control.
  • Enhance predictive services data collection through implementation of additional remote automated weather systems (RAWS) equipment.
  • Provide assistance in the development and implementation of the Fire Danger Operations Plan (FDOP) per CAL FIRE mandates.
  • Continue the digitization of department archived documents in the shared document management system.

Emergency Operations


Reduce the loss of life and damage to the environment and property by responding promptly to all emergencies with effective complements of personnel and equipment to mitigate emergencies. Prevent the loss of life and reduce the consequences of injury and illness to citizens and emergency personnel by responding promptly to all medical/rescue emergencies with well‐trained and equipped personnel and raise the level of emergency medical capabilities.

Staffing

County of Santa Barbara Recommended Budget 2017-2019 – Fire Department-11

FTE counts include regular staff only, and do not include extra help and contractors‐on‐payroll.

Note: The 2.0 increase in the Fire Equipment Operator Assistant classification represents the full‐time Crew member positions recommended in FY 2018‐19. A County job classification does not currently exist for the Crew Squad Leader position so the Fire Equipment Operator Assistant classification is being used as a placeholder for the FTEs for budgeting purposes.

Revenue & Expenditures

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2017‐18 Anticipated Accomplishments

  • Collaborated with the Sheriff to manage the Air Support Unit Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for continued quality in program operations and fiscal planning within the unit.
  • Continued use of the contract for helicopter service at Santa Barbara Airport for Red Flag or High Fire Danger days.
  • Continued to exemplify and operate as a high performing, collaborative and skilled fire and emergency services agency in response to incidents of historical proportions in the local area.
  • Managed several large local emergency incident operations with the Santa Barbara County Type III Incident Management Team.
  • Acquired two new aerial ladder trucks in the District and provided appropriate truck operations training.
  • Implemented an online workforce management and scheduling system that automates resource tracking and scheduling, provides access and visibility to all users via web and mobile applications, and is secure, reliable and centralized.
  • Coordinated the implementation of an Active Shooter training program with the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Conducted, in collaboration with the Operational Area, the annual Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) drill to enhance firefighting effectiveness.

2018‐19 Objectives

  • Continue to develop and utilize the Santa Barbara County Type III Incident Management Team to manage local emergency incidents.
  • Further strengthen the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic programs through enhanced training, administrative oversight, and a continuous quality improvement (CQI) program.
  • Continue to update the Santa Barbara County Operational Area Mutual Aid Response Plan, ensuring consistent communications and timely emergency response.
  • Update federal, state, and local mutual aid agreements and contracts.

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