EMERGENCY SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD
The minutes of the Burlington County Emergency Services Advisory Board of September 2, 2003.
Chairperson Thaddeus Lowden called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
Members present : Richard Archer Jonathon Lord James McKendrick
Craig Augustoni Thaddeus Lowden Mike Robertson
Terril Gakeler Calvin Mattson William Warren
C. Kenneth Anderson Robert R. Rose
Harold DeLaRoi Joseph Saiia
A motion was made by Mr. Augustoni, second by Mr. McKendrick to approve the July minutes with one correction: Mike Robertson was in attendance, representing the career services. The motion passed.
Fire Science – Mr. Anderson’s report is attached.
Training Center – Mr. Gsell reported Fire Fighter I started in August with 52 students. Progress reports for this course will be in the mail shortly. All classes are progressing and registrations are still coming in.
The new building continues to progress very well. However, one subcontractor has filed for bankruptcy and will be replaced shortly. It is not expected to impact the completion date.
Radio – Mr. Saiia reports good progress with the new system. Thirteen (13) tower sites are completed or in some phase of construction. The towers are microwave connected.
Simulcasting system is on and being tested.
The Browns Mills and Florence towers have cleared all regulation issues and construction will start soon. The North Hanover tower will be on line in about 40-45 days. A zone controller is being installed which will tie the Trunking system together.
Working on fleet mapping to tweak everything up.
A “train-the-trainer” program for operation of the new radios will be ready in about one month.
The “rip-n-run” feature placed in some test stations did not work as planned. Mr. Saiia will be meeting with the vendor to iron out problems with it. “An automated fax” also did not work properly.
Mr. Saiia reported that Central Supervisor John DeLuca has suffered a stroke and is in Jefferson Hospital.
Public Safety Administration has moved to their new office area. 9-1-1 operators moved up on 8/27; Police operators moved on 9/2; fire operators will move on 9/9.
The Sweetwater and Warren Grove towers continue to be open items. The County is working with Pinelands Commission on the Warren Grove site and Verizon Wireless is working with local zoning office for the Sweetwater tower. The County is also actively supporting Verizon. Mr. Saiia stressed that the towers are needed for portable coverage and that mobile coverage will be ok.
Mr. Lord stated that F1 is not tripping pagers in some northern water front stations. He further stated F7 is also not working properly. Mr. Saiia will investigate. Mr. Lord further stated that rip-n-run worked ok for his station, with exception to hospital arrival time.
Board of Visitors – Mr. Augustoni stated they are awaiting for two members to meet with Director Gsell, then a final report will be issued in November.
Mr. Lowden reported that the County Fire Police officers have been Freeholder appointed as “Assistant Fire Coordinators”. This allows them liability coverage. He thanked Mr. DeLaRoi for his assistance.
Mr. Lowden reported on the letter received from C. Kenneth Anderson at the July meeting. Mr. Lowden felt it important to act quickly on the concerns addressed in the letter and that the matter was resolved. Mr. DeLaRoi forwarded a letter addressing all concerns.
Mr. Lord reported that the search for EMS Coordinators has been extended one month. He further stated that Bruce Beatty is acting EMS Coordinator and that himself, Matt Jacobs, and Fran Pagerak are acting Deputies.
Mr. Lord also reported the divert/by-pass problem has been turned over to the NJ Dept of Health for further study and action. DOH is working on a statewide computer system for tracking of divert/by-pass status, along with other events. The system is fully funded and will up and running in 3-6 months.
Mr. Warren added that as of 7/14/03, divert/by-pass in Burlington County has equaled all of 2002.
Mr. Lowden distributed a letter addressed to Mr. Saiia from the Burlington County First Aid Academy concerning conditions at the Emergency Services Training Center. The letter also stated that the BCFAA was in negotiation with two other facilities to host them. Mr. Lowden noted that the BCFAA has physically left the ESTC, doing so without formal notice. Mr. Archer further advised that the Burlington County First Aid Council was never notified of the move either.
A discussion was held on the matter. It was first noted that the BCFAA is not part of County government, but is incorporated by the State of New Jersey as a non-profit business.
Mr. Lowden stated the BCFAA is now on their own, and that despite this action, an Emergency Medical Technician training and other programs will be part of the curriculum when the new training facility opens. Further, that the ESAB is going on record that they are committed to a dual training function training facility.
Mr. Gsell emphasized that the goal of the ESTC is an “all services” training facility and that plans for staff and program expansion will continue.
Mr. Lord reminded the ESAB that the County First Aid Council is committed to supporting the Emergency Services Training Center.
Mr. Saiia opined that the BCFAA “closed the door”, not the County.
Mr. Augustoni motioned that a letter should be composed and transmitted to Freeholder James Wujcik reaffirming that the Emergency Services Advisory Board is firmly in support of implementing and expanding EMS training at the Emergency Services Training Center. The motion was second by Mr. McKendrick and passed unanimously.
Mr. DeLaRoi reported on a program the County is participating with a majority of the municipalities called “Shared Services”. The purpose is to explore sharing of government services in a wide range of areas. A state grant supported the hiring of a consultant , initially, and now the County funds 50% and the municipalities support the remaining 50% of annual consultant expenses. He noted some town managers have recently expressed an interest in exploring shared services for emergency medical services.
Mr. Lowden stated the ESAB will be interested in this program and that they will send a representative to the next meeting.
Mr. Lowden noted that the fire service has been developing county-wide mutual aid agreements and that these should be expanded to include EMS and Emergency Management.
A very positive discussion followed.
GOOD OF THE ORDER
Seeing no further business to come before the ESAB, Mr. Augustoni motioned to adjourn, second by Mr. Mattson. The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.
The Next meeting of the Emergency Services Advisory Board will be November 13, 2003 beginning at 7:30 PM in the Freeholder Board Room, 49 Rancocas Rd, Mt Holly.
EMERGENCY SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD
Report on Fire Science Technology Degree Program
September 2, 2003
FSC 203, Fire Inspector Certification
The new 90-hour course for certification as a Fire Inspector is being offered by the Training Center this semester, starting next Monday evening.
The College has increased FSC 203 to 6 credits. The electives have been reduced to 3 credits in the graduation requirements.
Additional College Programs
The Fire Science Technology Advisory Committee met July 31st to discuss Dr. Massina’s interest in making the College education more attractive to the firefighters. One suggestion is to establish career certificate and academic certificate programs that would recognize proficiencies but require fewer courses than the AAS degree. Another is to provide continuing education at the College. A third is to provide a baccalaureate degree either through an arrangement with another college or using learning at a distance.
The Advisory Committee was receptive to the proposal. The members are to make suggestions of their ideas for certificate programs. Mr. Gsell is accepting the suggestions.
Students and Applicants
We are regularly asked to review courses taken at other institutions for equivalency to our requirements. I answer questions by phone and meet with prospective students.
Camden County College Fire Science and Administration Programs
I found a letter and brochure from Camden County College on the bulletin board in my fire station. Although I question the ethics of actively soliciting students in Burlington County, I don’t propose to solicit students from Camden County by direct mail.
I regularly include information about our program in Emergency Services News and make reports at the various County firematic organizations.
C. Kenneth Anderson