Message From Fire Chief Black
I am privileged to present the East Jefferson Fire Rescue 2022 Strategic Plan. Our core mission is succinct in its basic directive: protect our community. Carrying out this mission, however, is complex and becomes more multifaceted with each passing year.
The strategic planning process ensures we evaluate all aspects of our service delivery as compared to applicable regulations, industry standards and best practices. Using independent third-party consultants, we have undertaken a process of courageous reflection as we identify both our strengths and service delivery gaps. This strategic plan prioritizes opportunities for improvement, ensuring we provide services to the best of our ability with the available financial resources. We are fortunate that we serve a community that recognizes the importance of public safety in maintaining a healthy and vibrant community. We are also fortunate to have a workforce that recognizes the value of teamwork, planning, preparing, efficiency and, ultimately, service to the community. These forces have enabled East Jefferson Fire Rescue to be a model of excellence within the fire service community.
The fire service is an ever-evolving profession; we strive to meet new risks and expectations for the community, adapting as needed. Even in light of our historical successes, there are future hazards and challenges to be met. The fire service is changing as we face escalating costs for the services we provide, industrywide firefighter shortages, unfunded government mandates and more pressure to contain costs with demand for performance metrics as decision triggers (i.e., cost vs. benefit, return on investment, trends over time, etc.). These factors will expand the adoption of practices such as the continuous improvement process and value-added service models that will ultimately require outcome-based performance objectives. It will also push more agencies toward regional and non-traditional fire protection models.
As the East Jefferson community grows, there will be more demand for services (increasing call volume), particularly for seniors and socioeconomically challenged citizens. Urban planning will move toward higher densities in designated areas of the fire district that will require the evolution of fire apparatus design and deployment strategies. The pandemic and slow economic recovery have also added a new dynamic of financial strain affecting the fiscal stability of emergency services at the local level which threatens our ability to provide baseline 911 services. This has required the fire service to respond in new ways and to consider alternatives in emergency service delivery. Strategic planning is critical as East Jefferson Fire Rescue responds to the current needs of the community and adapts to future challenges while continuing our legacy of providing exceptional service.On a more positive note, we see East Jefferson Fire Rescue as positioned well to meet these coming challenges due to one important component: we have an amazing workforce that is dedicated to providing exceptional service and partnering to resolve the challenges we face. Our people are EJFR’s most valued asset and represent the very best of our community. It is because of this single factor that we are better positioned to face the future than most other fire service agencies in the state.
Fire Chief, Bret Black
In Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak
East Jefferson Fire Rescue has implemented protective measures in response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. We have put measures into place to help protect you, our patients and first responders. Those first responders are following appropriate safety protocols such as wearing protective equipment, being extra careful when providing treatment, and decontaminating equipment/gear after calls.
Fire agencies across Jefferson County continue to collaborate closely with Public Health, Jefferson Healthcare, and Jefferson County Emergency Management to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak.
Firefighter/EMTs and Firefighter/Paramedics play a key role in the response to this virus, as we respond to treat sick patients. Fire departments across Jefferson County have put various measures in place to help prevent the spread of the virus locally, which starts when someone calls 911.
Dispatchers are asking additional questions regarding travel and advising appropriate protective equipment to responding crews when a patient presents with symptoms that could be from COVID-19 disease. When responding crews arrive on scene, they are taking extra care when entering the home, treating the patient and transporting (if required). Once the response is complete, firefighters and paramedics are instructed to follow specific, thorough decontamination procedures before providing care to another patient.
Transporting patients who present symptoms of the COVID-19 virus to a hospital will be avoided whenever possible unless the patient’s symptoms are severe. The Emergency Room will be briefed on the arriving patient prior to their arrival, so the hospital can take necessary action on their end.
It is our commitment to you that we stand ready to assist you in your time of need day or night, with compassion, professionalism, respect and dignity.