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October 20, 2017
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Updated: Oct. 20 (20:59)

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Proper Staffing and Station/Apparatus Recommendations
Updated On: Jul 25, 2013

According to the City of Wilkes-Barre's Study on Fire Protection there should be:

Four Engine Companies with three Fire Fighters, One Ladder Company with two Fire Fighters, the Assistant Chief, and two Fire Fighter/EMT driving the Ambulances on duty 24/7.  17 total.

NFPA 1710 states there should be a minimum of 16 Fire Fighters on scene within 8 minutes of the start of the fire for safe and efficient fire operations.

Working with these numbers the City should have:

Fire Headquarters:  20-22 East Ross Street     Center City

F-6   -  Assistant Chief,

Engine 1 -  Captain and two Fire Fighters

Truck 6 - two Fire Fighters

Hollenback Station :  North Washington Street    Parsons

Engine 2 - Captain and two Fire Fighters

Medic 5 - Fire Fighter/ EMT and Civilian Paramedic

South Station :  High Street      South W-B

Engine 3 - Captain and two Fire Fighters

Medic 3 - Fire Fighter/EMT and Civilian Paramedic

East Station :  E. Northampton Street      Heights

Engine 4 - Captain and two Fire Fighters

Total:   Assistant Chief, Four Engine Companies, Ladder Company, two Medic Units   (A.L.S.); 17 Fire Fighters

 In aprox. 2003, the Fire Department employed eighty-eight (88) Fire Fighters and maintained 17 Fire Fighters per shift.  As of December 1, 2012 there are only fifty-three (53) Fire Fighters due to retirements and eleven (11)  forced lay offs.

Below is a running break down of staffing levels.  The lay offs and "voluntary retirements" caused each group to lose four (4) Fire Fighters.  Still there will be a need to call out overtime to maintain eleven per shift because of the lay offs.  Completely ignoring their own study and NFPA 1710  these are the unsafe staffing levels.  Note:  East Station/ Engine 4 closed and out of service when the staffing was reduced to 14.  Engine 3 is put OOS when the group has less than 14.  Seeing that the Groups only have 12 or 13 it cannot be maintained even if there is not a single Fire Fighter off on vacation, sick, bereavement, injury, etc..

PROPER STAFFING SHOULD BE:

F-6,

Engine 1,

Engine 2,

Engine 3,

Engine 4,

Truck 6,

Medic 3, and Medic 5

17 Fire Fighters


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