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									            CITY COUNCIL
            REPORT 2013- 07                                                      6A

January 29, 2013

TO:          MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL

FROM:        BELINDA B. ESPINOSA, CITY MANAGER
             CHARLES HANLEY, FIRE CHIEF

SUBJECT:     RECEIVE REPORT ON FIRE SAFER GRANT



RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended that the City Council receive this report regarding an overview of
the 2013 SAFER grant.

BACKGROUND

On January 15, 2013, the City Council discussed and directed the City Manager to
accept Grant Number EMW-2012-FH-00924 totaling $1.239 million that was
submitted under The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency
Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate FY 2012 Staffing for
Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program.

Under a joint effort between the Pinole Fire Department and the Rodeo-Hercules
Fire Protection District the 2013 SAFER grant was applied for in order to determine
the feasibility of re-opening Fire Station 74. Notification that the City was approved
for that grant was received on December 19, 2012.

The purpose of the grant as outlined above is to hire firefighters that have been
layed off from other agencies and to hire military veterans if possible. The SAFER
grant will support the hiring of four firefighters to increase the number of trained,
certified, and competent firefighters capable of safely responding to emergencies
likely to occur within the department’s response area.

At the January 15 City Council meeting, Staff presented an overview of the grant
requirements and the various issues that the City of Pinole should take into
consideration. This report is included only as a reminder of the grant possibilities
and for discussion purposes in relation to the review of fire services alternatives.
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REVIEW AND ANALYSIS

The SAFER grant allows the Fire Department to hire up to four (4) additional
firefighters. With this grant funding, the Pinole Fire Department would fill 4 vacant
positions (Firefighter/Paramedics) lost to attrition during the current economic crisis.
Specifically, these four positions were lost prior to the closure of Fire Station 74.
They were lost to a termination, one service retirement and two industrial
retirements. These positions were never filled because of the closure of Fire Station
74. When we closed Fire Station 74, we had 15 full time firefighters which we now
currently maintain.

Adding this staffing complement would bring the total daily on duty strength to six (6)
firefighters (Captain, Engineer or Firefighter in any combination) rather than four
which is currently the practice but within the very tight fiscal budgetary constraints.
The minimum on duty staffing is three. That does not include the shared Fire Chief
or Battalion Chief position(s).

The City of Pinole is not required to maintain these positions after the period of
performance, which is two years, however it is anticipated that they will be absorbed
through anticipated service retirements and attrition. Should the City hire veterans
(ex military service), each of those positions could be extended for one additional
year.

   •   HIRING VETERANS AS FIREFIGHTERS

In order to better transition veterans to civilian employment, the Federal government
created Public Law 112-56, The VOW to Hire Heroes Act. Under this law certain
training costs to apprentice recognized veterans in highly desirable fields are
reimbursable. As mentioned above, the SAFER grant may be extended for an
additional year if veterans are hired to fill grant funded positions.

The training costs for the new firefighter positions may be reimbursable under
another grant program entitled, the CFFJAC (California Fire Fighters Joint
Apprenticeship Committee). This organization is co-sponsored by the Office of the
California State Fire Marshal and the California Professional Firefighters, AFL-CIO.
The CFFJAC reimburses agencies for training costs during apprentice instruction.

   •   SAFER GRANT REQUIREMENTS

The 2012 SAFER grant requirements have several major changes from the previous
2010 SAFER grant including the following:

   •   Two year funding period;
   •   No salary cap (prior requirement was $100,000/yr including salary and
       benefits;

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January 29, 2013                                                                     3


   •   No financial match is required;
   •   No requirement to maintain the added positions after the initial period of
       performance;
   •   Allows for a “Waiver Request” to keep the funding in the event that the
       positions cannot be backfilled via normal attrition.

The City of Pinole is not required to maintain these positions after the period of
performance, however it is anticipated that they will be absorbed through service
retirements and attrition.

FISCAL IMPACT

The overall Fire Department budget is included in the Fiscal Impact section of the
Fire Services Alternatives memo and is not discussed in relation to the SAFER grant
at this time.

As with any new program, it is anticipated that there may be some additional impacts
to the Fire Department Budget by adding these positions to the department. The
grant does not cover these expenses but there may be other alternatives that could
cover these costs.

While new employees have limited sick leave or vacation accrual and generally do
not use excess time, they may generate overtime costs in the latter part of the
second/third year of employment through the use of scheduled leave. This however
may be offset by using these positions to backfill for current employees at the lower
entry level firefighter rate.

Specialized training, physicals and other department needs may require overtime or
taking a unit out of service temporarily. There are also start-up costs including:
background investigations, new employment physicals, psychological examinations,
instructional manuals and materials and personal protective equipment.

Outlined below is an estimate of the potential costs outside of the grant funding that
the General Fund may have to cash flow over time.

Activity                                                            Cost
Pre-employment Physical                                             $500
Live Scan (Digitized Finger Prints)                                 $150
Comprehensive Pre-Employment Screening                              $950
Polygraph (Optional)                                                $350
Psychological Profile                                               $400
Instructional Manuals & Materials                                   $250
Unreimbursed Training Costs (Opting out of CFFJAC and VOW)          $7,500*
Promotional Costs/Acting Pay                                        $2,500
Personal Protective Ensemble                                        $3,000

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Incidental Overtime                                                 $2,500
                                                           TOTAL    $18,100

*Includes training costs without reimbursement.

One other relevant factor when considering this grant award is that the City will have
to provide a “cash flow” of the expenses. The grant will reimburse the City for
expenses every quarter and is processed through automatic deposit.

ATTACHMENTS

None




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