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Discover Deer Park F.C.P.E.M.S.D.
  Sam Pipkin
Sam Pipkin
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Michael Records

To view the FCPEMSD budget for fiscal year 2016-17, approved by City Council on August 16 after board approval on July 11, 2016, click here.

Fire Control, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District

On February 14, 2011, the Deer Park City Council passed a Resolution approving the creation of the City of Deer Park Fire Control, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District.  Soon thereafter, the city council appointed seven members to serve on the required FCPEMSD Temporary Board.

On May 14, 2011, the voters of the City of Deer Park voted and approved the City of Deer Park Texas Fire Control, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District, creating the imposition of a sales and use tax increase of one-quarter of one percent.

A permanent board was appointed by City Council and charged with the development of the FCPEMSD Plan and budget in cooperation with the Deer Park City Council.

The board established an initial list of items for purchase, based on the Emergency Services Department’s requests for upgrades, replacements, or improvements that were previously postponed due to budgetary constraints. After addressing those goals, the department achieved nearly two dozen additional goals.

UPDATE: May 2016
During the May 7, 2016 General and Special Elections, the Fire Control, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District was renewed by the voters of Deer Park for 10 years.

Initial Projects - Achieved 2011 - 2016

Project 1: Engine replacement for E-21 (Fire truck)

Beginning in fiscal year 2011-12, the Fire Department purchased a dual-role fire truck which would serve not only as a pumper but also as a rescue truck. The engine was purchased to replace an older engine.

According to Fire Chief Greg Bridges, having a vehicle which can fulfill multiple needs will allow the department to reduce the number of specialized trucks in its fleet, ultimately reducing overall operating costs.

Engine 1
Engine 1 Side1
Engine 1 Side 2 

Project 2: JAWS Unit for E-21

After adding the new dual-purpose fire engine, the department needed to purchase compatible rescue and extrication equipment which would sync with the truck’s design and technology.JAWS Equipment

As the cost to retro-fit the existing JAWS unit would have been equal to the cost of purchasing new equipment, the department purchased updated equipment to improve the extrication capabilities of the department.

The new equipment includes a single-hose design which allows for quicker deployment of the tools, reducing the time it takes to begin removing victims from vehicle accidents.

As well, the hydraulic tools purchased are lighter and have greater torque capability than the previous system. According to Fire Chief Bridges, the lighter equipment is also easier to handle and operate, thus reducing the potential for firefighter injury.

Project 3: Replace Ambulance 351 due to age

Ambulance 351 was replaced during fiscal year 2012-13 after its chassis had been replaced four times and the patient module had been refurbished twice.

Medic 1

According to Bridges, the replacement ambulance provides the department with modernized equipment, allowing Paramedics to provide improved patient care.

Project 4: Replace Safety Officer Vehicle

Beginning in fiscal year 2011-12, the department replaced an existing safety officer vehicle and updated necessary supplies.

According to Tommy Archer, Safety Officer, the vehicle is utilized in a variety of incidents from emergencies to industry facility needs.

“The assigned Safety Officer responds to Fire/HAZMAT/EMS scenes with the objectives to assess any immediate safety issues, secure the utilities (electricity, gas, water) at a working structure fire, assess any chemical/fuel/traffic hazard at a motor vehicle accident, and respond to any industrial facility request to ensure to the safety of department members,” Archer said. “Initially, the Safety Officers responded [to scenes as described above] in their personal vehicles. With funds from the fire control budget, the officers now have a dependable, safe emergency vehicle to utilize during response to an emergency scene.”

Project 5: Upgrade Life Pac Defibrillators to LP15

Over the past five years, the department has changed out all of the defibrillators and upgraded to the LP-15 using FCPEMSD funding. 

“The LP 15 monitors track trends within the patient being monitored and look for any life-threatening dysrhythmias that occur in the patient as well as any cardiac output and rhythm changes,” said Shane Bridges, EMS Captain, DPVFD. “In addition to tracking the patient’s cardiac rhythm, it allows for automatic blood pressures to be taken while in EMS care, and also monitors respiratory quality and the patient’s oxygen levels, as well as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels, allowing the EMS providers to treat the patient as quickly as possible

.Life Pack 1

“As well, paramedics now have the capability of transmitting data directly to the receiving hospital while still on scene or in transit.  This allows the physician to see what the medics are seeing and begin hospital preparation prior to the arrival of the patient.”  

Project 6: Security Entry System for Station 1 (cameras)

Completion of this project provides improved security Fire Station 1, located at 1300 Center Street. Department members are provided access using department-issued identification badges, and video surveillance provides visual security if needed. This system allows for access doors to automatically secure once closed, and bay doors can be closed from the apparatus prior to departure. 

Project 7: Replace Fire Marshall’s Office Inspection Truck

The Fire Marshal’s office is assigned a vehicle for volunteer inspectors to utilize when going to businesses for annual inspections.  Prior to having this vehicle, inspectors used personal vehicles to complete inspection routes. This improvement allows the inspectors to utilize an official vehicle to perform inspections.

Project 8: LUCAS Chest Decompression Units

The LUCAS devices have allowed the department to gain vital extra hands when dealing with a call that requires CPR to be used.

“Due to the fact that we are a volunteer department, sometimes two paramedics are on scene by themselves performing CPR, while waiting for the Fire Department back-up to arrive,” Fire Chief Bridges said.


“This device, which provides continuous CPR to a patient, frees up a person to allow that medic to provide other essential life-saving interventions and does not put the person who is doing compressions into a fatigued state, possibly rendering sub-quality compressions. The LUCAS provides consistent, quality compressions as needed.”

Since the purchase of the first Lucas device, a second device has been added to the EMS division.

Project 9: Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal imaging cameras are used by the department to quickly search a room for victims – a victim is highlighted on the screen and can easily be found and extricated from a burning structure. Prior to obtaining the thermal cameras, a physical search of each room was made delaying a rapid rescue of victims. 

“The thermal imaging cameras used by the department previously were unreliable, having been utilized for over 12 years. The previous cameras were also large in size and difficult to carry along with other tools,” Fire Chief Bridges said. “This project provided new cameras that provide a better image, are lightweight and are handheld. This improvement helps save lives.”

Additional major efforts:
The Emergency Services Department has been contributing funds to a building contingency fund, which would allow for the construction of a new training facility with classrooms and the potential to serve as a backup EOC location - $240,000 has been saved thus far.

Additional projects accomplished utilizing FCPEMSD funds:

Upgrade all JAWS from dual to single hose (on all trucks)

All hydraulic extrication equipment was upgraded to a single hose connection.  This improvement allows for a quick deployment of extrication tools and decreases the time it takes to set up for an extrication of a trapped victim.  

Improved SCBA equipment on all trucks

The funds approved from FCPEMSD to purchase spare SCBA bottles and masks allows the department to have on hand - and more importantly, on the trucks - the tools and equipment that is our life line:  fresh air and masks.  
“We use the SCBA bottles in almost every fire call,” Fire Chief Bridges said. “With the availability to have spare bottles and masks at the stations and on the trucks ensures we will have them when we need them.”

Improved inspection program for all hoses/ladders/pumps and gained ability to immediately replace failed hoses

The members of the department previously tested the fire hose on an annual basis.  If hose failed pressure test, replacement hose could not be purchased until properly budgeted.  The FCPEMSD provides funding to budget an amount for replacement of failed hose.  
Fire hose along with ladders and pumps are now tested by a certified vendor thus ensuring the equipment meets NFPA inspections requirements.

Increased EMS staff by four (4) to include two (2) supervisors and two (2) street medics

This improvement has allowed the department to staff additional ambulances for improved services.  With a growth in call volume, ambulances are often on other calls.  This created a strain on the availability of units requiring outside services to be called to assist.  Increase of personnel has improved our ability to service the community.

Increased Fire Marshall’s Office staff by one (1)

With the growth of businesses in the city, the increased staffing in the FMO division improves the enforcement of fire codes, lessens the time span to obtain certificates of occupancy and increased overall communications with business owners.

Upgraded extrication equipment to compliment JAWS equipment including stabilization struts

The rescue struts have given us a safer way to stabilize a vehicle that was involved in a wreck, allowing the responders to enter the vehicle without the fear of it shifting or moving, adding improved safety for rescuers.

Installed auto-loaders into ambulances to assist EMS personnel and reduce injuries

The auto stretcher system has greatly lessened the risk of injury to personnel by eliminating the need for personnel to lift patients manually into the ambulance or manage the patient while unloading.  This has also decrease the risk of further injury to the patient while loading and unloading.
 Auto Loader 1  Auto Loader 2

Added one (1) Fire Marshall duty vehicle 

With the addition of a deputy Fire Marshal, one vehicle was purchased to provide transportation throughout the city.

Added one (1) fire duty response vehicle to increase response ability

One vehicle has been added to the officer fleet.  This vehicle is used by the Deputy Chiefs and is rotated to maximize in-service time.  This improvement provides for first responder capabilities to arrive on scene and initiate scene management.

Upgraded radio system across the board

The department-wide radio upgrade has allowed us to get on an area-wide system with better coverage and improved building penetration. 

Added electronic patient care reporting system for each ambulance 

This improvement provides better documentation of patient treatment and care.  Reports are often entered once the ambulance leaves the hospital, allowing for improved quality improvement/quality assurance and billing.

Upgraded ambulance stretchers 

All ambulance stretchers have been modified with an auto lift system.  This system uses hydraulics to raise and lower the stretcher carriage automatically.  This improvement decreased the risk of personnel injury and patient injury

Increased alert pagers

The department uses an alert pager system to notify the volunteers of an alarm.  Each member is issued a pager and responds when the pager is activated.  With an increase of membership, additional pagers were needed and the FCPEMSD has provided funding for this project.

Improved Fire Station #1 and drill field training facilities by replacing visual aids and furniture

Both training rooms were upgraded with improved visual aid equipment, tables, chairs and carpeting.  

Improved stations by repainting, initiating annual generator load test program

Improved training props at all facilities

Replacement of training props, rescue mannequins and prop repairs provide a continued quality training program.

Added storage building for training supply storage at the fire training facility.

Training supplies previously stored under an awning are now secured in a storage building reducing the risk of loss due to weather.

Storage Building

Expanded Fire Station #2 by one bay with driveway

Expansion of this building provided a bay to house a fourth ambulance.  Prior to this addition, the ambulance was housed at the maintenance shop which made continual access problematic.

Expanded driveway at Fire Station #3

Additional parking space at this station provide improved safety and access by responding members and increase the parking for the citizens who often visit the station.

Replaced furniture at all three stations as needed

Furniture was in extreme need of replacement due to normal wear.  Funding allowed for replacement bedding, replacement of dayroom chairs and office items.

Provided funding for Fire Marshal public relations activities including fire extinguisher training

FMO often provides fire extinguisher training to businesses and the general public.  The previous system has completely failed to operate and was in need of replacement.  This funding has allowed this division to continue to provide this training service and also purchase additional materials and supplies for fire prevention awareness.

Improved fire awareness trailer for Fire Marshal’s office

The FMO uses a training trailer to provide fire education to young children.  Children can experience simulated situation of getting out of a burning structure in a non-hazardous environment.  Funding has provided needed supplies and maintenance to ensure this program continues.

Complete roof repairs at Fire Station #1

Roof repairs are in progress at Fire Station #1.  This repair is needed to prevent further structure damage to the station.

Concluding statement:

 As the Fire Chief of this department, I want to express the importance of the FCPEMS District and how much of an impact it has made not only on the department but also the citizens we serve.  Without this funding, we could not maintain the equipment at the level we currently have. Our EMS could not provide the quality of service without the additional personnel.  The Fire Marshall’s Office would not be capable of ensuring inspections were completed annually and the level of community education would not be available.  The fire department would have to find alternate means to fund replacement firefighting gear and equipment.  With the purchases made during the last five years, we have been able to work towards an improved ISO rating for the city.  

 This is key to how insurance rates are measures for home owners.  We are working towards moving from a rating of 4 to a rating of 2 which will reduce the overall cost of insurance for all home owners and businesses within the next two years.  
Funding provided by the district allows the departments to improve services without placing a complete tax burden on the citizens of Deer Park.  Funds currently collected allow the department to operate effectively without requiring funding from the general City budget.

 With this benefit, not only does the fire department benefit, all other City departments benefit as well.  Our future goals with district funding are to continue to fund the replacement of ambulances and fire apparatus, along with continued growth of staff who provide emergency services.  

 Plans to expand Fire Station 3 are also part of future goals using FCPEMSD funds. Improvements at the fire training facility to provide a greater quality of training to all personnel will be a key target as well.

 All of this would not have been possible without funding provided by the FCPEMSD. 

Greg Bridges

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