Station 59 Process
- At the November, 2018 Deerfield Township Administrative Retreat and Board of Trustees meeting, staff presented an independent Public Safety review, which examined the need for fire protection in the North West Quadrant. Chief Bill Kramer and Randy Hanifen, of Kramer and Associates, Group, were hired to perform the comprehensive analysis of fire protection at Deerfield Township’s three fire stations to determine the necessary fire protection and emergency service now and in the future. Chief Kramer and Mr. Hanifen reviewed and analyzed the Fire Department facilities, operation & deployment. After the presentation, Chief Kramer concluded that Deerfield Township Fire and Rescue Department is performing at a high level of service and recommended that a new fire station should be built in the Northwest quadrant of Deerfield Township.
- Based on the recommendation by Cheif Kramer, in April 2019, a design consultant, KZF was hired after a RFQ process to begin planning the construction of Station 59.
- In May 2019, the township and Hills Properties finalized the donation of a parcel of land near the Palmera Apartments along Butler-Warren Road to be used as the future home of Station 59.
- In February 2020, staff released an RFQ seeking qualified applicants to serve as the construction manager for the project. After reviewing the submissions, in March, Oswald Construction was selected.
The Deerfield Township Fire & EMS Department consists of career and part-time employees proudly serving approximately 40,000 residents.
The Department’s current operations consists of three fire stations, with two Engine companies, ladder/heavy rescue, three medic units, and reserve medic/engine units. Combined, these groups, responded to over 4,600 incidents in 2019, an increase of 2.1 percent over 2018.
The chart to the right shows the increases in Fire and EMS incidents since 2013. It is clear that with the continued growth of the township, there is a need for additional support for the Deerfield Township Fire & EMS Department to keep pace with the growth and ensure response times throughout the township meet the six minute stardard set by the NFPA as described below.
Four Station Model - Staffing
With the addition of Station 59, and the proposed staffing matrix (shown in the chart below), the Deerfield Township Fire and Rescue Department will still meet the necessary depth of coverage throughout the township.
Keeping Pace with Growth
The Deerfield Township Fire & EMS Department prides itself on meeting and exceeding industry standards for service.
The National Fire Protection Association has set the standard for response time at six minutes. By adhering to this standard, Fire and EMS staff are able to have the greatest possible impact on preserving property through reductions in fire damage and potentially save lives.
The growth the township has experienced, especially in the Northwest portion of Deerfield, as characterized by the chart below, has pushed the Department’s average response time above that six-minute standard.
By adding Station 59, we will be able to better serve the growing northwest portion of the township and bring the average response time across the township below the six-minute standard.
Projected Impact on Response Times and Fire Department Coverage
Adding Station 59 will have a significant impact on the Deerfield Township Fire and Rescue Department's ability to serve the township and achieve response times at or below the industry standard of 6 minutes.
Funding Station 59 and Easing the Burden on Taxpayers
In an effort to ease the burden on taxpayers, Deerfield Township seeks outside revenue sources to offset the cost of providing services. This holds true when it comes to funding the Fire & EMS Department.
Non-taxpayer funding sources for the Fire & EMS Department include:
- Grant Funding - The Department has received over $212,000 in grants over the past 10 years.
- Insurance Billing - The Fire and EMS Department bills services provides for emergency transport. In 2019, this practice generated over $660,000, which represented an 80 percent collection rate.
- Cost Reimbursement - Some of activities of the Deerfield Township Fire & Rescue qualify to be reimbursed. For example, if staff is deployed in response to natural disasters elsewhere in the US, costs may be about to be recovered. The total amount recovered each year varies.
To address this need to construct Station 59, the Deerfield Township Board of Trustees had previously discussed the possibility of running a new levy to support our Fire and EMS Department. It has been 10 years since the Township has asked voters to approve a Fire & Emergency Services levy.
However, in an effort to promote fiscal responsibility and to ease the burden of taxpayers to fund the services the township provides, they have decided it is not prudent to pursue a levy at this time.
What’s changed? The efforts of the Board of Trustees and administration to make the township debt free has resulted in reserve fund balances that, after further analysis, can be focused on Fire and EMS department operations in order to ensure that the department is capable of responding to all incidents, throughout the four different quadrants of the township, at or under that six minute standard.
Instead of pursuing a levy, these funds will be utilized until they have been exhausted.
Finally, as the township progresses forward with the construction of Station 59 to serve the northwest quadrant and bring the average response time at or under the six minute standard across the township, we will be publicly discussing the long-term details and the future projections for the fire fund.