Additional Further Response to Recommendations of Civil Grand Jury

SAN FRANCISCO

FIRE COMMISSION

ADDITIONAL FURTHER RESPONSE TO

 

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 2003-2004 CIVIL GRAND JURY

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Grand Jury Report was issued in June, 2004 and the Fire Commission responded in August, 2004. At the request of the Controller's Office, a further response was made in July, 2005. The Controller has now requested an additional response.

 

Following completion of the 1996 merger of the Department of Public Health's

EMS services with the Fire Department, the Fire Department has moved forward with implementation of the EMS Reconfiguration, which was approved by the Fire Commission on March 24, 2005 . Resolution No. 05-4, approving the Reconfiguration, is attached to the July, 2005 further responses as Appendix 1. The EMS Reconfiguration is designed to improve the provision of EMS service to the public, while also improving working conditions for Paramedics and EMTs. The Reconfiguration's major changes include the dynamic deployment of ambulances to further improve response time and efficiency; the hiring of additional paramedics and EMTs to staff the dynamically deployed ambulances on ten-hour rather than twenty-four hour shifts to reduce fatigue; and the deployment of additional Advanced Life Support (ALS) engines. On July 14, 2005 the Fire Commission further resolved that the new classes of paramedics and EMTs established by the Reconfiguration will be uniformed members of the Department with the same public safety benefits as other Department members.

 

With the approval of the Fire Commission, the Fire Department sought and obtained approval from the Department of Human Resources to amend the existing H-3 classification to expand the scope to include three functional levels: H-3 Level 1 - EMT; H-3 Level 2 EMT-P (Paramedic); and H-3 Level 3, fully cross-trained Firefighter/Paramedic. When the decision of the Department of Human Resources was appealed to the Civil Service Commission, that Commission unanimously upheld the decision to amend the classification to include the three functional levels. The first class of H-3 Level 2 Paramedics has just been hired and is currently undergoing training in the Department's

Fire Academy . This class is scheduled to graduate on May 5, 2006 and will be deployed in the field following that date. Thus, the Department has proceeded with implementation of the EMS Reconfiguration, which will enhance the level of EMS service to the public while improving the working conditions of the Department's EMS members.

 

STATUS OF GRAND JURY RECOMMENDATIONS TO FIRE COMMISSION

 

The following is the status of Grand Jury recommendations to the Fire Commission with which the Commission agreed. This additional further response lists each such Grand Jury Recommendation, the Fire Commission's original response, the Commission's further response and the Commission's additional further (current) response:

 

Grand Jury Recommendation:

 

1a. SFFD and DPH should establish specific criteria for measuring the success of the merger. They should determine the steps necessary to complete the merger. Steps to be taken and the establishment of timelines should be delineated and agreed upon as soon as possible.

 

Fire Commission Response:

 

1a. Agree. The Commission agrees with this recommendation to the extent that it suggests the establishment of specific criteria for measuring the success of the Department's provision of Emergency Medical Services. This recommendation will be implemented, understanding that the Commission views the merger as having already been completed , but with the view that goals and timelines for further improvement should be established and articulated and accomplishment of those goals measured.

 

Fire Commission Further Response:

 

1a. Reference is made to the attached Fire Commission Resolution 05-4, which provides that the EMS Reconfiguration is to be measured as follows: