Mayor's Office Press Release
Houston Fire Department Will Undergo New Operational Review
August 26, 2016 -- After reviewing a recently completed work demands analysis started in November 2015, Mayor Sylvester Turner has decided Houston Fire Department operations need further study.
“I like the report’s acknowledgement of the need for more revenue for a fire department that serves a growing population,” said Turner. “I also like that the report notes just how dedicated HFD is. Our firefighters do a fantastic job. Likewise, our EMS boasts one of the highest cardiac arrest resuscitation and survival rates in the nation. However, I cannot believe there are no cost savings to be found. This is a starting point for what we need to learn more about. There will be a second more critical review that delves deeper into HFD operations and staffing.”
The Response Time and Staffing Analysis Model prepared by Facets Consulting recommends HFD continue to provide emergency medical services and maintain its four-shift work schedule. There are numerous other recommendations for more revenue, enhanced training, additional staff, more ambulances, new fire stations, IT upgrades, career development, a bigger fleet, a wellness program, a tobacco free environment and a cancer awareness/prevention program.
The report also notes the City is limited in its ability to generate the funding needed to pay for all operations by its voter approved revenue cap.
“This report was commissioned before I got here, and I wanted to wait for its completion,” said Mayor Turner. “There is some useful information regarding efficiencies and the need for additional sources of revenue, but the report contains no cost savings and refers to national standards that no fire department in the nation is meeting. I want another look with someone under my control.”
City Council will receive a briefing on the Facets report during a committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. The full report is available at https://www.houstontx.gov/fire/hfd-response-time-model.pdf.