The Franklin Fire Department is divided into two divisions: Operations and Maintenance, which is the largest and responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. Administration and Support Services is responsible for personnel, budget and finance, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town’s emergency preparedness.
The mission of the Franklin Fire Department is to:
…Have a positive impact in the lives of citizens and visitors of Franklin in their time of crisis by providing compassionate, contemporary, community driven services.
…Safeguard human life from the perils of fire, sudden illness, injury or other emergency medical condition, natural and man-made disasters as well as preserve the environment and property from ensuing destruction.
… Be responsible for a safe, productive and pleasant work environment for our employees, and provide them opportunities to gain new skills and advance their personal career goals.
- Initiating advanced life support to patients within 10 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
- To access, extricate, treat and transport and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
- Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 10 minutes of open flame ignition.
- To insure response readiness remains greater than 70%.
- Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE) initiative of the Commonwealth.
- Provide educational opportunities for department members to insure optimal performance and safety.
- To develop and maintain “best practice” to insure personnel and citizen safety.
- Insure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
- Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.
- Process emergency notifications in our dispatch center within 120 seconds of receiving the initial call for 99% of all calls.
Message from the Fire Chief
Fiscal Year 2018 again ended as the busiest year in department histories, breaking last year’s record a total of with 4,408 emergency responses. Fortunately, the community did not suffer any fire related deaths this year, although there were several tragic incidents which resulted in the loss of life. Department members suffer ten loss time work related injuries during the fiscal year.
This year saw the active engagement of our personnel in the development of specifications and standards on a host of issues, all intended to provide heightened levels of service to the citizens of Franklin. Personnel dedicated countless hours to develop specifications for the replacement of the department’s Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, replacement fire engine and replacement ambulance.
Work related cancer for workers in the fire – rescue services continues to be a cause for high concern. Multiple studies, including the soon-to-be-released NIOSH cancer study, have demonstrated credible evidence of higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population including:
- Testicular cancer (2.02 times greater risk)
- Multiple myeloma (1.53 times greater risk)
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (1.51 times greater risk)
- Skin cancer (1.39 times greater risk)
- Prostate cancer (1.28 times greater risk)
- Malignant melanoma (1.31 times great risk)
- Brain cancer (1.31 times greater risk)
- Colon cancer (1.21 times great risk)
- Leukemia (1.14 times greater risk)
Work began last year will continue into the next and ensuing fiscal years to insure that we protect our members from this on-going epidemic.
We continue to see the number of calls for service that occur back-to-back or simultaneously grow at an alarming rate. Back-to-back or simultaneous calls are where the department receives another emergency call for service while managing a call for services (two at a time). In Fiscal Year 2018, this caused 144 ambulance responses from other Towns into Franklin.
Although an improvement over the previous fiscal year, the use of out-of-town resources causes delay in our ability to provide timely transport to the hospital emergency room. Franklin’s average response time is 5 minutes, 44 seconds; the average response time for an out-of town ambulance is 12 minutes, 33 seconds – this time difference can have a great impact on the quality of patient outcomes for people with medical emergencies.
The trend of call distribution is compounded by the increasing calls for services. As previously noted, the department responded to 4,408 emergency responses in Fiscal Year 2018, an increase of more than 6% from Fiscal year 2017.
We believe the trend is in response to an upturn in our economy. This year saw increased occupancy rates in the Town’s Industrial Parks as well as opening of new businesses and facilities. All of these combine to bring more people into the community and increase the demands for our services. We will continue to monitor all of these trends and work with the community to develop strategies to maintain acceptable levels of emergency services within the Town.
This year saw the retirement of Firefighter Robert Donovan. Bob began his career with the department in 1988 and assisted in many department roles. Bob’s career with the department to including being among the first paramedics in the department and serving as the long time SAFE Officer completing fire safety education in the school system. We thank him all for his years of their dedication and service to the Town and wish him the best in retirement.
This year we welcomed new members James Polito, Brian Hamann, Matthew Starkey and Peter Ballou. All come to the department with a wide variety of experiences that strengthens our ability to provide services to the citizens of Franklin and we look forward to their long productive careers with the department.
In addition to emergency response, the department also continued to try to expand its fire prevention education activities, providing safety and survival education to the most vulnerable population to fire – our children and seniors. Through the dedicated efforts of SAFE Officer Keith Darling, the department reached over 7,600 individuals with safety related programming. This included 100% of all Elementary Students, summer YMCA Camps and various Boy and Girl Scout programs and tours as well as a various activities at the Senior Center.
This year the department continued to offer home visit for our senior citizens and include 48 visits. The focus of these visits is to insure there are working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, remove trip hazards as well as provide safety education. Firefighters Kevin Marshal, Bill Blanchard and Christian Mills provide dedicated assistance in completing this important service to our citizens.
In closing, I would like to recognize our employees, who are among the best fire service professional in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! They continue to work tirelessly to protect life and property within Franklin. In addition to their on-duty responses, our employees commit countless hours in continuing education and training targeted to maintain and improved upon their emergency skills. Additionally, they continue to press forward in attempt to provide the highest level of service to the community based upon advancement in the fire-rescue field and advancements in technology. They continue to be the chief reason for maintaining our current the level of success and level of services we provide our citizens of Franklin.
Gary B. McCarraher, Fire Chief
You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online
The archive of prior year annual reports
|The newest vehicle in the Fire Dept, part of the truck rotation and life cycle program. Franklin sets aside money in an account to save over several years for the next truck|
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