Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Annual Report of the Franklin Fire Department - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

The Department
The Franklin Fire Department administration is led by a Fire Chief who is assisted by an Executive Assistant. The department is divided into two divisions, operations and administration, which are each under the direction of the two Deputy Chiefs. The operations division is responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. The administration division is responsible for personnel, budget, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town’s emergency preparedness.

Our Mission
The Franklin Fire Department is committed to providing the highest level of public safety services for our community. We safely protect lives and property through fire suppression, training, emergency medical and transportation services, disaster and crisis management, fire prevention and public education.

Operational Objectives
Initiating advanced life support to patients within 10 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
To access, extricate, treat 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 ensure 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 continued valuable services to the senior population with home safety inspections and smoke/carbon monoxide battery replacement.
Develop a partnership with the Franklin Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC).
Provide educational opportunities for department members to ensure optimal performance and safety.
To develop and maintain “best practice” to insure personnel and citizen safety.
Ensure 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.

Message from the Fire Chief
Fiscal Year 2021 was both an extremely challenging and productive year for the Franklin Fire Department. This year was highlighted with COVID response and vaccination clinics in the community, several high risk emergency incidents, grant procurement, delivery of new apparatus and the addition of four firefighters to the table of organization. There were 4723 calls for service in FY21 which is an increase of 257 calls from FY20. Some of the highlighted incidents included a large-scale apartment complex fire at Franklin Crossing Condominiums as well as a rescue of a resident of the Franklin Housing Authority at 45 Winter Street.

The Department assisted the Board of Health with hosting eight vaccination clinics in the Town which were located at Franklin High School, Franklin Senior Center and Franklin Housing Authority. A solid working relationship among the Fire Department, Department of Health, School Department, Facilities Department and Senior Center resulted in efficient clinics which was a good opportunity to improve our skills to increase our state of readiness in the future when needed. Lt. Laurie Kaye, the Department’s Infection Control Officer, was awarded the Director’s Award at the CMEMSC Annual Meeting on May 4, 2021. Lt. Kaye was recognized for being instrumental in timely education and setting up COVID protocols not only for the Franklin Fire Department but other communities in Region II. Her program became a basis of the Region II on-line program to educate many beyond Franklin.

As of July, 2021 the Department has received $310,062.96 since July 2019 in grants and generous donations.. The Department has a Grant Committee composed of department members who volunteer their time to pursue and apply for funding opportunities that can help offset department costs to the taxpayers. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) that was recently awarded allowed for every member to receive 16 hours of Rapid Intervention Training (RIT) as well as individual pump operator training. The Department continues to conduct live fire training twice a year in Milford at the Milford Fire Department burn building and all department personnel completed a Driver’s Safety course administered by the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) which assists the Town with reducing insurance costs. The average amount of training per member of the Franklin Fire Department was 77 hours in FY21.

The Department received delivery of two new 2021 pumpers in May 2021 followed by the delivery of a new ambulance in June 2021. All three of these vehicles were placed in service in July 2021. Our current Engine 1 will be repurposed as a Heavy Rescue unit at Station 2 which will be equipped with specialized equipment including extrication equipment, cribbing and rope. The manpower for this vehicle will be cross manned at Station 2 by the ambulance just as the Ladder Tower is cross manned by the ambulance crew at Station 1. The Department is especially appreciative of the Town Council for approving the purchase of these new vehicles which will eliminate the increasing maintenance cost of the older vehicles.

On March 22, 2021 the Department added four additional firefighters to the Department which brings our complement from 52 to 56 for the very first time. This additional manpower is critical to meet the rising demand of our services throughout town. The Department has implemented an annual policy to adjust our ambulance transport rate with Town Council approval to keep us consistent with the average of the other communities in the Commonwealth. This annual adjustment has allowed the town the opportunity to fund the extra personnel with limited financial impact to the Town. The seven Firefighter/Paramedics that were hired during FY21 are Joshua Impey, Joshua Sables, Kristopher Smith, Brian Armstrong, Jeffrey Ward, Kent Parsons and Benjamin Angelo. All seven of these new firefighters have been great additions to the Department and we wish them a healthy and productive career. We also want to wish the best to Firefighter Brian Hagan who retired after thirty-two years of distinguished service with the Fire Department.

In fiscal year 2021 the Department responded to 4723 incidents which is an increase of 257 calls from fiscal year 2020. Several significant fires that occurred include a general alarm fire at an apartment complex at 2 Franklin Crossing Road, the Franklin Housing Authority at 32 Central Park Terrace as well as 45 Winter Street, where a resident was rescued by both fire and police crews. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or serious injuries to any of the residents involved as well as firefighters.

With the pandemic the SAFE program had to suspend many of the activities that are normally run. Instead of going into the classrooms for the SAFE program it was limited to online Google classroom sessions where our members would either use the new digital Hazard House, or read books and talk about fire safety. Visits were still able to be done in the homes of seniors to help them with their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It was actually nicer for them because they actually had a reason to get up, move around and interact with someone while we were there. We were able to hold our annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon in a drive thru fashion which served almost 400 corned beef dinners. Senior project went off without any glitches. We held everything remotely at the high school this year. The kids had minimal interaction at the firehouse to protect them. We had less field trips to take them on because of the pandemic, however they were able to do more on the trucks and all had a great time. One student is currently enrolled in a fire science program, one is going to school for criminal justice, and two are going into the military with hopes of becoming firefighters. I especially want to thank our SAFE Officer Doug Perro along with other members of the Department who did a great job with SAFE during an extraordinary year.

In our budget narrative we reference the three important components of an effective fire department which are well staffed, well trained and well equipped. This Department was able to make significant strides in all three categories due to the support of the Town Administrator and his staff, Town Council, Finance Committee, business community and most importantly the general public. On behalf of the members of the Franklin Fire Department I want to thank everyone for your support. It is an honor and privilege for us to serve this community.

Respectfully Submitted
James G. McLaughlin, 
Fire Chief

There is more to the Fire Dept section of the Annual Report, please visit the full report and find the Fire Dept section on page 127

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

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