As a modern full-service fire department deeply committed to excellent customer service, one important aspect of our emergency response service delivery is the protection of property against not only the ravages of fire but of other natural and human-made catastrophes. Our fire suppression efforts include a comprehensive property conservation component that commits a sizable effort of personnel and equipment to minimize the effects of fire and its aftermath, including smoke and water damage. We routinely remove smoke from fire-involved buildings and cover belongings with salvage covers to reduce the damage of smoke and water.
We perform emergency temporary repairs to roofs that have been cut or burned to prevent further damage from weather after we have finished firefighting operations and prior to leaving the scene. We routinely assign personnel to assisting the owner/occupants with contacting insurance agents and providing other information thorough a comprehensive “After the Fire” booklet that explains many procedures such as removing smoke stains, odors, etc. We also will make arrangements with the Red Cross if emergency shelter and/or clothing are required, and can provide the fire department chaplain at the scene on a 24-hour basis if necessary.
In 1995, the department expanded its property conservation services by adding a “salvage trailer” that carries a number of portable gasoline and electrical powered water pumps, a generator and related salvage equipment and sandbags. This trailer can be quickly deployed during periods of heavy rain and flooding to homes and businesses to help minimize the effects of rain and flooding damage to property.
The results of our Loss Prevention and property conservation efforts are substantial, although they do not appear as a tangible figure anywhere in a year-end summary or report. Our results are ascertained by the level of citizen-customer satisfaction as depicted by the citizen surveys and the citizen satisfaction cards we mail out to the recipients of our services.