Estimated fire loss in Boardman Township dropped by 46 per cent in 2011, when compared to 2010.
Fire Chief George Brown said that total runs made by his department increased to a record-high 3732 calls for service,
Typically, most calls made by the Boardman Fire Department are not to fire scenes.
For example, in Dec., 2010, fire personnel answered 332 calls for assistance. Only five of those calls were for actual fires (that caused an estimated $7000 damage).
In Dec., 2010, fire personnel made 249 medically-related calls, according to Chief Brown. Another 43 calls were for alarm activations.
During 2011, total estimated fire loss in Boardman Township was set at $594,000; compared to $1.051 million in 2010.
Overtime use at the Boardman Fire department in 2011 exceeded 2010 levels, largely based on overtime use under Chief James Dorman, who retired last April, and was succeeded by Chief Brown.
Under Chief Brown’s tenure, overtime use at the Boardman Fire Department has dropped every month he has served in office.
Under Chief Dorman, for example, in Jan. 2011, firemen consumed 435 hours of overtime during one of the slowest months of the year, answering only 276 calls, and when estimated fire loss was only $27,500.
Under Chief Brown, in Jan., 2012, fire-fighters used just 11 hours of overtime, a reduction of some 424 hours over the previous year.
Under Chief Brown, for example, in July, 2011, firemen used 44 hours of overtime. During the same span under Chief Dorman, firemen chewed-up 512 hours of overtime.
Total overtime costs for the Boardman Fire Department in 2011, according to Chief Brown were $73,0231. “This is more than $50,000 less than was budgeted,” Chief Brown said.
The fire chief told Boardman Trustees his ending “to the first year here in Boardman comes with mixed reviews.”
Citing the addition of six fire-fighters to the department, Chief Brown said he is “pleased that the laid-off [fire-fighters] were called back and we have the ability to hire three new fire-fighters.
“I was shocked to find that many items are missing from inventory, old and in ill-repair, or not being utilized.”
Chief Brown said among his top priorities in 2012 will be educational programs.
The fire chief said his department is handling a large amount of new construction projects filed with the Fire Prevention Bureau, “a good sign that says the economy is improving.”
As 2011 ended, Fire Prevention Bureau officers William Glaser and Jim McCreary each reported handling one major project in December.
Lt. Glaser kept the focus on the Southern Park Mall “to insure compliance with stock heights and egress routes,” the fire prevention officers said, adding “A few temporary occupancies [in the mall] that opened only for the holidays were inspected.”
A Mexican restaurant, Los Gallos, moved into the food court at the mall, “requiring multiple visits to insure code compliance.”
Lt. McCreary tried to solve an issue at the new Quaker Steak and Lube, over concerns a water pipe in an unheated portion of the facility could burst and cause “a catastrophic failure of the sprinkler system.”
McCreary reported that “Many calls with the owners and building department are taking care of a problem before it becomes much bigger.”
In looking forward to 2012, the Boardman Fire Prevention Bureau said “If the current building trend continues, we are definitely going to be quite busy.”
Under Trustees Brad Calhoun, Thomas Costello and Larry Moliterno, the Boardman Fire Prevention Bureau has been pared to two officers (instead of three).
Chief Brown told Trustees due to the loss of a fire prevention officer, “many of the day-to-day operations are not being completed.”
On-going construction projects currently under review by the Fire Prevention Bureau include Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s, a CVS store, Briarfield of Boardman, Wal-Mart, Lane Funeral Home, an expansion at St. Elizabeth Hospital and construction of Carter’s Kids.
The Fire Prevention Bureau also said it will expand its educational program in 2012, saying it felt “many fires have been prevented by the educational programs being taught to both adults and children.”
A review of the Fire Prevention Bureau’s Dec. 2011 programs showed no public education programs had been offered to adults or children, or to elementary schools and day care/pre-school facilities.
A review of the Fire Prevention Bureau’s Jan. 2011 programs again showed no public education programs had been offered to adults or children, or to elementary schools and day care/pre-school facilities.
FIRE LOSS IN BOARDMAN IN 2011