Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/5/12
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Achieves
Full Staffing on Fire Trucks; Zero Vacant Positions
Latest accomplishments cap two years pf transformational change in the department
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) hit a major milestone in July, achieving the Reed administration goal of full staffing of four firefighters per engine and zero vacant firefighter positions for the first time in more than a decade.
The department also reached a new level of responsiveness on fire emergencies, meeting the accreditation requirements of the Center for Public Safety Excellence for a fully staffed fire apparatus arriving at a location within five minutes 82 percent of the time, up from 65 percent in 2010. This equates to increases in rescues of entrapped victims before irreversible harm occurs and reduction in property loss by reducing fire spread.
As a modern all-hazards fire department, AFRD has set new standards of professionalism and service to Atlanta’s residents and businesses. Chief Kelvin Cochran, recently named Fire Chief of the Year, directs the operations of a $74 million department with 35 fire stations and nearly 1,000 fire fighters providing fire, rescue and emergency services.
“The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is better staffed and more responsive and efficient today than ever before thanks to the Reed administration’s focus and investment in public safety,” said Chief Cochran. “I am proud of the work done by the men and women of our department each and every day, and we plan to keep pushing forward to make the City of Atlanta even safer in the weeks and months ahead.”
Since January 2010, AFRD has opened four new fire stations: Fire Station 11 opened in Atlantic Station; Fire Station 13 opened in East Atlanta; Fire Station 15 opened in Midtown and Fire Station 18 opened in Kirkwood. A fifth new station, Fire Station 28, is under construction in the Hollywood Road Area.
In addition, the department has not had to temporarily close fire stations (brown-outs) due to staffing shortages and other budgetary concerns since 2010. In fact, AFRD currently has two classes of recruits: one graduates in November, the other in March 2013. Additionally, five new fire engines, three ladder trucks, one heavy rescue truck and a mobile command unit have added to the Department’s capacity to fight fires and respond to emergencies across the city.
“A strong fire rescue department is a vital component of the city’s overall capacity to prepare effectively and respond quickly to hazards,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I am committed to the City of Atlanta having the personnel resources and technology to keep our residents safe from threats, which can range from small fires to natural disasters to global terrorism.”
Additional AFRD accomplishments in the last year include:
• Increased EMS supervisor and oversight by funding six new paramedic Captains positions
• Initiated the Rapid EMS Response pilot program called Quik Intervention Crew (QIC)
• Implemented Swift Water Rescue Team
• Established the AFR Dignitary Medic Team
• Established the AFR SWAT Medic Team
• Implemented Training Enhancement Initiative, which increased training staff to include one section chief; four captains, four lieutenants, two sergeants and two retired captains.
Some of AFRD’s staffing and response time improvements have been made possible in part through a $9.8 million S.A.F.E.R Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. AFRD has also won two additional grants to support fire prevention and employee health. A Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention grant allowed the purchase of 18,000 dual sensor (ionization/photoelectric) smoke detectors and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program contributed $393,802 to support AFRD’s Health and Wellness Initiative designed to improve the overall health of sworn members.
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed.