MCTX Fire & Rescue Services Chief Eugene Campbell, Jr. delivered a comprehensive presentation to Councilmembers at their Monday, Oct. 19 Regular Virtual Meeting as part of the department’s annual report. Chief Campbell highlighted the many accomplishments of MCFRS since last year, and spoke expectantly about the addition of Fire Station 6 to address the needs of underserved residents in the Parks Edge/Lake Olympia section of the City.
“We really enjoy serving the citizens of Missouri City,” said Chief Campbell. “Often times, [when residents have a problem] people don’t know who to call, but they can always call the fire department and we will help them.”
The department received fewer calls in FY2020, down to 6,842 from 6,933 in FY2019. Calls requiring emergency medical services (EMS) were up, to 4,418 from 4,299 in FY2019. Fire and other incidents were down, to 170 fires from 228 in FY2019; and to 2,254 other incidents from 2,406. Other incidents include false alarms, hazardous conditions, non-emergency service calls, good intent and weather-related calls, biohazard scares and citizen complaints. Chief Campbell attributes the decrease in incidents to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know that when more people are at home, we have less fires,” he said. “We’ve been seeing that trend throughout COVID-19.”
Chief Campbell was proud to report that the department’s Insurance Service Office Rating rose from a lower rating to an ISO 1 in 2016, which is the best possible rating. ISO rates fire departments on various items such as staffing levels, training, water supply, fire hydrants, proximity of the firehouse, etc. A rating of 10 means the department did not meet the ISO’s minimum requirements. “Out of 2,859 cities in Texas with an ISO rating, only 69 have an ISO Class 1 rating. That means we are in the top 3 percent,” said Chief Campbell. Nationally, 39,378 fire departments are ISO rated, and of that number, only 393 cities have an ISO 1 rating. “So nationally and in the state of Texas,” he said, “your department is known for excellence, honor and service to all as an ISO Class 1 Fire Department.”
MCFRS has embraced the Six Sigma initiative, a business model to increase performance, employee morale and quality of products and services. One of the key performance indicators the Department has focused on is response time to calls. “Our response time goal is eight (8) minutes and 30 seconds,” said Chief Campbell. From the time the call comes into dispatch, he said it should go to the Fire Department within a minute and 30 seconds. “Ideally, once getting the call at the firehouse, we should be en route within two minutes.” The goal for travel time is five minutes. In FY2020, the City hit its 8-minute, 30-second response time goal about 76.25 percent of the time. The Department continues to increase efficiencies in every step of the response process. Chief Campbell said Fire Station 6 also will help improve performance by putting a station in a previously underserved community. “There are currently more than 19,000 people in that neighborhood who live outside our response time goal area,” he said.
MCFRS has 78 full-time employees. “For the first time during my tenure, right now every position is filled, and I’m really happy about that,” said Chief Campbell. The team has completed a total of 10,406 continuing education (CE) hours, which averages 142 hours per firefighter. The Department of Health & Human Services requires emergency medical technicians to complete a set number of hours of EMS training every four years. To maintain their certification with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP), firefighters must complete 20 hours of annual training.
In addition to personal training and development, Missouri City is also a TCFP training facility. “We are certified to teach Structural Firefighting, Driver/Operator, Fire Investigator, Fire Inspector, Fire Instructor 1 and 2, and Fire Officer 1 and 2,” said Chief Campbell. “Many of our firefighters teach – not only other firefighters in our department – but also firefighters around Fort Bend and the state of Texas. On occasion, I’ve heard of some of our firefighters going outside the state of Texas to teach.”
Chief Campbell listed several accomplishments the Fire Department has achieved over the past year, including:
- Assembled the Missouri City Fire & Rescue Services Apparatus Committee to initiate the purchase and design of a new fire engine and ladder truck. The vehicles were delivered in January 2020. The cost of both units was $2,239,086.00, with an expected service of life of 20 years.
- Finalized and executed a contract with Life Scan to perform annual firefighter physicals in alignment with the Health and Wellness initiative. The implementation began in June 2019.
- Researched, presented recommendations, and implemented the web-based solution Lexipol, which will provide MCFRS with continuously updated policies, and related training content, delivered through an online platform and mobile app.
- Established a new Smoke Detector Program (Blitz) in partnership with Red Cross, where they provided free smoke detectors that MCFRS installed. Through this initiative, a total of three blitz campaigns were conducted and more than 85 smoke detectors were installed.
- Used tracking software to enhance community engagement. More than 300 hours were documented at 134 events. Two open houses were conducted with more than 400 attendees. Firehouse safety presentations also were conducted at 20 schools and daycare centers, reaching more than 1,700 students.
- Acknowledged the newly promoted or hired personnel: Lieutenant Joshua Calloway, Engineer/Operator Terry Jordan, Office Manager Tijuana Nickerson, Fire Inspector/Investigator Shannon Prater, Office Assistant Carrman Rivers, Firefighters, Kayla Jasso, Sean Marshall, Joshua Garcia-Lopez, and Parker Glenn.
- Worked in collaboration with City staff and Martinez-Architects to complete the design of Fire Station 6. The project is expected to break ground in the upcoming months.
- Received a total of $736,188 reimbursement from FEMA for expenses incurred during the Hurricane Harvey response in FY2020. The amount includes $14,140.30 of cost-share reimbursement from the State of Texas and $722,048 out of $896,763.63 initially requested from FEMA.
- City Council approved the replacement of 18 new breathing air packs. Components were also approved and purchased for $141,088.00.
- City Council approved an amendment to the charter on April 20, which established the Fire Prevention/Community Risk Reduction Division, a Police agency within Missouri City Fire & Rescue Services. This action facilitated an Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) being assigned to the division, which provides the division the ability to hold each Arson investigator’s TCOLE commissions.
- Implemented a new Physical Abilities Plan for the department to utilize in the recruiting and hiring of new firefighters.
- Collaborated with the help of Lifting Families Together to facilitate the Chief Santa Toy Giveaway at the Community Center. MCFRS Chief Santa also shared toys with the Boys and Girls Club, numerous churches, shelters, and citizens of Missouri City at large. More than 1,000 toys and holiday gifts were distributed.
- Implemented the Fire Rescue 1 Academy as a new training and records system. The solution follows best practices, providing modern learning with nearly 450 courses based on current standards. The system also includes the management of mandatory continuing education requirements for employees’ Fire and EMS certifications. The cost of implementation of the replacement software was $6,220.00 and is offset by fees for the software being replaced.
For FY2021, Chief Campbell said the Department will focus on:
- Completing the design and supporting elements for Fire Station 6 and associated administrative functions including land acquisition.
- Requesting a new engine for Fire Station 6.
- Conducting comprehensive recruitment that will create a diverse candidate pool of potential firefighters to fill vacancies due to the opening of Station 6.
- Continuing the process of Texas Best Practices that include the Standard of Coverage and the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan.
- Continuing the career planning process for each departmental position detailing a path of training and certifications supporting department succession planning.
- Establishing a community-wide annual Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/First Aid Program (a collaborative effort between Community Stakeholders).
To view Chief Campbell’s full annual report presentation, watch the MCTX City Council video via this link: Agenda Item 5: Staff Report
To learn more about the MCFRS outreach programs, safety initiatives and services, visit: www.missouricityfirerescue.org.
For more information about Missouri City, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store).