Wednesday, January 6, 2016

AFD: Busiest Year Ever!

AFD North Station strategically located next to UMass

Having listened to and covered up close a countless number of emergency calls over the past 12 months, I'm not surprised that 2015 was the busiest year ever for the Amherst Fire Department with a total of 6,363 calls, up 7.59% from last year's 5,914.

And that was accomplished without a 7.59% increase in staffing, the #1 problem now facing AFD.  The cramped condition and sorry state of Central Station is closely followed problem #2.

 Click to enlarge/read

 This year AFD and Dispatch cost Amherst taxpayers around $5,000,000 
UMass paid us $455,000 for emergency services this year and created 19.1% of the call volume, or $955,000 worth.

Amherst College paid the town $120,000 and created 4% of the call volume, or $200,0000.

Hampshire College paid us ZERO but created 3.1% of the call volume, or $155,000 -- enough to hire three new firefighters.

 AFD on scene Hampshire College 8/30/15 for typical "cooking smoke" false fire alarm


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the average number of FF's on shift are for a department that handles 6,000+ emergency calls?

Larry Kelley said...

8 normally. On weekends when UMass is in session the extra "impact shifts" bring it up to 13.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I did not articulate my question well. What is the average staffing for other departments with similar call volume?

Larry Kelley said...

More than that.

Anonymous said...

Good answer.

Anonymous said...

Larry, I know that you go after the University/colleges about the money but the real issue is that the money they give goes to the Town's general fund. It does not go directly "for fire/EMS". The town actually dictates how much the department gets. Umass could give $1 million towards fire/ems, but the town could decide only to give the fire department the same $4 million budget they have always had with no raise even though the university/colleges gave more. SO, the real issue is the town/ finance committee. You should be asking them why they are failing their town by not giving the needed funding to properly protect their own town.
- Doug

Larry Kelley said...

Finance Committee has no control over the issue as they simply make recommendations on proposals that are brought forward by Select Board, Department heads or citizens petitions.

The fault is with our Select Board not showing leadership, something a Mayor would most certainly do better.