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2016 ANNUAL REPORT This report is the property of the Omaha Fire Department. If you would like to use the report in its entirety or any of the content within it, please contact: Omaha Fire Department Headquarters 1516 Jackson Street, Omaha, NE 68102 402-444-5700

Omaha Fire Department Mission Statement It is the mission of the Omaha Fire Department to protect lives, property, and the environment of our community through preparation, prevention, and protection in a competent and courteous manner.


Message from the Mayor


Message from Chief Olsen


Services Overview


Personnel Statistics


Budget Overview


Personnel Highlights


Coverage Area Map




Omaha Fire Stations


Emergency medical services


Fire Investigation unit


Fire prevention division


Public education program


Safety & Wellness division


Information services division


Technical Services division


Training Division


Special Operations Program


Community Impact

37 Acknowledgements


6 | Omaha Fire Department

Dear citizens of Omaha, I am very proud of the Omaha Fire Department’s commitment to public safety and the accomplishments of 2016. Upgrading equipment, technology and staffing is a priority of our administration. In an emergency, firefighters need the best tools possible. Last year, 24 recruits graduated from the Omaha Fire Department Training Academy. After a five-year absence, Truck 53 returned to service. Truck 53 responds to fires, medical calls and technical rescue incidents including search and rescue, rope, water and ice rescues. We also replaced five medic units and vehicles for our Battalion Chiefs and inspectors and purchased new portable radios, personal protective equipment for our firefighters, water rescue gear, and cameras. The Omaha Fire Department installed more than 1,200 smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to keep families safe and we created the Aspen and Alley Project, a collaboration between the Omaha Fire Department and the Aspen Drake Seamann Foundation to promote fire and water safety education to children. With a grant from State Farm Insurance, Alley the arson dog has joined the department. In 2016, Omaha firefighters responded to 50,995 emergency calls. I am pleased to present the 2016 Annual Report which provides an overview of these important emergency and community services. This report will give you a better understanding of all the duties of an Omaha firefighter. I look forward to continued excellence in our fire, rescue and emergency medical services, fire prevention and education, and community service. Sincerely,

Jean Stothert Mayor, City of Omaha

2016 Annual Report | 7


It is my privilege to present the 2016 Omaha Fire Department Annual Report to Mayor Jean Stothert, respected members of City Council and the citizens of Omaha.

8 | Omaha Fire Department

As Fire Chief, my priority has been to efficiently manage our budget in a manner that improves service delivery to our community, while at the same time, providing the necessary tools, training and technology to the members of our department who provide that service. This past year, we continued to exemplify the language found in our department’s mission statement to serve our community with integrity, professionalism and compassion. Opportunities have propelled our department into the role of an industry leader. We serve in this capacity and are leading our industry in areas of Electronic Patient Care Reporting (EPCR) and highly infectious disease transports (Ebola) and we have developed polices and set industry standards that have caused other departments to reach out to us for feedback so that their own departments can flourish. To highlight some of our accomplishments in 2016, it is with enthusiasm that I report that once again, our department was able to end the fiscal year with a significant budget surplus. This accomplishment is the result of the hard work of many, who diligently identified our department’s priorities while maneuvering through the year with a conservative fiscal philosophy in mind.

2016 was a big year in terms of budgetary support as we were awarded a 2.486 million dollar Federal Grant that is being utilized to replace end-of-life portable radios. This grant was submitted with a regional approach in mind and will supply radios for not only the Omaha Fire Department, but also seven regional departments including Ponca Hills, Irvington, Ralston, Bennington, Waterloo and Valley. This communications upgrade is expected to enhance interoperability between departments that will provide a dividend in terms of service delivery to our community.

who are tasked with supervising and mentoring each candidate through May of 2017. After completing the FTO program, which includes training to the level of Emergency Medical Technician Basic or Paramedic, Hazardous Materials Operations and Firefighter I & II, candidates will be confirmed to serve members of our community during their greatest times of need.

To conclude, I want to share the pride I feel as I recognize efforts of the members of our department. Their dedication to our community’s wellbeing is unwavering and I personally applaud their In addition to upgrading our communi- efforts. cations equipment, our department took possession of three new Aerial Appa- I would also like to express my sincere ratus that will serve our community in gratitude to our City’s leaders who the downtown, central and north-central have selected public safety as their quadrants of our city. Twelve Inspector number one priority. Our City’s Mayor, cars, five Battalion Chief’s vehicles and Cabinet Team and distinguished City two heavy-duty utility vehicles were Council members have all thrust their also added to our fleet. Each piece of support behind our efforts allowing us to new apparatus enhances our ability to achieve the level of preparedness that respond to calls to service, emergency we are currently relying on to serve the incidents, and occupancy inspections in citizens of this great City. a safe and efficient manner. Very Respectfully, I would also like to commend our newest candidate class for graduating the fire academy and joining their crews in the field. This class of twenty-four spent the remainder of 2016 working Daniel C. Olsen with their Field Training Officers (FTO’s) Fire Chief, Omaha Fire Department

2016 Annual Report | 9









#5 #6



SERVICES OVERVIEW The Omaha Fire Department is comprised of individuals filling roles in suppression who actively provide fire and EMS response, as well as individuals working in an administrative capacity to oversee fire suppression activities.

Fire Management is currently comprised of a Fire Chief and four Assistant Fire Chiefs. Three of the Assistant Fire Chiefs are assigned a suppression shift (A, B or C), and a single division to oversee. An administrative Assistant Chief oversees the remaining three divisions.

The administrative aspect is divided into six divisions: Each division is led by a Battalion Chief who reports to the members of Fire Emergency Medical Services Management. Fire Investigation Unit The OFD service area is divided geoFire Prevention Division graphically into seven battalions. Each Public Education Program battalion also has a Battalion Chief assigned to oversee all suppression Safety & Wellness Division personnel for each shift that is assigned Information Services Division to their battalion. Technical Services Division Training Division Special Operations Program

10 | Omaha Fire Department

The Omaha Fire Department currently operates out of 24 stations throughout Omaha. Each day there is a minimum of 176 suppression personnel on duty to adequately protect the citizens of Omaha.



1 Fire Chief

1 Secretary I

3 Assistant Chief

1 Secretary II

27 Battalion Chief

1 Account Clerk

1 Assistant Fire Marshal

1 Senior Clerk

3 EMS Shift Supervisor

1 Special Projects Coordinator

130 Fire Captain

1 Public Education Specialist

106 Fire Apparatus Engineer


369 Firefighter 0 Probationary Firefighter

640 TOTAL SWORN PERSONNEL 2016 Annual Report | 11


Services & Equipment $8,934,587


Personnel $89,591,437

$98,526,024 Total 2016 Budget

DEPARTMENT ALLOCATIONS Fire Emergency Response Operations $81,435,653


Fire Administration $9,340,231 Fire Emergency Response Training $2,257,129


Fire & Life Safety Education/Prevention $2,299,647


Firefighter Safety, Health & Wellness $1,347,737


Fire Investigation Unit $1,164,871


Technical Services $680,756

12 | Omaha Fire Department




New Hires

Name Date # Years Capt Charles Circo


24 Years

Capt Edward Swindle


24 Years

Capt Lawrence Mitilier


20 Years

FAE Floyd Brown


20 Years

Fire Chief Bernard Kanger


25 Years

Capt Anthony Gaines


23 Years

Capt Darryl Washington


22 Years

Class of 24 Hired on 1/19/16 Matthew Slobotski Eric Larson Andrew Cuva Alexander Emerson Jacob Perreault Christopher Lewis Gregory Eckstrom Jr. Eric Cohen Aaron Clemsen David Friend


Robert Schlosser

Name Date Promoted Rank

Justin Andersen

Michael Sena



Cody Brdicko

Scott Alff


Fire App. Engineer

Ethan Donica

Steve Conlin


Fire App. Engineer

Lucy Christensen

Daniel Olsen


Interim Fire Chief

Breanna Koch

Patrick Driscoll



Samuel Ferguson

Kraig Kilton



Stacey Rybar

Clay Lincoln


Fire App. Engineer

Dave Thorson



Jarrett Guenette

Michael Francis



Raymond DeLoa

Eric Mauer



Bradley Graham

Daniel Olsen


Fire Chief

Daniel Rue

Kohlman Adema-Schulte Eddie Burns Jr.

2016 Annual Report | 13

14 | Omaha Fire Department


SERVICE AREA OVERVIEW The State of Nebraska has a population of 1,826,341 with 517,110 people residing in Douglas County. Douglas County encompasses a territory of 339.6 square miles and is comprised of six cities with a total population of 517,110. The largest city in Douglas County is the City of Omaha with a total population of 408,958 people.







total population

total population

total population

Reference: 2010 Census Information -

OMAHA FIRE DEPARTMENT SERVICE AREA The Omaha Fire Department covers a service area of 192 square miles, serving a population of 506,022 and a diverse response territory that includes urban, suburban and rural areas of Omaha, Sarpy County and Douglas County. The service area is broken down into seven battalions, with a total of 24 fire stations spread throughout the service area.


Fire Stations Service Area

Battalion 1

Central, 3, 5

Battalion 2

21, 22, 23, 24 Northeast

Battalion 3

30, 31, 33, 34 South Central

Battalion 4

41, 42, 43

North Central

Battalion 5

52, 53, 56

West Central

Battalion 6

60, 61, 63, 65 Southwest

Battalion 7

71, 77, 78






#5 #3 #6


2016 Annual Report | 15

OMAHA FIRE STATIONS Station 1 | 1516 Jackson Street

Station 3 | 3126 S. 16th Street

Station 5 | 2209 Florence Blvd

Station 24 | 2304 Fontenelle Blvd

Station 30 | 6936 F Street

Station 31 | 4702 S. 25th Street

Station 42 | 3120 N.102nd Street

Station 43 | 5505 N. 103rd Street

Station 52 | 10727 Pacific Street

Station 61 | 11111 I Street

Station 63 | 16736 S. Street

Station 65 | 7010 S.142nd Street

16 | Omaha Fire Department

Training | 11616 Rainwood Road

#10 Pub Ed | 1608 S. 50th St

Headquarters | 1516 Jackson St

Station 21 | 3454 Ames Avenue

Station 22 | 6310 Lindbergh Plz

Station 23 | 9090 N. 30th Street

Station 33 | 3232 S. 42nd Street

Station 34 | 956 S. 42nd Street

Station 41 | 4515 N. 61st Street

Station 53 | 18001 Dodge Street

Station 56 | 16410 Pacific Street

Station 60 | 2929 S. 129th Ave

Station 71 | 20474 Laramie Road

Station 77 | 20220 Atlas Street

Station 78 | 2909 N. 144th Street

2016 Annual Report | 17

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division is responsible for ensuring that all OFD paramedics and EMT’s are properly equipped and trained to provide high quality emergency medical services to the community. The EMS Division is overseen by a Battalion Chief and staffed with three Paramedic Shift Supervisors, an EMS Supplies Manager, a QA Officer, a Training Officer, and one civilian secretary. In addition, the EMS Division receives oversight from a civilian Medical Director who is assisted by three physicians, one for each shift. Every sworn OFD employee is either a licensed paramedic or EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), trained to provide either Basic (BLS) or Advanced (ALS) Lifesaving Techniques prior to hospital transport. This means that each OFD apparatus, including all fire trucks and engines, is staffed with personnel who can provide medical support, resulting in a higher level of protection for all citizens of Omaha. If a fire truck or engine can respond more quickly to a medical call than a medic unit, the citizen will still receive medical treatment from that responding company until the nearest medic unit can arrive for hospital transport, if that service is necessary.



CARES Program

In 2016, an Electronic Patient Care Reporting (ePCR) system was implemented in February 2016. This new system will make patient care reporting more efficient, faster, and easier for paramedics to document the care and treatment they provide and provide accuracy for the ambulance billing process.

Eighteen X-Series defibrillators were placed in service in February 2016. These new defibrillators have state-ofthe-art technology such as pacemaker capabilities, reading oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation in the blood, taking EKG’s and transmitting them to the hospital, taking a blood pressure, and of course, defibrillating a patient.

OFD implemented CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival) in Omaha. CARES is a coordinated effort by EMS, 911 Dispatch, and all hospitals to increase survival of patients in Cardiac Arrest. CARES reports show that OFD has a 15% survival rate for cardiac arrest compared to the national average of only 8.7%.

18 | Omaha Fire Department


medic unit dispatches in 2016


trained paramedics


medic units in service

OFD is one of only a very few EMS systems with real world experience transporting highly infectious patients such as Ebola. This is due to the University of Nebraska Medical Center housing a Bio-Containment Unit that specializes in treating highly infectious patients. As a result, OFD has enacted an Infectious Disease Transport Team that specializes in transporting highly infectious patients. In August of 2016, the National Institute of Safety rolled out their Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative (BIDTI). OFD was one of the first departments to receive this specialized training covering essentials such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), protocols, various infectious diseases, etc. In November of 2016, OFD participated in a multi-agency drill that simulated transporting multiple infectious patients from Liberia, Africa to the Bio-Containment Unit at Nebraska Medicine. In addition to this, OFD received a $13,000 grant to fund infectious disease training and to purchase the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used to transport highly infectious patients.

Mission Lifeline Award OFD received the Silver Award from American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline program. Mission Lifeline seeks to acknowledge the work, training and commitment by EMS agencies to improve overall quaility of care for the STEMI (heart attack) patient, by directly influenencing the STEMI System of Care.

2016 Annual Report | 19



The Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) investigates all structure and vehicle fires to determine origin and cause. Fire Investigators are responsible for scene documentation, evidence collection, witness and suspect interviews, and courtroom testimony. If a fire is determined to be incendiary in nature, a criminal investigation is conducted and could potentially end in the arrest of a suspect. If a fire is determined to be accidental, the investigation can aid in the establishment of fire codes, building codes and help with the recall of unsafe appliances through the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The FIU consists of one Battalion Chief, seven Fire Investigators, and one Arson Detection Canine (ADC). There are an additional 15 active duty personnel in reserve investigator status. All 22 are certified law enforcement officers (LEO) who graduated from the Omaha Police Department training Academy.

TRAINING Introductory training opportunities give Investigators experience with real-life situations encountered in police work while providing them the opportunity to work with officers on the Omaha Police Department. All newly sworn LEO personnel complete: • A five-week field training and evaluation program with the Omaha Police Department Uniform Patrol Bureau. • A two-week introduction program with the Omaha Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau. All law enforcement-certified employees receive further training, certification, and continuing education (CE) in the field of Fire Investigation from the National Fire Academy, International Association of Arson Investigators publications, and the National Association of Fire Investigator publications. FIU employees are required by the state of Nebraska to receive 20 continuing education training hours on an annual basis. FIU training topics include: • Law Enforcement • Incident Command


• Emergency Medical Technician • Fire-Related Training

22 Law Enforcment Employees completed 1,235.5 CE hours in 2016

total continuing education hours


total continuing education hours

20 | Omaha Fire Department

Of the 1,235.5 hours, FIU Investigators completed 719 CE hours in 2016

STATISTICS In 2016, FIU conducted:


total investigations Out of the 331 total investigations:


cases were classfied as arson


cases were cleared by arrest *


HIGHLIGHTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS ALLEY THE ARSON DOG FIU added a 7th Fire Investigator in July 2016 with a primary role of an Accelerant Detection Canine (ADC) handler. The ADC is a Labrador named Alley who is trained to sniff for chemicals used in starting arson fires including gasoline, diesel fuel, lighter fluid, etc. Alley is a very valuable tool for the FIU in determining if a fire was caused by a person with an intent of an illegal act. The ADC team attended 200 hours of training in Brunswick, MA learning the important task of accelerant detection during fire scene examinations. Since the ADC team was placed in service, it has assisted in at least two cases which resulted in two arrests of arson suspects, one of which occurred while aiding an outside agency.

Alley the Arson Dog & her handler, Fire Investigator David Sobotka

total criminal arrests made by FIU




Recent upgrades to electronic reporting, has allowed the FIU to use police reporting to accurately and efficiently handle reports and evidence. The addition of an electronic system, has allowed Fire investigators to create reports which can be immediately reviewed by the OPD and City of Omaha prosecutors without delay. With the more efficient use of OPD’s TRACKER evidence program, the FIU is able to document evidence more accurately and efficiently, eliminating the need for additional paperwork and

The FIU has also improved its investigative capabilities by acquiring and installing mobile data terminal computers in our vehicles. This upgrade allows Fire Investigators to more readily obtain vital information during the on-scene examination. This information can include a detailed background check of suspects and property. The computers allow Investigators to start their fire report documentation while still on scene, and to complete other important tasks which can lead to improved safety for the City of Omaha.

arrests made not relating to arson


fires started by juveniles


personnel fatalities


civilian fatalities involved ** In 2016, 22 cases were cleared by arrest, which equates to a 33% Arson Clearance Rate. This is double the national average for cities with a population comparable to Omaha.


The FIU will continue to seek ways to reduce fires and improve safety through training, education, and policy improvements. As Fire Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers, the FIU team is committed to enhancing the quality of life through a reduction in crime, fear, and disorder for the citizens of Omaha.

2016 Annual Report | 21

FIRE PREVENTION DIVISION The Omaha Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division (FPD) is responsible for conducting certified inspections while enforcing the applicable life safety codes and fire protection standards within the 192 square miles of territory in the Omaha area. In addition, the FPD oversees the Fire Management Zone program, in which suppression companies visit and familiarize themselves with occupancies within their particular response territory. The goal of the OFD Certified Fire Inspectors is to minimize the risk of life and property loss from fire by observing, enforcing, and eliminating hazardous conditions. As of December 31, 2016, the FPD had a total sworn complement of ten inspectors, all of whom report to an Assistant Fire Marshal who helps coordinate and evaluate their activities. Six of these inspectors specialize in one of the following areas: tanks, schools, daycares, residential, plan reviews, and state re-inspections. The remaining four inspectors are assigned to conduct inspections in one of the four quadrants of the city: southeast, southwest, northeast, and northwest.


New Additions


The Risk Management Zone (RMZ) program was also very successful in 2016, whereby suppression companies conducted over 3,200 ** familiarizations of occupancies within their response territories. When conducting familiarizations, companies observe and note the following information: addresses on the structure, fire department access, fire department connections, fire hydrant locations, status of the building (in use or vacant), construction type, exits and exit signage, conditions of stairways and doors, and emergency lighting.

The FPD welcomed a new bi-lingual Community Education Specialist to our Public Education Office this year. This person serves our department by educating the public on issues such as fire safety, community engagement, and recruiting.

FPD Companies familiarize themselves with each Omaha building’s fire protection equipment including fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and kitchen hood systems. Suppression companies are also assigned assembly inspections throughout the year to check the maximum occupancy load for a structure as well as performing holiday inspections of retail occupancies during the month of December. There were 7,427** certified inspection activities performed by the certified inspectors in 2016.

22 | Omaha Fire Department

We also welcomed Alley the Arson Dog to the OFD in 2016. Although Alley is assigned to the Fire Investigation Unit, she is used extensively at school and community public education events. Alley is a huge hit with children and adults alike!

FMZ Familiarizations

Inspection Activities



OPERATIONS FIRE PREVENTION ACTIVITIES Assembly Fire Inspections Vacant Property Inspections Fire Drills Fire Pre-Plans

Operations Activities 19 172 848


In conclusion, the FPD continues to serve the citizens of our community through a well-managed, progressive approach to fire prevention and education. FPD has streamlined internal processes and increased public education efforts to include a community-wide risk-reduction program. This effort includes a new pre-planning process designed to increase safety to both the public and OFD firefighting personnel. ** Accomplished in 2016 included the full implementation of the Acella software which greatly increased the efficiency in how inspections and fees are documented and information shared with other City Departments. Due to this transition, all FPD and Pub Ed statistics included in this report are approximate.

2016 Annual Report | 23

PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM The Omaha Fire Department’s Public Education (Pub Ed) Program is responsible for spreading the message of fire safety to individuals of all ages within our community. This mission is critical, as oftentimes the public’s first impression of the OFD comes from a public education activity or presentation. The goal of the Pub Ed program is to take a proactive approach to raise awareness and educate the public on fire safety and how to protect their home, business, or family in the event of a fire or catastrophe. Pub Ed takes a community-prevention approach, enlisting the help of volunteer and community organizations to promote this message.




An integral part of the Pub Ed program is the smoke and carbon monoxide detector outreach component. The OFD is committed to keeping our citizens safe, and through the generosity of the First Responders Foundation, OFD personnel are able to install smoke/CO detectors in homes throughout Omaha free of charge. In the event that the home already has a working smoke detector, personnel will replace the battery for free instead. The First Responders Foundation donates each smoke/CO detector installed by OFD personnel. With their support, the OFD was able to install 1,218 smoke/CO detectors and replace 37 batteries for the citizens of Omaha in 2016.

In addition to providing combination Smoke/CO detectors, thanks to an Assistance to Firefighter Grant, free smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing have been added to OFD’s inventory and OFD provides free installation of this equipment, as well.

Pub Ed also offers a program for youth interested in the Fire Service. The OFD Fire Explorers Post #535 is comprised of 14-19 year olds who complete 24 hours of training at the Omaha Public Safety Training Center, allowing them to participate in non-emergency events. The Pub Ed division assists these youth in learning about the skills needed to become firefighters. The youth also volunteer at various Pub Ed events throughout the year, particularly during the summer months. This program is supported by the Boy Scouts of America and the Learning for Life Foundation. Twelve individuals participated in the Fire Exploers program in 2016.

24 | Omaha Fire Department

Detectors Installed Batteries Replaced 1,218


Public Education by the numbers




4 Operation Incidents

Press Releases

PIO Activities Public Relations

Community Meetings

Press Conferences



308 308

Pub Ed Events



PLEASE NOTE Implementation of Acella was completed mid-2016, therefore all Pub Ed & FPD statistics included in this report are approximate.

Recruiting Events

All School Assemblies

Fire Safety Presentations Public Education Events


Career Fairs



PUBLIC INformatioN

A federal grant allowed OFD to hire a part-time Youth Fire Stopper (YFS) Coordinator in 2015 and certified nine OFD personnel as Youth Fire Stopper counselors. Certified YFS personnel conduct and assist in youth intake sessions and educational classes. These classes are taught by the YFS counselors with the assistance of the Volunteer Fire Corps, Omaha Police Department and the Nebraska Medicine Burn Unit to educate Omaha youth who have played with or shown interest in matches and lighters or who have been caught or arrested for starting fires. Youth Fire Stopper classes were attended by 128 students in 2016.

The OFD places a high level of importance on educating the public about fire safety. One of the ways this is executed is by having an OFD Pub Ed employee assigned to the role of Public Information Officer (PIO). The PIO is the point of contact for all media relations pertaining to OFD activities. This individual is responsible for all press releases and press conferences and is also the spokesperson for the OFD at all second alarm or greater fire incidences. Any interviews or media contact with suppression personnel is coordinated through the PIO. Additionally, the PIO speaks to community groups and neighborhood associations on behalf of the OFD.

Youth Fire Stopper Activities



Alley the Robot Fire Dog assists Pub Ed personnel with teaching Fire Safety during outreach events!

2016 Annual Report | 25

SAFETY & WELLNESS DIVISION The Omaha Fire Department recognizes that firefighting is inherently dangerous and that it is vitally important to continuously evaluate safety concerns to prevent injuries or more serious consequences. The Safety and Wellness Division (SWD) works to ensure that each OFD employee goes home safe and healthy at the end of each day. This division is comprised of one Battalion Chief, one sworn Fire Services Personnel Manager, and one civilian secretary. Major responsibilities of the SWD are to ensure that safety procedures are being followed in all aspects of the job, to coordinate these safety efforts, to perform follow-up action on safety concerns, to ensure that State and Federal regulations are being met, and to implement policies that adhere to fire department standards, guides, codes, and regulations. Furthermore, the SWD coordinates all associated paperwork and reassignments for personnel injured on-duty or those with long-term illness or injury. Workplace safety is always a major focus area for the SWD.

CITY-WIDE Training

Dangerous structures


SWD personnel, along with the City of Omaha Human Resources Department and Omaha Police Department, began an extensive review and improvement of Infectious Disease Control processes. The goal is to bring all city employees under the same procedures in 2017. The training involved with this process will bring the City of Omaha up to date on the most current national practices and standards.

A Dangerous Structure program was established in 2016. Dangerous structures identified by suppression crews are marked and documented. This documentation follows a process that ensures photos and hazards are shared with all OFD personnel. This program also partners Omaha Fire with City Planning and results in rapid removal of these structures in a more prioritized approach.

Starting at the end 2016 and into early 2017, a second fire hood was issued to all personnel. A recent study by the Illinois Fire Service Institute in conjunction with NIOSH and funded by a Federal grant , showed dirty fire hoods can lead to a significant amount of absorption in the neck area. Having an available second hood addresses the issue of re-exposure to toxins from previous fires.

occupational health In 2016, the SWD managed the occupational health needs of over 637 firefighters for TB, Hearing, N95 fit testing, SCBA Face piece fit testing, managing immunization records, Flu shots, Haz Mat physicals and Infectious Disease exposures.

Safety committee SWD actively manages the OFD Safety Committee meetings and has been designated as the OFD representative on the City of Omaha’s Safety Committee, as well.

26 | Omaha Fire Department

Looking forward, in 2017, the SWD’s biggest project is with the OFD Information Services Division and the University of Nebraska at Omaha to develop a SWD personnel database. This database will track personnel events such as accidents, injuries and exposures. It will also track tests such as hearing, TB testing, fitness testing and immunizations, allowing the capability to effectively track personnel health events as well as allow personnel access to their records at will. Other goals for the upcoming year include continuous improvements to the Health and Wellness Program; seeking more efficient medical exams and ensuring consistency in performance metrics. SWD also will continue to review SOP’s to ensure current smart practices and national standards of Safety, Health and Wellness are reflected. Each goal and program implemented by the SWD is geared toward keeping the health and safety of OFD personnel in the forefront while seeking cost saving measures to provide these services as efficiently as possible to the City. SWD will continue to seek ways to reduce workplace injuries and improve safety through training, education, and policy improvements in 2017.

2016 Annual Report | 27

INFORMATION SERVICES DIVISION The Information Services Division (ISD) is responsible for providing technical support for the OFD’s many computer programs and hardware/software specific to the fire department. While the OFD receives computer and IT support from the Douglas Omaha Technology Commission (DOTComm), as do all City departments, there are programs maintained and overseen exclusively by the ISD. It is crucial that OFD data is properly maintained and tracked to remain compliant with fire service standards and State and National requirements. ISD is staffed with sworn personnel filling the following roles: one Fire/EMS Information Specialist and two Information Systems/Research Specialists. This division is overseen by the Safety and Wellness Division Battalion Chief. The ISD staff were successful in many areas throughout 2016, attending education events, representing OFD at technology demonstrations, and assisting many divisions with data management and project facilitation.


Patient Care Reports


ISD continues to use the most current tools in data reporting. These tools enable the OFD to submit NFIRS exports to the National Fire Protection Association and update the NFPA 1710 data model to better reflect the wide array of services and quality of proctection provided by the OFD. OFD is also able to develop and deploy data models using online data reporting.

Electronic Patient Care Reporting System (ePCR) continues to improve our patient care continuity with the area hospitals. The standardized transfer of patient information from Medic unit arrival at the patient through discharge continues to evolve via HL7. HL7 is the federally mandated standard that ensures HIPAA security and patient care information portability.

A federal grant purchased over 60 iPads to be used for the enhancement of public safety. The iPads serve to increase both the services and efficiency with which we serve the public in Fire Prevention. The iPads are used to replace paper documents with electronic input. Examples of improved efficiencies are smoke detector requests/installations, submission of electronic checklists, preplan of target hazard occupancies, and preplans of all commercial occupancies. When submissions are made, the system is updated citywide and within seconds and all of that data is available to Incident Commanders at active incidents.

ISD also implemented a new online database to replace excel asset-tracking. This technology advancement enabled Mobile Asset Tracking, allowing OFD to efficiently track millions of dollars of assets, and a Safety Wellness Database to track accidents, injuries, exposures, immunications and all other pertinient medical testing information. This advancement makes all data easy to query and allows personnel to access their personal data. It also allows OFD to efficiently maintain data for the required 30 years post-employment period for personnel.

28 | Omaha Fire Department

OFD has been working closely with local hospitals and Zoll Medical to integrate a fully digital reporting system that inserts patient care information directly from Medic Unit laptops into the hospital patient care report making it nearly instantly available to the physicians at the hospital. The planned evolution of the Omaha HL7 project is a closed loop feedback system. This feedback loop will allow OFD and all participating groups to ensure best practices by comparing field interventions with patient outcomes, post hospital discharge.

ISD has been working with an outside vendor to develop electronic checklists via a Java web application. The application will allow OFD to electronically submit the many required daily and monthly checklists. This will result in a significant improvement in the efficiency of maintenance and tracking equipment, stations and other assets.



Upgraded Equipment

Extensive data capabilities has enabled OFD to partner with the Academic community for the benefit of the Citizens of Omaha. The ISD has formed partnerships with UNMC College of Public Health, University of Nebraska at Omaha GIS Division, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln Biostatistics Division

ISD continued to strengthen OFD’s working relationship with the Douglas County GIS Division, with the new iPad program being the most recent development in the GIS program. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) implementation has improved OFD’s efficiency and the services rendered to the citizens of Omaha by utilizing Maps and Business analytics.

A Request for Proposal for upgraded Fire Station Alerting Systems will be submitted for 2017 deployment. This detailed process began in 2015.

ISD represented OFD on the national stage for education, presentations and participating in technology forums including the Zoll Summit in Denver, Colorado. In addition to this, OFD has been active with the State of Nebraska in exploring the possibility of a Public Safety Broadband Network in Nebraska. The State committee regularly solicits input from the OFD. OFD members are also consistently sent as representatives to various national meetings, furthering our strategic partnership with the State of Nebraska.

The GIS system contributes to response times by evaluating how OFD responds to specific fire zones and pre-plan high value target hazards, determining best placement of resources such as engines and medic units and how we determine best placement of new fire stations.

New Portable Radios have also been ordered to replace current inventory, which is over 10 years old. This process began in 2015 with a grant application filed. Notification of the grant award occured in June 2016 with a planned roll out by May 2017 after an evaluation of the new radios in field use has been completed. Additionally, ISD staff assist in grant proposals and applications, supplying numbers and data to support requests for grantfunded equipment and software for the department.

ASSET MANAGEMENT In 2016, Graduate students from the Master of Science (MS) in Management Information Systems (MIS) program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), develped an Asset Management System for OFD as their final Capstone Project. Each day, OFD personnel use hundreds of different assets to provide services to the citizens of Omaha. Prior to the development of the Asset Management System, excel sheets were being utlized to keep track of all OFD assets which was not only time consuming but also involved high overhead costs. The Asset Management Sytem was developed with the goal of improving department efficiencies and reducing overhead costs.

Screenshot of the new OFD Asset Management Tracking System, developed by UNO Graduate Students during the Fall Semester of 2016.

Photo from the presentation of the OFD Asset Managment Tracking System. Photo Credit: University of Nebraska at Omaha’s website.

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TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION DIVISION OVERVIEW & EQUIPMENT UPGRADES The primary responsibility of the Technical Services Division (TSD) is to keep all vehicles, equipment, and buildings in working order by serving as the department liaison with Fleet Management, Facilities Management, and contracted vendors. TSD also works with Douglas County 911 communications and DOTComm regarding communications equipment and telephone services. As of December 31, 2016, TSD had a total complement of four sworn personnel: one Battalion Chief who oversees the division, one Logistics/Repair and Delivery Coordinator, one Fire Apparatus Coordinator Foam/ Water Supply Specialist, and one Facilities and Turnout Gear Specialist. TSD is responsible for the repair and replacement of firefighting gear and equipment. This includes but is not limited to Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs), Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), saws, extrication equipment, forcible-entry tools, ropes, ladders, hand lights, nozzles and hoses. When possible, equipment is fixed in-house by TSD staff. If unable to fix equipment in-house, TSD utilizes vendors that handle such repairs.

Thermal Imaging Cameras Three new MSA 6000 TICs were purchased in 2016 and assigned to TR1, TR34, and TR41. These MSA 6000s meet the new NFPA certification guidelines. Other TIC manufactures have allowed the OFD to field test their thermal imagers. These demo TICs have been randomly placed on trucks and engines around the city to gain feedback on their interoperability/usability and image quality.

Lion Total Care (LTC) The most common repair needed on turnout gear has always been Velcro. With the last specifications written, a Velcro warranty was added, requiring the vendor to replace any Velcro that was damaged beyond use within the first five years. In 2016, over 50 pieces of turnout gear were refurbished with new Velcro by the manufacturer, at no cost to the City. This warranty will extend the life of our existing turnout gear. TSD is able to continue sending more gear in for LTC repair due to the good stock of loaner gear.

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Personal Protective Equipment

In 2016, several significant steps were taken in an effort to adopt more recommendations from NPFA-1851 in terms of the selection, care and maintenance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All OFD Battalion Chiefs were certified in NFPA-1851 Advanced Inspections allowing them to efficiently and effectively inspect PPE.

New Equipment Extractor Washing Machines Four additional extracters were purchased in 2016, bringing the total to nine for the deaprtment. The additional extractors will be installed in 2017 to provide each battalion with their own extractor. Loaner Gear A total of 15 sets of new loaner gear were purchased in 2016 to better stock TSD with gear to checkout to firefighters when their personal equipment is getting repaired or cleaned. PPE Hoods Starting at the end 2016 and into early 2017, a second fire hood was issued to all personnel. A recent study by the Illinois Fire Service Institute in conjunction with NIOSH and funded by a Federal grant , showed dirty fire hoods can lead to a significant amount of absorption in the neck area. Having an available second hood addresses the issue of re-exposure to toxins from previous fires.

EQUIPMENT UPGRADES Return to Previous Helmet Model Cairns 660C In 2016, the standard helmet was switched to the prior model, Cairns 660C. The helmet was switched after receiving feedback on the 1044 model in regards to its weight, balance and usability. Also with this change, a 5% reduction in the cost of the helmet was seen. Switch to Lion Commander Gloves TSD evaluated the value/performance of its current glove, Protech Fusion 8, and decided to wear test other options. Dozens of gloves, comprised of several brands/models, were wear-tested during 2016. It was determined that the Lion Commander glove would perform much better and save money with a slight price increase but also an expected increase in durability and longevity. The glove is designed with Kovenex fabric accommodate ease of donning/doffing when wet from previous fires.

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FIRE TRAINING DIVISION The Omaha Fire Department Training Division’s mission is to ensure that safe and effective emergency service professionals are trained to effectively serve the City of Omaha. The Training Division accomplishes its mission by preparing probationary fire candidates for assignment to suppression forces and ensuring they will successfully complete the confirmation process; providing reality-based training opportunities to all OFD personnel; researching and acting as a proving ground for all proposed upgrades in firefighting technology and innovations in fire service strategy and tactics as reflected in the Standard Operating Procedures; and acting as the leader in providing professional growth and employee development opportunities to the members of the OFD.


New Recruits

Training Topics

The Training Division is disseminated through multi-company school education and reality-based training scenarios. Numerous training techniques are utilized for the purpose of suppression personnel obtaining professional development and mastery of the latest innovations in the strategy of extrication, hose advancement, ventilation, and search and rescue.

The Omaha Fire Department Training Division welcomed 24 recruits in January of 2016. Phase 1 of the training required the recruits to go through 16 weeks of training. The recruits graduated from the academy on May 6, 2016. The recruits then started Phase 2 of their training which includes assignment to a Field Training Officer for a period of one year.

In 2016, each member of the Omaha Fire Department received Fire and Special Operation continuing education and skill development training. This continuing education and professional skill development training was coordinated by the Training Division personnel. This specialized training included various topics and techniques, as listed below.

Joint Active Shooter Training with Omaha Police Department

Incident Command Refresher Training Program

Personal Protective Equipment (Including SCBA Training)

Law Enforcement/EMS Rescue Task Force Procedures

Emergency Vehicle Operations and Procedures

Stabilization Techniques (Para-Tech, Cribbing, & Air-Bags)

Response Modifications Phase 1 Training

Firefighter Basic Survival & Confidence Techniques

Ice Rescue Training

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The Training Division completed Incident Action Plans for the College World Series, United States Presidential Visit, United States Republican and Democratic Presidential Nomination Events, United States Olympic Swim Trials, and the U.S.A. Triathlon. These IAP’s provided by the Omaha Fire Training Division were completed for the purpose of improving the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of fire department emergency operations.

In 2016, the Training Division assisted with various examinations. Training assisted the State Fire Marshalls Office with the Fire Officer 1 Course and Examination as well as the implementation of the Fire Officer 2 Certification Course, as well. In addition to assisting the State FM Office, the Training Division also assisted the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association with State Fire School in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Douglas County Health Department Full Scale Exercise



The Training Division also participated in other events including assisting with the Battalion Chief Promotional Testing and the Fire Captain Promotional Testing processes.

Training also assisted with completing upgrades stemming from several thousands of dollars in grant money for the Training Tower & Class B training props.

OFD Peer Support Group Training Scotts SCBA Certification Training NFPA 1851 – Standard on Selection Care and Maintenance of FF Gear National Fire Academy Command and Control of Incident Operations Fire & Life Safety Educator 1 Course Police and Fire Action Day Firefighter I State Testing Firefighter II State Testing Local Area Volunteer Fire Department Training Events

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SPECIAL OPERATIONS Program The Special Operations Program, a program within the OFD Training Division, provides OFD personnel with training for emergency situations that require specialized skills. The Special Operations Program is overseen by the Training Division with several personnel assigned specifically for this program. The Special Operations Program continued to sustain its core capabilities by staying current with technology through regular ongoing training and maintenance of special operations equipment. The Special Operations Program continued its partnership with multiple agency’s within Omaha and the surrounding areas and continued to demonstrate its joint operational capabilities by conducting and participating in numerous joint training, exercise and events with a multitude of different agencies.

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NEMA Workshops

In 2016, the Omaha Fire Department’s Special Operations Program moved forward with multiple training courses, environmental and security coverage of several high profile event, grant funded training, and equipment purchases:

State Homeland Security Grant Investment Justification

UNMC Hyperbolic & Dive Medicine Training

Hazardous Material Area Rae Metering with 72nd CST

Ice Rescue Hovercraft training with Council Bluffs Fire Department

Hazardous Materials Technician Refresher Training

MRI Response training with UNMC

Hazardous Material Decontamination training with NEMA & CERFP

Haz-Mat Chemical Response Exercise with the 72nd CST at Storz Brewing Ammonia Response training with Papillion Fire Department Emergency Worker Decontamination exercise for OPPD Plant with NEMA, FEMA, DCEMA, CERFP and OPPD Task Book training including: technician level rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, and rapid intervention

State Homeland Security Grant Threat and Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment NEMA Incident Management Team

Hazardous Material Identification and Defensive Operations Training


Hazardous Material &Terrorism Response Training with OPD

Provided environmental Monitoring for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series & the 2016 US Olympic Swim Trials

Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Training Swift Water Rescue Training Structural Collapse/Shoring Training

Provided unified Incident Command with OPD & DCEMA and Water Rescue coverage for the 2016 USA Triathlon National Championships

Confined Space Rescue training with Council Bluffs Fire Department

Public Safety Dive training conducted at local lakes & MUD Waste Water Treatment Plant

Provided Water Rescue coverage of multiple local Triathlon events

Rescue Boat Sonar Training with Papio NRD, IA NRD, & DCSD

Grant funds purchased, MX4’s, Ammonia, T40 Rattlers and Sensors

Provided oriented TTX exercise planning for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo

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In 2016, the Omaha Fire Department shipped important life-saving and emergency medical equipment to Omaha's sister city, Xalapa, Mexico. Four ambulances, "Jaws of Life", and breathing equipment for firefighters were shipped to Xalapa by Union Pacific and Kansas City de Mexico railroads. Xalapa Mayor Americo Zuniga Martinez flew to Omaha to accept the donations.

Each year, the Omaha Fire Department participates in various Salvation Army donation drives including the following events:

"We have communities that are very far from hospitals and this donation will be very helpful for emergency calls and protection," said Mayor Zuniga Martinez. "The firefighters are heroes in Omaha and now they are heroes in Xalapa too."

Salvation Army Food Drives Numerous times per year, OFD partners with the Salvation Army for their food drives and each OFD fire station acts as an official drop-off location where citizens can drop off their donations. Salvation Army Toy Drive Each winter, OFD partners with the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots program to collect toys for needy children in the Omaha community. Each OFD fire station acts as an official drop-off location where citizens can drop off new, unrwapped toys. Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family Program Each year during the holiday season, OFD personnel collaboratiely adopt multiple individuals and families via the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. In 2016, a total of two large families were adopted for the holiday season. In addition to this, three aged adults were also adopted through the Early Nebraska Office on Aging

Photo of one of the used OFD ambulances donated to Xalapa, Mexico. Photo Credit: Mayor Jean Stothert’s social media page.

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A donation box from the 2016 Toys for Tots campaign - donations were accepted at all OFD stations.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you for viewing the Omaha Fire Department’s 2016 Annual Report. We hope this report provided a detailed overview of the services provided by the men and women of this department and highlighted notable achievements and activities performed in 2016. If you would like further information on our services, or to view a current phone list for each division, please visit our website at

The Omaha Fire Department is grateful for every contribution we receive, and we would like to extend a special thank you to the First Responders Foundation for their steadfast dedication in helping to maintain OFD programs that assist the citizens of this community. In particular, we would like to thank their hardworking Chairman of the Board, Mr. Jim Young, and their committed President/Executive Director, Mr. Ray Somberg. For further information on this organization, please visit

Moving into 2017, the Omaha Fire Department will continue to focus on increasing community engagement efforts and recruiting practices. A Community Engagement Committee has been assembled, consisting of OFD personnel and City of Omaha Human Resources personnel, with a purpose and vision of building and strengthening relationships within Omaha. The committee will be reaching out to community groups throughout Omaha to provide support and to increase awareness regarding the resources provided by the Omaha Fire Department. The committee will also be in attendance at multiple community meetings and events including the Empowerment Network’s weekly Omaha 360 meetings, the South Omaha Violence Intervention and Prevention (SOVIP) meetings, and other various community outreach events. If you would like to request a member from the Omaha Fire Department to attend your organization’s event, please contact our Public Education Department at 402-444-3560.

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Integrity. Professionalism. Compassion.

2016 Omaha Fire Department Annual Report  
2016 Omaha Fire Department Annual Report