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MEMORANDUM TO:

Mark McCormack, Planning and Zoning Director Dearborn County, Indiana

FROM:

Clancy Mullen, Vice-President Duncan Associates

DATE:

March 9, 2012

RE:

Fire/EMS Study, Existing Conditions Memorandum – Staff Review Draft

This memorandum provides a summary of available data on fire and emergency medical service (EMS) providers in Dearborn County. The initial data collection effort involved a questionnaire sent out to each of the fire and EMS providers serving the county. Follow-up inquiries by telephone, facsimile transmission and email resulted in additional information. Fire Protection

Fire protection in Dearborn County is provided by 14 agencies. Their characteristics are summarized in Table 1. Three are city departments, while the rest are non-profit volunteer fire departments (VFDs). The city-affiliated fire departments (Aurora, Greendale and Lawrenceburg) serve 36% of the county population, and generally have at least one full-time employee. Non-profit, fully-volunteer fire departments serve the rest of the population. About 8% of the county population is served by VFDs located outside the county (Friendship, Harrison, New Trenton and Sunman). No information on operating costs or revenues was obtained from three of the outsidecounty providers, nor from the Moore’s Hill/Sparta Township Fire Department. Nevertheless, we were able to get information from fire providers serving 88% of the county population. Table 1. Summary of Fire Protection Providers In-County No. of Fire Agency 2010 Pop. Stations Aurora Fire Dept. 6,501 1 Bright Volunteer Fire Company 13,699 3 Dillsboro VFD 2,975 1 Friendship VFD 235 1 Greendale Fire & Rescue 3,978 1 Harrison Twp Fire Dept. 870 2 Hogan Twp VFD 1,344 1 Lawrenceburg Fire Dept 7,523 2 Manchester Twp Vol Fire & Rescue 3,369 2 Miller York VFD 1,736 1 Moore's Hill/Sparta Twp Fire Dept. 2,964 1 New Trenton VFD 580 1 St Leon FD & First Responders 2,107 1 Sunman Rural Fire Dept. 2,134 1 Total 50,015 19 duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Ownership City Non-Profit Non-Profit Non-Profit CIty Non-Profit Non-Profit City Non-Profit Non-Profit Non-Profit Non-Profit Non-Profit Non-Profit

Muncie in 47304

Type Part-Time* Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer 1 FT + vol. Volunteer Volunteer 6 FT + vol. Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer

765-215-3559

Annual Calls/1000 Info Calls Persons Avail. 279 43 yes 219 16 yes 104 35 yes 7 30 no 209 52 yes 49 56 no 43 32 yes 377 50 yes 91 27 yes 37 21 yes 103 35 no 33 56 yes 69 33 yes 372 174 no 1,988 40

eric@duncanassociates.com

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* staff paid per hour on duty and per run.

duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Muncie in 47304

765-215-3559

eric@duncanassociates.com

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The areas served by each of the fire providers and the locations of their fire stations are illustrated in Figure 1. Figure 1. Fire Protection Service Areas

Annual operating costs and response times for the nine fire departments that provided information are summarized in Table 2. Although some of the departments provide both fire and EMS service, an attempt was made to separate out operating costs for the two functions. Operating costs per person provide a rough measure of the cost of service, although it should be kept in mind that this will somewhat overstate costs for departments that serve a large amount of nonresidential development (such as the cities). The two measures of service quality are average response times and percent of missed calls (missed calls are not reflected in response times).

duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Muncie in 47304

765-215-3559

eric@duncanassociates.com

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Table 2. Fire Department Operating Costs and Response Times Ann. Op. Fire Agency Cost Aurora Fire Dept. $198,558 Bright Volunteer Fire Company $113,059 Dillsboro VFD $78,550 Greendale Fire & Rescue $266,455 Hogan Twp VFD $28,000 Lawrenceburg Fire Dept $949,240 Manchester Twp Vol Fire & Rescue $120,000 Miller York VFD $97,544 St Leon FD & First Responders $19,973 Total $1,871,379 Source:

2010 Pop. 6,501 13,699 2,975 3,978 1,344 7,523 3,369 1,736 2,107 43,232

Ann. Cost/ Avg. Resp. % Missed Person Time (min.) Calls $31 5.26 0.4% $8 5.32 1.4% $26 6.92 0.5% $67 6.66 0.0% $21 5.01 3.5% $126 4.71 0.1% $36 5.38 7.7% $56 3.65 5.4% $9 3.73 0.0% $43 6.09 1.0%

Annual operating costs from questionnaires; 2010 population from Dearborn County;

average response times and percent missed calls based on 2010 and 2011 data from Dearborn County.

One might expect that there would be a correlation between the amount spent on operating costs and the quality of service. These data are plotted in Figure 2 below. As would be expected, operating costs are highest for the city fire departments that have one or more full-time personnel (Greendale and Lawrenceburg). These departments do not have exceptionally low response times, but they have almost no missed calls. With the exception of St. Leon, all of the other fire departments miss more calls. The next lowest in missed calls is Aurora, which pays its personnel hourly and per run. So while there does not appear to be a correlation between cost and response times, there does seem to be a relationship between cost and fewer missed calls. Figure 2. Operating Costs and Service Quality

One might also expect that a larger service area population would be associated with lower operating costs per capita, due to economies of scale. However, this does not seem to be the case, as illustrated in Figure 3. In general, operating costs per capita tend to increase with the size of the service area population. Nevertheless, the Bright Volunteer Fire Company, which has the largest service area population, does have the lowest cost per capita. The advantages of economies of scale duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Muncie in 47304

765-215-3559

eric@duncanassociates.com

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may be masked by the fact that the next three largest service areas are served by city fire departments with some paid staff. Figure 3. Service Area Population and Operating Costs

Annual operating costs and revenues for the nine fire departments are summarized in Table 3. The fact that revenue exceeds operating costs is likely attributable to the fact that some of the departments have not included periodic capital outlays in the annual costs. Not surprisingly, most of the revenue is derived from city or township property taxes. Other revenue sources include riverboat gaming, fund-raisers and donations. Table 3. Fire Department Annual Operating Costs and Revenues Fire Agency Aurora Fire Dept. Bright Volunteer Fire Company Dillsboro VFD Greendale Fire & Rescue Hogan Tw p VFD Law renceburg Fire Dept Manchester Tw p Vol Fire & Rescue Miller York VFD St Leon FD & First Responders Total

duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Ann. Op. Cost $198,558 $113,059 $78,550 $266,455 $28,000 $949,240 $120,000 $97,544 $19,973 $1,871,379

Muncie in 47304

City/ Tw p Taxes $198,558 $194,821 $38,493 $266,455 $19,000 $949,240 $90,000 $61,645 $4,736 $1,822,948

765-215-3559

Other Revenue $0 $52,649 $0 $0 $9,000 $0 $16,000 $26,000 $34,472 $138,121

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Emergency Medical Service

Emergency medical service (EMS) in Dearborn County is provided by nine non-profit organizations. The areas served by each provider are illustrated in Figure 4. The Harrison and Sunman areas are served by providers located outside the county. St. Leon First Responders provides back-up first response but not transport for portions of areas served by four EMS providers (shown as a grey slashed area). Figure 4. EMS Service Areas

duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Muncie in 47304

765-215-3559

eric@duncanassociates.com

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The County provides annual funding of $20,000 per year per ambulance, up to two ambulances. St. Leon First Responders receives this funding even though they do not provide transport (they also do not charge any fees for service). Information on operating costs was provided by six of the nine EMS providers and by St. Leon First Responders. Lawrenceburg has eight full-time professionals, which is reflected in its higher operating cost per capita, while Sunman provides incentive pay to volunteers. Table 4. Summary of EMS Providers Served Annual Co. Funding Annual EMS Provider 2010 Pop. Ambul. Co. Funding per Person Oper Cost Aurora Emergency Rescue, Inc. 7,655 2 $40,000 $5 $295,860 Bright Fire & EMS 15,717 3 $40,000 $3 $242,505 Dillsboro 2,981 1 $20,000 $7 n/a Greendale EMS 4,288 2 $40,000 $9 $150,000 Harrison 1,856 1 $20,000 $11 n/a Lawrenceburg Emergency Rescue Unit 7,724 1 $20,000 $3 $650,000 Manchester Twp Vol. Fire & Rescue 3,251 1 $20,000 $6 $40,000 St Leon First Responders* n/a 1 $20,000 n/a $25,368 Sparta 3,180 1 $20,000 $6 n/a Sunman Area Life Squad, Inc.** 3,348 2 $40,000 $12 $194,908 Total 50,000 15 $280,000 $6 $1,598,641

Annual Cost/Pop. $39 $15 n/a $35 n/a $84 $12 n/a n/a $17 $36

* first responder, no transport (covers part of Sunman, Harrison, Bright and Lawrenceburg)

Information on calls for service for the last two years, average response time in minutes and percent of missed calls is summarized in Table 5. The higher number of calls per 1,000 persons in Lawrenceburg and Aurora may partially be due to a higher percentage of nonresidential development. The very high call volume per ambulance for Lawrenceburg suggests that a single ambulance can handle a relatively large call volume with a reasonable level of service. Table 5. EMS Calls and Response Data, 2010-2011 EMS Provider Aurora Bright Dillsboro Greendale Harrison Law renceburg Manchester St Leon 1st Responders Sparta Sunman Total

Served 2010 Pop. 7,655 15,717 2,981 4,288 1,856 7,724 3,251 n/a 3,180 3,348 50,000

Annual Calls/ 1000 Calls Persons 865 113 579 37 281 94 345 80 145 78 1,225 159 158 49 94 n/a 190 60 158 47 4,038 81

Calls/ Avg Resp Ambulance Time 432 7.11 193 6.91 281 4.20 173 3.73 145 16.45 1,225 5.89 158 5.69 94 2.62 190 3.85 79 11.12 269 6.40

% Missed 5.1% 3.4% 14.0% 3.1% 0.5% 0.0% 30.7% 0.7% 24.9% 0.4% 5.2%

Response times and percentages of calls missed are illustrated in Figure 5 on the next page. Two out-of-county providers (Sunman and Harrison) have the longest response times, although they miss very few calls. Three of the providers with better response times (Sparta, Dillsboro and Manchester), miss a large percentage of their calls, ranging from 14% to 31%. Lawrenceburg Emergency Rescue Unit, which has the most full-time professional staff, has a slightly better-thanaverage response time but does not miss any calls.

duncan associates

2312 west Audubon drive

Muncie in 47304

765-215-3559

eric@duncanassociates.com

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Figure 5. Average Response Time and Missed Calls

Annual cost and revenue information was obtained from four EMS providers, and these data are summarized in Table 6. In general, insurance payments cover almost three-fourths of EMS operating costs. Table 6. EMS Annual Costs and Revenues EMS Provider Aurora Emergency Rescue, Inc. Bright Fire & EMS Manchester Tw p Vol. Fire & Rescue Sunman Area Life Squad, Inc. Total Percent of Costs

Annual Oper Cost $295,860 $242,505 $40,000 $194,908 $773,273 100.0%

County Funding $40,000 $40,000 $20,000 $40,000 $140,000 18.1%

Insurance $247,372 $184,244 $14,000 $122,435 $568,051 73.5%

Other Funding $23,000 $0 $0 $42,120 $65,120 8.4%

Summary

Another fire/EMS cost is dispatch, which is provided by Dearborn County. While annual cost data are not available from all service providers, a reasonable estimate of county-wide costs can be made based on the percent of population served by those who provided information. It is clear that EMS costs are a relatively small part of the total tax-supported cost, since most EMS costs are covered by medical insurance. Table 7. Annual Fire/EMS County-Wide Cost Summary

Annual Fire Costs Annual EMS Costs Annual Dispatch Costs Total Annual Costs

duncan associates

Available Information $1,871,379 $1,228,365 $1,093,313

2312 west Audubon drive

% of Co. Pop. 86.4% 91.5% 100.0%

Muncie in 47304

Estimated Paid with Total Taxes $2,164,994 100.0% $1,342,563 13.9% $1,093,313 100.0% $4,600,870

765-215-3559

Est. Tax Cost $2,164,994 $186,885 $1,093,313 $3,445,192

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Fire ems exist