Fire Division Chief, Patrick Warren accepts the Accreditation with the Center for Public Safety Excellence representatives.
As you may well know, Fire Division Chief, Patrick Warren was terminated almost two years ago for misconduct while suffering from mental illness. But after two years, his accomplishments still keep popping up. In fact, the mayor went as far as claiming a couple of the Top Wins for 2015 were due to such great leadership at the SFFD;
Sioux Falls Fire RescueÂ was presented with ISO Class 1 designation and accreditation with the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Patrick Warren was the accreditation manager on the department for 8 years and successfully got the department reaccredited twice â€“ including this last time they’re counting as a win. When Pat went to the conference in Henderson, NV to accept the award, Sideras supposedly ASKED to him â€œDo I really need to be there?â€ Pat told him no, technically he wasn’t required to be there but he was the only fire chief that chose not to be there out of the dozen or so departments that were being accredited or reaccredited. So the Commissioners set up a conference call and made SiderasÂ sit on the phone during the reaccreditation board hearing.
One of Pat’s other duties was ISO compliance. On the City’sÂ last review, the SFFD missed getting an upgraded rating by just a couple of points. Pat knew that opening a new station would be enough to improve our rating. When Mayor HuetherÂ finally allowed construction, Pat arranged for the land purchase, made it through station design, and the week after the ground breaking Patrick was terminated. But the ball was rolling, and we were going to improve our ISO rating once the station opened.
One of the items accreditation is basedÂ on is response times and improving those response times. In 2013 and 2014, the fire department responded to 90% of its emergency calls (travel time) in 5 minutes 0 seconds and 5 minutes 3 seconds respectively. With the addition of a new station and and another crew, they should be able to at least hold steady on that number if not improve it slightly.
But in a strange twist, Chief Sideras set a goal of 5 minutes 12 seconds. In the accreditation manual it states that is the slowest time you can meet and still be accredited. But what he seems to notÂ understand is the self-improvement process of accreditation. If the department is meeting 5m3s, and he sets a goal of 5m12s, the department will be deemed â€œnot credibleâ€ and be required to change that goal toÂ realistic goal. Accreditation is about setting new goals when you reach the existing ones, not setting ones you’ve already met so you can easily meet them and boast about your easy victory.
The chief did the same thing with the ISO measurement of fire loss. In 2013 there was $2.5 million in property damage/loss and in 2014 $3.1 million in property damage/loss. So what did Sideras set as a goal for 2015 and 2016? Â Less than $4.4 million. That’s a pretty big increase. Once again another easy goal for another easy win.
If they’re going by ISO and accreditation, I feel like a couple of people mentioned above owe the former fire division chief a big THANK YOU on some very BIG WINS!
Other people besides Warren worked on accreditation also (Battalion Chiefs and the Data Analyst). One of the Battalion Chiefs also happened to be the only other one who knew anything about ISO and helped Warren with it, Mark Bukovich. He’s also the only one who would have known to call ISO and have them come back for the re-scoring the department after the station opened. But I guess when you’re the CHIEF/MAYOR you get to take all the credit.
Former Fire Division Chief Patrick Warren contributed to this article.