Posted: January 12, 2019

Twinsburg Fire Department celebrated a mile stone in May of 2019, Twinsburg Fire Department celebrated 100 years of serving the Twinsburg Community. May 1919 brought the first 25 members together as they founded the Twinsburg Fire Department. Initial equipment was housed in Bowens Garage (corner of Rt 91 and Rt 82) in 1923. In 1956, the department moved to new quarters, next to the current VFW on Ravenna Rd. In 1979, they moved to the current quarters on Ravenna Rd. By the late 1960’s the Twinsburg Fire Department started providing Emergency Medical Services to the community. The Department took another big step in 1989 by becoming a fulltime career department. Firefighters maintain three rotating shifts, working 24 hours on duty and have 48 hours off, manning the station every day of the year. Station 2 on Glenwood Dr. was completed and opened in 2007.

NFPA and what is it?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The NFPA’s vision: To be the leading advocate for the elimination of death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.

The NFPA’s mission: To help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion.

The NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering their mission. NFPA membership totals more than 50,000 individuals and Fire Service Organizations around the world.

What are NFPA Standards? They are consensus standards developed by specific industries to set forth widely accepted standards of care and operations for certain practices. Standards are an attempt by the industry or profession to self-regulate by establishing minimal operating, performance, or safety standards, and they establish a recognized standard of care. Standards are written by consensus committees composed of industry representatives and other affected parties. The NFPA has many standards providing guidance to fire departments. The standards are intended to be followed in order to protect fire and rescue personnel from unnecessary workplace hazards. They establish the standard of care which may be used in civil lawsuits against fire and rescue departments.

The NFPA publishes standards that identify the minimum job performance requirements for career and volunteer firefighters whose duties are primarily structural firefighting in nature. These standards ensure qualifications of persons engaged in firefighting and prevention activities. It is not the intent of the standard to restrict any jurisdiction from exceeding the requirements.

Regardless of whether compliance with an NFPA standard is voluntary or mandatory, fire and rescue departments must consider the impact of these "voluntary" standards. The NFPA standards will be used for comparison and evaluation on many levels. The question before us is related to firefighter safety and to mitigate any risk a fire department may have in the initial or continuing training of their firefighter staff. NFPA standards are just that--a performance standard to measure skill qualifications and the ability of a firefighter to accomplish their job during structural events. For most firefighters, this standard is the gospel to which we train.

The NFPA standards are recommendations and guidelines developed by committees of chief officers, volunteer representatives, union officials, and industry representatives. NFPA standards have become the "standard of care" for the industry. When litigation is considered, lawyers often turn to the applicable standard of care in determining their course of action. It is up to decision-makers in political jurisdictions to determine levels of acceptable risk and the degree of liability exposure they will tolerate. In general, the use of a standard would guide an attorney to determine what the "standard of training" should be set against a nationally formulated standard.

Careful consideration should be applied to the dangers when NFPA standards are not followed. In today's litigious society, an injured firefighter or angry home or business owner will be looking to place the blame for their losses on a deep pocket organization for failure to correctly follow a nationally recognized standard. An attorney will be looking to those standards and others should a law suit be filed.

In 1998 the City of Twinsburg entered into a contract with Gary Snyder of Architectural Resource Corporation (ARC) to perform a study to determine how many fire stations were needed for protection and where to locate fire stations within the City and the contracted service to Twinsburg Township. The study’s goal was to provide optimum care and response time to every citizen protected by the Twinsburg Fire Department. The study and report cost the city nearly $18,500.00 (City Ordinances 130-98 & 111-99) and was presented to City Council on January 18, 1999. The report, a 29-page document, proposed multiple options for station locations, providing optimal coverage to the city and township. Most of the proposed options for station placement contained three appropriately manned stations.

ARC utilized many different factors and data in coming up with the station locations, including travel time, personnel on duty, water availability, fire growth time, detection time, reporting of the emergency time, setup time, Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support recommendations, NFPA guidelines and Insurance Service Office (ISO) guidelines.

The ARC study & report is nearly 20 years old and has not been fully implemented. In 1999, Two ladder trucks were purchased in conjunction with this plan, as well as the building of Fire Station 2 (2605 Glenwood Blvd.). Since opening Fire Station 2, the plan has gone stagnant.

In 2017, Twinsburg Firefighters Local 3630, partnered with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) to assemble a study on the Twinsburg Fire Department, analyzing manning, services and response to calls for service. The IAFF study and report were completed and delivered in February of 2018. This study evaluates staffing levels and minimum staffing required for optimal service. This report details suggested manning for current and future fire stations.

Staffing levels effect the department’s ISO rating, which in turn affects the business’s and resident’s insurance by raising or lowering rates. When a department has an ISO audit it looks at training, equipment on hand, record keeping, staffing and many more areas.

ISO Ratings are on a scale of 1-10 with the lower the number the better. Currently Twinsburg Fire Department holds a rating of 4 with ISO.

The IAFF report was provided at no cost to the City or its residents. The report contains data comparing the Twinsburg Fire Department to NFPA standards.

Population in 1990 in the city was 9606. In 2017 it was 18959 which is a 197% increase.

Call volume in 1990 was 813 calls. In 2017, it has increased to 2916 calls. That represents a 359% increase in calls. Twinsburg Fire Department manning has remained unchanged since 2003.

These reports were generated with data available through a Public Records request. Both are available for download below.

Fire Department Study