|OFD Restructuring Report 6/16/2014|
|2014 Operational and Feasibility Study|
|Summary of 2007 MMA Report|
|2007 Independent MMA Feasibility Study|
This page is intended to address questions that are received by the Oswego City Fire Department related to the Feasibility study or Department operations in general. Questions can be asked through the feedback button on this page.
Where did the data for the comparison to other Fire Departments come from?
1.There is no government or other agency that we know of that compiles and maintains the data we needed to conduct our comparisons. We had to compile this data manually.
2. NYS Fire Department data.
a. This data was compiled by calling a representative from each known fully career Fire Department that does not operate an ambulance. Not all departments were able to be contacted but a good majority were. Each was asked three questions. How many FF do they have working minimum (Minimum Staffing), How many calls do they respond to annually, and what is the population they serve. The population was checked against the US Census bureau and if a discrepancy existed the US Census was used. If a department had more Min FF working at times than others. For example: if a Dept had 8 FF working during the day and 6 at night we used the average of the two (7) as the min manning. Some Departments would not have the exact number of calls answered but would say between 3300-3400. In those cases we used the lower of the numbers provided or 3300 in that example.
3. National Comparable
a. We used the census bureau to find cites nationwide with similar population bases. Once a city was established by similar size we searched the local fire departments website for the same information. Minimum Staff, call volume, and used the census population value.
Why did you use the lowest paid Fire Fighters in your payroll savings?
1. For the purpose of payroll savings we based the payrolls on actual FF working that would be displaced in the discontinuance of an ambulance service. Their actual base salary was used. The purpose of this is if the Ambulance were discontinued and the total Fire Department staffing was reduced it would be these payrolls that would be eliminated first. This gives an absolute accurate dollar amount to what the city would save in payroll. To use an average salary would cause the estimated savings to be higher than the actual savings realized should the Ambulance be discontinued.
2. To this base payroll we added the appropriate additional costs such as Taxes, Insurance, Retirement Contribution, etc. It's important to mention that not everyone's fringe package was the same cost or the same percentage. For example, FF number 1 may have single coverage health insurance which costs the city X where FF number 2 has family Health Insurance which costs Y. The difference in health insurance or other specific factors would also change the real savings the city would realize.
3. Some firefighters are in different State Retirement Tiers and contribute partially to the NYS retirement fund. In these cases the portion that is actually paid by the city was used verses the entire retirement contribution paid. With FF in Tier 2 the entire contribution was used as it is all paid by the city. In Tier 5 and 6 the employee contributes a portion and this was illustrated in the estimated savings.
4. There was no expense deducted for Workers Comp or unemployment insurance. According to the Oswego Chamberlain's office there is no direct expense related to this as the city is self-insured. According to The Chamberlain if we were to "layoff" firefighters the cost of their unemployment would be paid by the city at that time. Therefore, in this case there is no expense to the city for NYS unemployment insurance. Discontinuing employment of these FF's would not save any money but if they were to collect unemployment benefits after discontinuance of employment this expense would be paid by the city. This was not figured into the payroll savings equation. If it were, it would reflect an even larger deficit than presented.
How do you know what the hours of overtime spent working on the ambulance are?
1. Ambulance Overtime Payroll. Whenever overtime is authorized it is logged as to what category it falls into. The only categories that could be affected or removed by discontinuing an ambulance service are "Ambulance Hold Overs" and "Ambulance Call Ins". Both of these categories were discussed in the presentation and the total hours were presented for those categories as they totaled in 2013. This represents an accurate estimation of what the expected savings from overtime could be in 2014 if the Ambulance were discontinued.
How did you determine the Non Payroll expenses of the ambulance?
1. Non Payroll Ambulance Expense
a. These expenses were estimated by looking at each individual budget line item and comparing to actual expenses in those categories in 2013. As explained, Not all expenses could be eliminated as we would still respond to most of the EMS calls as a First response service. Estimations were made based on 2013 expenses that could have been eliminated if we had not been operating an ambulance.
How did you determine that the primary Ambulance is only on calls 20% of the time?
1. This was estimated by sampling 1 month in 2013 and comparing how much time was spent on each ems call by the primary and back up ambulance crew as compared to the total number of hours worked in those roles for that month. The total number of hours spent on the main ambulance as compared to 744 total hours was the basis for the 20% value. That was the actual time spent in the sampled month. The same holds true for the backup ambulance.