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Campbellsville F-R provides 2020 annual report
2020 Annual Report
By Chief Chris Taylor, Campbellsville Fire-Rescue
2020 what a year... right? We want to be the first to thank you for your support during this difficult year. Our team has faced increased concerns this year with COVID-19 just like everyone else has. Every run our members think, "is this the time that I contract the virus? What if I bring it home to my family?" That is the harsh new reality that we lived in 2020.
Who would have thought we would close out 2020 with a historic massive fire at a 120,000 sq ft facility with over 100 firefighters on scene from 13 different departments. One thing is for sure about the year 2020, our team has been focused on service to the community just like it did in 1914 when the department was created.
Our team never missed a step and performed to the best of their ability. This has been the busiest year on record for the CFD with over 1,200 responses. We have had a 70% increase in run volume since I became Chief in 2016.
This year I worried... A lot!
I worried about our budget. I worried about layoffs. I worried about the safety and health of our staff.
We have been very fortunate with no major health issues this year. We started very early on preventive measures, I strongly believe our aggressive preventive measures kept us safe from spreading COVID inside CFD.
We were also fortunate to not have to lay off any employees during the pandemic. Our budget did suffer some this year, but we were fortunate to spend over $195,000 in grant money this year for needed fire and rescue projects!
One of the most important projects of my career started this year. This was the development of the new 3-acre Fire-Rescue Training Facility located on Trace Creek Drive. This is phase I of a III phase project. Firefighters must have a place to train and develop those critical skills needed for fire and rescue operations. Our most important training piece is the Affordable Drill Tower. It was secured from a grant through the Kentucky Fire Commission. The City of Campbellsville and Taylor County Road Department were critical in this project with the land acquisition, support and land work needed for this project.
Now firefighters will have a solid platform to build on for future training and training props. There is a saying in the fire service and it is "You can't train too much for a job that can kill you". You have to have training -experience -practice -judgment for success in this field. This facility gives us a solid foundation to train and practice on a daily basis.
Another important project that I was given this year was to serve as the temporary Director of Campbellsville Taylor County EMS. This project WAS NOT something that I wanted to do or planned on doing at any point in my career. Putting my personal thoughts aside, when local leaders asked me to take this project, this was something I needed to do for the EMS employees and community. I know the importance of the interlocal agreement and how it effects emergency services in Campbellsville and Taylor County. It is a huge factor in how emergency services is paid for our residents and visitors. I knew if something positive didn't happen there was a possibility of outsourcing emergency medical services. I had spent ten years serving in emergency medical services and I know the value in a local EMS agency and the importance to keep it operating efficiently.
I was tasked with financial administration and my sole mission has been to improve the payroll situation. I was able to identify that unscheduled overtime was a major problem in looking at timesheets and I was able to develop a plan. While this plan wasn't popular with some EMS staff it was necessary to reduce the operating budget while keep the same services.
We have been able to reduce unscheduled overtime wages by 39% and decrease overall payroll budget by 4% in just 5 months all while battling increased sick and vacation time. When you compare the last five months with last fiscal year same time period we have already saved over $62,000 on the payroll budget. We are on track to save even more money if they follow the same plan. The interlocal committee has worked together with emergency services chiefs and has a vested interest in ensuring its success for Campbellsville and Taylor County. I am thankful for their oversight and support.
While this year has been dynamic, I know we could count on all emergency services to provide services for our community. Our team is ready to close out 2020 and I know our we are prepared for whatever happens next 2021. Our motto "difficult anytime, impossible by appointment" has definitely been true for 2020.I pray that we all can move forward and have a better 2021. "Thank you" to all of our staff's hard work, dedication and drive. Also "Thank You" to the family at home that supports our first responders. - Chief Taylor
This story was posted on 2021-01-06 06:11:15
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