Fire Operations

The purpose of the Operations Division is to provide emergency services directly to the Citizens, Businesses, and Visitors of Smith County. This mission is the constitutional duty of Smith County Emergency Services District 2. These services include Fire Suppression, Rescue, and Emergency Medical first response.

Our Vision is to utilize and improve the skills and dedication of our staff and volunteers and to constantly improve operations and services for the citizens of Smith County.

Our Mission is to be the leading Emergency Service District by meeting the needs of our community in fire prevention, fire suppression, rescue operations and emergency medical response in the most effective manner possible.

List of Accomplishments:

  1. Hiring Phase One- Whitehouse, operations opened Whitehouse Station as a 48/96 staffed station.
  2. Hiring Phase Two- Relief staff hiring, operations hired staff to ensure an appropriate staffing model to reduce the cost of overtime, and to work towards better NFPA compliance on the incident scene as it relates to safety.
  3. Hiring Phase Three-Winona District, by the end of the budget year the Winona district will have 48/96 staffing.
  4. Operations Command Staff restructuring- The addition of a second Assistant Chief, the title change of the Division Chief of Training along with progress on the Operations Headquarters Building Two, built out a more robust Command Team to handle the daily operations and long-term planning of the district.
  5. Apparatus purchases- The Command Teams sought out opportunity to purchase apparatus that could arrive in a shorter time frame than standard production. This allowed there to be some relief in the aging fleet concerns.
  6. Continued to provide topnotch training to the members of the organization either in house or though professional development opportunities.
  7. Staff worked with service providers and the Board to develop the initial long range plan for the district.
  8. Significant work to develop and improve partnerships within Smith County, and the Region.

Challenges Faced:

Despite these achievements, we encountered several challenges that demanded our concerted efforts to overcome:

  1. Service Delivery: Assuring all calls for service are answered without regard for time of day, or available staffing. Part Time stations continue to be a significant part of this challenge.
  2. Budget Constraints: Limited financial resources posed challenges in funding critical projects and optimizing support service operations effectively.
  3. Standardization: Apparatus and equipment throughout the district are not standardized, which reduce efficiency during emergency response.
  4. Assets at End of Life: Many pieces of equipment or facilities are beyond their capability or useful life therefore resulting in significant downtime or developing work arounds to meet current needs.
  5. Training Gaps: Many members of the District have different training levels. This wide range gap creates situations of inefficiency while on the scene of emergency incidents.
  6. Limited ability to enhance EMS response: Currently the district has limited ability to enhance its EMS response, due to how EMS is structured the district has limited, and below national standards in training or technology advancements available.

Initiatives for the Upcoming Year:

Addressing these challenges and building upon our accomplishments, we have charted out the following initiatives for the upcoming year:

  1. Budget Optimization Strategy: We have developed a comprehensive plan in partnership with the rest of SCESD2’s divisions to maximize the impact of available funds and prioritize projects based on critical needs.
  2. Enhanced Training and Support: Provide continuous training and support to our workforce to ensure they are proficient in new tactics, technology, and safety methods. This includes shortening the gap between members so that all members are capable of providing the same services.
  3. Implementation of the Long Range Plan: Continue working diligently to implement the plan presented to the ESD Board of Commissioners, and further enhance the plan by future development.
  4. Enhance Service Delivery: Bring new technology, and equipment to the district to take the current service delivery capability to the next level.
  5. Internal Risk Reduction: Develop new safety initiatives based on best practices to operate in a safer, and efficient manner to reduce the overall risk to the organization and its members.
  6. Community Risk Reduction: Continue to build relationships with Community stakeholders, provide public education, and develop plans that will reduce the risk to the Community.

With the unwavering dedication of our team and the support of the board, we are confident in our ability to overcome challenges and deliver even greater success in the years to come.

Thank You,

Eric V. Greaser

Fire-Chief of Operations

About the Lucas Device Project

To enhance our service to the citizens, we are looking to improve our EMS capability by adding a Lucas device to each front line engine. This will allow our first responders to provide the best resuscitation CPR both on scene and enroute to the hospital.

When rescuers are shorthanded, the LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System allows EMS personnel to perform other lifesaving actions. The device gives you with ability to maintain consistent chest compressions while managing other aspects emergency situations.

  • Reliable – Over 25,000 LUCAS devices are being used in the field by EMS teams around the world.
  • Connected – LUCAS 3.1 is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connected. This device will automatically send post-event reports and device notifications over e-mail.
  • Quality Compressions – LUCAS 3 devices are programmed to deliver guideline-consistent compressions every time. Compressions are always delivered at the optimal rate and depth, allowing chest recoil and increased blood flow to the brain. This delivers uninterrupted compressions for 45 minutes using the internal battery.

Total of 7 Lucas 3.1 devices for all staffed front line engines.

About the Water Rescue Project

Water Rescue and Recovery requires personnel with specialized training and equipment operating in extremely dangerous and dynamic environments with increasing regularity. Flood events tend to be regional occurrences, covering large areas, that tax local departments with responsibility to the own constituent’s safety first and neighboring communities second.

Smith County cannot rely on a regional response from another municipality, often an hour away at a minimum, if they are available at all. Our intent is to build and SCESD2 Water Rescue and Recovery team to immediately respond to life-threatening water events within our county.

Smith County ESD2 is fortunate to have several members, among both paid and volunteer personnel, that have many years of experience in military and civilian roles in water rescue, salvage, and dive recovery operations. Several of those members will serve as a board of advisors, developing policy, procedures, and operating guidelines that will build this team into an invaluable asset for Smith County and our neighboring communities, when needed.

This project will be a multi-year project that combines, training, policy/procedure development, and equipment to build a fully functional team. We are planning for this development to take approximately 36 months to achieve technical completions and response readiness.

About the Wildland Shelters Project

Currently we have 42 wildland shelters available for our firefighters to use, which is insufficient. We need to be able to provide a shelter to all qualified and assigned firefighters to ensure they have the best protective equipment possible.

We would need to purchase 100 shelters to issue to all qualified personnel, plus a small cache available for wild land incident response.

This project will complete the shelter portion of the project that was started last fall. At that time there were not enough shelters available for purchase by the district. Vendors have now replenished their stock.

About the Wildland Response Module

A key feature of our Logistics program is the operational support and readiness aspect. To be able to keep our citizens safe, we need to be able to respond to large scale events quickly. The key to quick response is preparedness. This module allows us to expand our capabilities relative to the size and complexity of the incident.

Working with the Operations department, we are developing a few readiness items and the wildland response module is the result of that collaboration and teamwork.

Being able to have the assets to deploy at short notice will greatly increase the capacity of firefighters on scene of an expanding incident, and reduce the impact on the citizens affected

Items requested for the wildland response module are as follows:

  • Hand tools: Rogue Pick Hoes, (10), shovels (10)
  • Hose - 2000’ each of the following sizes: ¾”, 1”, 1 ½”.
  • Hose adapters - 1" NPSH x 1" NH (5)
  • Nozzles – 1” break apart, ¾” ball bearing (12)
  • Wildland shirts and pants in common sizes (10 sets total)
  • Leather Gloves (12 M, 12L, 12 XL)
  • Goggles (24)
  • High temp Lip Balm
  • Visine
  • Bandanas (24)
  • 2 pallet containers with lids. (Uline H-7831-G)
  • All terrain pallet jack

About the GSAR Project

Ground Search and Rescue or GSAR is a proven and demonstrated discipline of Public Safety. This component plays a significant part in the successful location and resolution of lost and missing person cases. Often times teams work in conjunction with local law enforcement on these cases. Specialized training is required to participate in these events. Training such as Incident Management, mapping, data tracking, search techniques, and crime scene preservation are all examples of this specialized training.

Smith County ESD2 currently has personnel trained to handled GSAR emergencies. In fact the current GSAR member have had successful recoveries of missing persons in partnership with local law enforcement. However, the challenge faced is a lack of equipment. The current members have spent money out of their own pocket to purchase very basic equipment for themselves. This request seeks to request funding to allow for the purchase of necessary equipment to continue to outfit the GSAR team and further its capability.