"What is ATL's ISO rating?"
It is now Class 3. It was lowered from Class 2 (very good) to Class 4 (needs improvement) in 2008. The department was able to get it as high as Class 3 (good) in 2009 through improving staffing and some "creative" documentation. One of the biggest obstacles to regaining the Class 2 or 1 rating is the long-standing issue of the department not having a decent training facility. Personnel are trained in an elementary school building long abandoned by APS. It simply does not and never will meet the standards of a modern fire training facility. However, even after years of pleading, the city has not invested in a new facility. Until that happens, expect to pay higher property insurance rates as your FD is held back from excellence by it's lack of appropriate facilities to train it's firefighters.
I saw the billboards, but I did not see the word "mayor" or the name "Kasim Reed" anywhere on them. Funny how guilt can make people act out isn't it?
ATL Fire Stations are "over supervised." They work 24 hour shifts and have a Fire Captain (at a rate of about $60k+ a year) in charge of every station on every shift. It often works like this; The A shift Captain is a "go getter." Runs a tight ship, know his or her stuff backwards and forwards, and has the admiration and respect of his/her crew. The B shift Captain is not quite as gung ho but will do what is required. Only problem is he/she has the people skills of a wart and is not fully trusted. The C shift Captain is lazy as a turd. His crew loves him because he never makes them do anything on time. When he is pushed, he has his crew do a half-assed job and you get the rest. Add in personalities and the situation usually worsens.
Here's my plan: Assign ONE Captain per station. Divide them up so there are an equal number on duty each day but at different stations. Have Lieutenants supervise each of the other two shifts and report directly to the Captain. One Captain runs the station, makes assignments for station duties via the Lts. and coaches and mentors the Lts. as they receive meaningful training and preparation for becoming one of those Captains. You have a much improved and efficient work site, and the taxpayers save about $200,000 per year, per fire station.
Yes, it will take longer to become a Captain because there are only one-third as many of those positions, but when they get there they will be ready.
As an AFRD retiree (Battalion Chief) I floated this idea several times during my tenure as a cost saving measure. You would have thought I farted in church! "That's cutting jobs!" "We can't do that!" "We'll never get those positions back if we give 'em up!" I heard it all, but I still stand behind the idea to this day.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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