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Referred Question 2C - Fire Department Ranks and Grades


 
 

Ballot Title

Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to add emergency medical technician as a rank in the fire department and to allow the chief of the fire department to assign an assistant chief to the duties of shift commander who shall serve at the pleasure of the chief?

Note: The Ballot Title will not appear in the Denver Revised Municipal Code. The text of the measure that will appear in the Denver Revised Municipal Code is listed below under Full Text.

Ballot Question Details

Referred Question 2B – Arts and Venues Facilities

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER:

Section 1.     There is hereby submitted to the properly qualified and registered electors of the City and County of Denver for their approval or rejection at a special municipal election to be conducted at the same time and in conjunction with the general election to be held in the City and County of Denver on November 5, 2019, a proposed amendment to the Charter of the City and County of Denver, as follows:

Effective upon publication and filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the State of Colorado, the following section of Part 5 of Article IX of the 2002 Charter of the City and County of Denver shall be and are hereby amended by adding the language underlined, to read as follows:

§ 9.5.4 - Ranks and Grades in the Fire Department.

(A)  The Classified Service of the Fire Department shall only consist of the following ranks and grades:

(i)  Rank: Assistant Chief, Master Mechanic, Superintendent of Fire Alarm, Assistant Superintendent of Fire Alarm, Assistant Master Mechanic, Captain, Fire Systems Technical Specialist, Mechanic, Lieutenant, Engineer, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician.

(ii)  Grades of Firefighter: 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade.

(iii)  Grades of Fire Systems Technical Specialist and Mechanic: I, II, III, IV, V.

(B)  The Chief of the Fire Department may from time to time assign Firefighters 1st grade to perform the duties of Technician, each of whom shall perform such duties so long as the individual's services are satisfactory to the Chief of the Fire Department and the Chief shall see fit to continue such assignment.

(C)       The Chief of the Fire Department may from time to time assign Assistant Chiefs to perform the duties of Shift Commander, each of whom shall perform such duties so long as the individual's services are satisfactory to the Chief of the Fire Department and the Chief shall see fit to continue such assignment.

(D)  The duties of the rank of Engineer shall include driving and operating any vehicle other than an automobile in the fire suppression activity, and only Engineers shall be permanently assigned to perform these duties. 

As prepared by the Department of Finance:

Methodology:
Current State: The Denver Fire Department (DFD) is currently operating a Medical Unit within the defined types of responses to calls for service. The category of ranks currently staffing the response vehicle are a Captain, Lieutenant and/or Engineer.  These ranks are operating the Medical Unit through the use of overtime. In addition to the creation of a Emergency Medical Technician, DFD is requesting the assignment authority of Shift Commander which currently resides in the collective bargaining agreement. If passed, this change will align the City’s Charter with the collective bargaining agreement, resulting in no financial impact.

Financial Impact:
If the rank of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is approved, the salary associated with the rank will be aligned with the duties of an EMT. DFD’s authorized strength will increase by approximately five positions in 2020 to staff the Medical Unit with Emergency Medical Technicians. The increase in authorized strength will not require additional budget because the Medical Unit is currently supported through overtime costs. All future salary changes to the rank of Emergency Medical Technician will be determined through the collective bargaining process. There is estimated to be no financial impact to the City and County of Denver to create the rank of Emergency Medical Technician.

The proposed changes include two components that will allow Denver Fire Department to operate more effectively and efficiently – creation of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) rank for its Medical Unit and the ability for the Chief to designate a Shift Commander. The Medical Unit is an alternative response vehicle and an innovative program created by the Denver Fire Department. The Medical Unit provides basic life support services in areas with identified high call volumes in a more cost-effective manner than a traditional response. The rank of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) within the Denver Fire Department would allow the department to more efficiently staff the Medical Unit. The cost savings would allow for increased hours of operation and the possibility of expanded services in additional identified high call volume areas. The rank of EMT would provide another career path into the Denver Fire Department. The rank of EMT and the Medical Unit improves health outcomes and life safety by ensuring all citizens receive basic life support medical treatment. The rank of Shift Commander in the Denver Fire Department increases efficiency within the department’s Operation Division. Denver Fire Shift Commanders operate as a dedicated Incident Safety Officer on significant incident scenes to ensure a higher margin of safety for firefighters.  The rank of Shift Commander currently exists in the Denver Firefighters Local 858 collective bargaining agreement so this change reflects the designation in that agreement.

No arguments against this question were submitted.

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