Fire and EMS Consulting
Based on the type of project and study requirements, Triton will refer to and utilize current industry best practices, along with relevant national standards promulgated by a wide variety of associations and organizations that develop consensus standards for the fire service, EMS, communications, and other related services.
Where necessary and relevant, standards will be utilized from organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Insurance Services Office (ISO); Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI); Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS); Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS); applicable health and safety requirements; and state and federal regulations relative to the fire service, EMS, and other emergency services. The following lists the types of studies we have conducted for an assortment of clients. However, it is important to note that any of these studies can be customized to meet our client’s needs.
- Emergency Medical Services Studies
- Consolidation/Regionalization Studies
- Long-Range Master Plans
- Community Risk Assessment/Standards of Cover
- Customer-Centered Strategic Plans
- Accreditation Guidance
- Fire Station Location Planning
- Succession Planning
- Staffing Analyses
- Fleet Management Studies
- Deployment Studies
- Management Studies
- Communication Technology & 911 Studies
- Financial Analyses & Revenue-Generation Studies
- Prevention & Life-Safety Studies
- Customer-Designed Special Studies
- Ambulance Contract-Compliance Studies
- First Responder Fee Studies
- Ambulance Feasibility Studies
Emergency Medical Services Studies
Triton has conducted numerous EMS studies involving fire-based and other public ambulance service providers. Although EMS studies vary in format (based on the community’s needs), they typically include:
- Comprehensive evaluation of the EMS organization(s)
- Review of each of the components of the entire EMS delivery system
- System regulations and policies
- Financial analysis and revenue streams
- Management and administration
- Capital improvement plans
- Operations, deployment, and non-emergent incidents
- EMS communications and dispatch policies and procedures
- Wage and benefits analyses
- Logistics and capital equipment, durable equipment, and disposable supplies
- Scope of practice and patient-care protocols
- Staff scheduling, trends, and alternatives
- Records management systems used for incident and patient-care records
- EMS training and continuing medical education
- Review of capital facilities, apparatus, and ambulances
- Other elements relevant to the specific needs of the client
Many factors will determine the need and feasibility to consolidate or regionalize fire protection and EMS delivery among multiple jurisdictions. It is a complex process that requires comprehensive analysis and evaluation of myriad elements. AP Triton Consulting has the experience and expertise to provide the necessary assistance and guidance to enable our clients to identify obstacles, liabilities, and the various options that will allow policymakers to make the necessary decisions for moving forward.
Each consolidation/regionalization study is unique, requiring careful consideration of the many aspects required in such studies. Triton has developed a proven study process that, at a minimum, includes:
- Detailed evaluation and review of each participating organization, infrastructures, programs (e.g., training, prevention, public education, etc.), and deployment methods
- Development of assorted Geographical Information Systems (GIS) studies and maps
- Organizational efficiency and effectiveness
- Oversight, governance, and accountability
- Operational and administrative staffing
- Complete financial analysis and cost avoidance
- Comprehensive analysis of historic service-demand and operational performance
- Detailed analysis of feasibility, including advantages and disadvantages
- Legal processes and political considerations
- Population growth and future service-demand projections
- Opportunities for shared facilities, equipment, staff, and other resources
- Strategies for successful consolidations
- Recommended development and implementation strategies
- Development of a comprehensive plan for implementation
- Community input when requested
Long-Range Master Plans
The purpose of a Long-Range Master Plan is to evaluate the agency in relation to the community’s current risks, anticipate community growth (and therefore associated risk), and recommend steps to position the agency to address that growth in advance with appropriate resources and infrastructure. In short, a master plan keeps the agency from lagging behind community growth and development, maintaining or enhancing service as the community grows. It is an effective policymaking and budgeting tool as well. Knowing where and how the community will grow into the future, AP Triton’s team of subject matter experts will guide your agency through the process of developing a custom Master Plan that includes but is not limited to:
- Evaluation of Current Conditions
- Future System Demand Projections and Community Risk
- Future Delivery System Models
Community Risk Assessment/Standards of Cover
Whether your agency is preparing for accreditation or wishing to determine if it is providing a safe and effective level of service to the community you serve, creating a Community Risk Assessment/Standards of Cover is an important undertaking. AP Triton maintains a team of experienced professionals who are well-equipped to work with your agency as follows, but not limited to:
- Overview of both the community and agency.
- Conduct a comprehensive Community Risk Assessment,
- Evaluate recommended and locally generated critical task analyses
- Determine current agency service-level objectives
- Assess distribution and concentration measures
- Develop detailed response-reliability studies and historical operational performance presented through charts, tables, and Geographical Information System (GIS) maps
Customer-Centered Strategic Plans
AP Triton’s Customer-Centered Strategic planning process is more than the creation of a document. The process challenges the membership of the organization to look critically at paradigms, values, philosophies, beliefs, and desires; and it challenges individuals to work together in the best interest of the organization. AP Triton’s facilitators will lead the agency’s planning team through a process that results in a three- to five-year work plan. The facilitated planning process will include the following discussions and exercises:
- Mission, Vision & Values
- Internal & External Assessments
- Goals & Objectives
- Outcome/Performance Metrics
- Identification of Responsibility & Timelines
Standing up a team to complete the Self-Assessment Manual required of any agency in pursuit of accreditation is a significant commitment of staff resources. The task becomes more difficult and complex if the agency is not prepared to respond to the 252 Performance Indicators that are the agencies Self-Assessment Manual. Of the Performance Indicators, 86 are considered Core, that is the agency must demonstrate proficiency or face denial of accreditation. AP Triton maintains a team of subject matter experts who are available to guide the agency with the accreditation process. That starts with a survey of the following:
- Policies & procedures
- Standard Operational Guidelines
- Fire Code/code promulgation/staffing/inspections
- Strategic Plan
- Internal Communication
- Management Processes
- Administrative Support—Human Resources, Finance, Governance
Fire Station Location Planning
AP Triton will utilize your agency’s historical incident data and service-demand, response performance, population growth projections, incident densities by locations and types using GIS and current fire station locations. This analysis will show where service-level gaps and overlaps exist, and provide an accurate view of your organization’s current capabilities. Triton will forecast future service-demand and identify the most strategic locations for future fire stations. Studies can include projected costs and alternative deployment options. This will also allow station planning for areas with the higher population densities and of higher risk.
Public safety organizations are experiencing an entire generation of senior staff and other key department members are retiring. As these seasoned veterans depart, the result has been the loss of a substantial amount of institutional experience and memory. This void is exposing fire-rescue professionals, and the communities they serve, to unnecessary risk.
AP Triton has developed a Succession Planning & Management program to assist public safety agencies in addressing the challenges of maintaining quality leadership and preparing future leaders by using our customized approach to achieve results-based solutions. The list below identifies some of the outcomes, as well as a sample of the deliverables, that you can expect from your collaboration with Triton, as we develop a Succession Planning & Management program for your organization. Written succession management plan customized for your agency that:
- Is aligned with your strategic plan
- Builds on your agency’s existing succession management elements
- Identifies and prioritizes your agency’s vulnerabilities
- Reflects the input of your internal and external stakeholders
- Addresses many of the criteria required for CFAI accreditation
- Written draft implementation plan that provides a template for the detailed actions required to put your plan into action, contains measures of progress and achievement, and is designed as an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide.
AP Triton offers a comprehensive process to evaluate the service provided by fire and EMS agencies. This process specifically, focuses on the level of services compared to national consensus standards and best practices. The Staffing Study will assist agencies in future planning and provision of comprehensive emergency services to the community served. The report is developed as an organizational staffing study that evaluates current conditions; forecasts future growth, development, and service demand; and provides recommendations to enhance current services, or to provide an equal level of service over the next 5–10 years. The process includes but is not limited to the following:
- Evaluation of Current Conditions.
- Organizational Overview.
- Analysis of Management Components as well as administrative and support staff.
- Personnel Management and Staffing.
- Fire and EMS program analysis.
- Fire Prevention & Public Education Program Review.
- Service Delivery.
- Future Service Demand.
Fleet Management Studies
AP Triton utilizes subject-matter experts in the area of fleet management. We can evaluate your current apparatus and vehicles and assess your fleet management practices and develop a plan for managing your fleet more effectively and efficiently. This can include:
- Fleet replacement planning
- Program assessment and operational analysis
- Management reporting and technology
- Fleet management and maintenance
- Fleet composition and size
- Industry best practices and compliance with standards
In recent years fire departments have experienced increases in demands for their services, while budgets have generally grown at a rate less than that of inflation. Many of these departments have turned to systems analysis for help, realizing that, if they do not use what resources they have more effectively, their level of service will diminish. AP Triton and our team of subject matter experts are well-versed in the challenges facing the fire service today, and possess the skills and analytical systems necessary to measure system effectiveness, and offer alternatives. Utilizing nationally recognized consensus standards and practices, the AP Triton Team will work with the agency to review the current deployment model, to include but not be limited to following tasks:
- Analysis of historical operational performance and current conditions.
- Review of current shift schedules, staffing, and number of assigned personnel.
- Determine if personnel are being scheduled in the most effective, efficient, and cost-effective methods.
- Review the use and deployment of apparatus and other vehicles to address service-demand adequately.
Today’s fire and EMS organizations recognize the substantial importance of effective management, administration, and leadership. This involves community relations, effective communications, operational performance planning and ongoing evaluation, continuous quality improvement, development of effective policies and procedures, organizational development and mentoring, strategic planning, effective internal and external communications, capital improvement planning, and much more.
Communication Technology & 911 Studies
The role of 911 and communications centers are a critical component of every emergency services system. In many communities, there is an ever-expanding demand on emergency communications systems and personnel. In addition, communication technologies continue to change rapidly. Triton’s subject matter experts can assist your community with addressing the myriad elements that comprise 911 and emergency communications—which includes personnel, technologies, and processes. Areas that we can help you with include, but are not limited to:
- Technology transition
- Conduct benchmarking and address performance standards (NENA, APCO, NFPA, IAED, etc.)
- Financial analyses and technology costs
- Staffing needs
- CAD vendor selection
- Call-taker and dispatcher training
- Evaluation of operational issues
- Consolidation with other communication centers
- Governance and accountability
Financial Analyses & Revenue-Generation Studiess
Fiscal issues are a common concern among municipalities, fire districts, and standalone EMS agencies. AP Triton’s substantial experience with these issues can be of substantial value to your organization. Examples of the types of studies include:
- Cost of services assessments
- Cost-allocation planning
- User fees and evaluation of rates to recover allowable costs
- Development of impact fees
- Identification of alternative revenue sources (GEMT, etc.)
Prevention & Life-Safety Studies
Well-designed prevention and public education programs can have a positive impact on reducing fires and sudden illnesses and injuries within a community. Effective programs also include Code Enforcement, Plan Reviews, Inspections, Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction planning, and Fire Investigation. AP Triton can evaluate and make recommendations in each of these areas.
Customer-Designed Special Studies
AP Triton can develop and conduct customized studies based on your specific needs related to fire protection, Emergency Medical Services delivery, emergency communications, prevention and life safety, and many other topics related to public safety.
Ambulance Contract-Compliance Studies
AP Triton will review the existing ambulance service contract to determine if your community is receiving what you are paying for and if the agency is meeting its contractual obligations to the community.
- Determine verifiable and reasonable costs and overhead.
- Contract details that meet the needs of the community.
- Processes for ensuring accountability.
- Analysis of performance to ensure that contract performance requirements are being met.
AP Triton can also assist communities with developing a new ambulance service contract that will meet the needs of the community and ensure performance compliance and other expectations.
First Responder Fee Studies
A first responder fee is a fee charged for the first response of your engine, truck company, and/or squad to an emergency medical call and providing BLS or ALS care. Many fire departments don’t understand that commercial insurance pays for this first response and as such, are leaving money on the table by overlooking this revenue stream. AP Triton Consulting has expertise in developing first responder fees and assisting in their implementation. We have conducted dozens of these studies and have the expertise to deliver a product that will meet legal cost recovery requirements and address common concerns and challenges.
Do you already have a First Responder Fee in place? Is it appropriate? Let AP Triton conduct a study for your agency to ensure you’re not undercharging. Increase your revenue to improve service to your community.
Ambulance Feasibility Studies
Are you tired of having your agency do the heavy lifting on medical calls, with the only revenue collection going to the ambulance transport provider? If you have you ever considered having your department get into the ambulance business, contact us. AP Triton can conduct a feasibility study that will show you how much revenue your transport system can recover – which equals money for you to bolster emergency services in your community. We have conducted many feasibility and valuation studies and assisted our clients in capturing millions of dollars. The revenue recovery will create a more sustainable system and put more ambulances on the street. Contra Costa County Fire Protection District used our study as the foundation to develop their system. They subcontracted with a private company, and in their first three and a half year of operation, put $28.6 million into reserve, all while improving response time compliance to 96% across all response zones.
And if you’re already transporting, are your current fees adequate? Is your system efficient or are there areas for improvement for both patient care and your revenue stream? AP Triton will conduct an EMS Optimization Study and provide you with even more options to improve service and revenue.