Message from Marshfield Fire & Rescue Chief Scott Owen:
Hello. I’m Scott Owen, Fire Chief for the City of Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department. What a year it has been. We had 4 of our 6 Senior Command Staff members retire this year; Deputy Chief Ed Erickson retired in January after 27 years of service, Fire Chief Robert Haight retired in March after nearly 27 years of service, Deputy Chief Roy Dolens retired in May with almost 32 years of service, and Deputy Chief Craig DeGrand retired in December after nearly 32 years of service. We thank each and every one of them for their dedicated years of service to the department, the City, and most importantly you the citizens we serve.
When Chief Haight retired I was named interim Chief by the Police and Fire Commission and part of my initial task was to fill these vacancies. We hired three individuals and completed a promotional process. Various department members were promoted into Deputy Chief, Lieutenant, and Relief lieutenant positions. The final promotions were completed in June when I was named the next Fire Chief and in December when Deputy Chief DeGrand retired.
Aside from the retirements and promotions we saw various other changes in the organization. Some of them include:
- ambulance billing was outsourced when our ambulance account personnel left the City; this was a lengthy, contentious process but one that I firmly believe is best for the department
- The budget process this year was very trying. Staff at the MFRD submitted a wide variety of budget requests, ALL of which had a benefit to the department and our operations. Because of the tight budget parameters City departments were under this year, we eliminated 80% of the proposed items in our budget in addition to reductions in other areas.
- We became more involved in Social Media and public relations articles with various media outlets in the area. This has proven to be a positive thing for the department as we continue to inform the citizens about the department, events, incidents, etc.
- We became partners with the Marshfield Clinic in providing ground ambulance transport service when they purchased the hospital and Spirit left Marshfield.
- Call volume increased this year. Besides the transports we are doing for the Marshfield Clinic, our day-to-day 911 calls have increased. With these increases comes an increase in off-duty staff returning to work to backfill when multiple ambulances are out on calls and we need staff to be able to respond to other calls.
- Our concurrent call rate, the amount of times two or more calls occur at the same time, increased 6% over last year. This year our concurrent calls equated to nearly 47%.
- Our new ladder truck arrived. As soon as training is done it will be put into service.
Thank you for a great 2017 and we are excited to see what 2018 has in store for us. What I do know is our department will continue to work hard and proudly serve the citizens we swore to protect. We will continue to be as fiscally responsible as we can.
Thank you for taking time to listen. Happy New Year!