Please complete the survey below and contact the West Allis Fire Department at 414-302-8900 or westalliswi.gov/fire with questions or concerns. Thank you for your time and valuable feedback.
Part 1: Demographic Information

* 1. Age:

* 2. What is the highest level of education you have completed?

* 3. Do you rent or own the place where you live?

* 4. About how long have you lived in the City of West Allis?

Part 2: Services provided, attributes displayed, and public perception of the West Allis Fire Department’s mission in the community

* 5. Some of the services the West Allis Fire Department currently provides are listed below. Rank the services below in order of importance, 1 being the most important and 8 being least important:

Challenge facing the Department: Nearly every year the number of calls for service that the West Allis Fire Department responds to increases. Over the past 5 years, calls for service have increased on average 3% per year. As the number of calls increases, the department must prioritize the variety of daily activities that it performs.

* 6. Below is a list of traits and capabilities that may be desirable in West Allis Fire Department response teams. Please assess the level of importance that you place on each trait or capability and rank them 1-7 in order of importance, with 1 being most important and 7 being least important:

Challenge facing the Department: It is helpful to know what the public values most in its public safety response teams. Command staff attempt to hire firefighter/paramedics that possess as many positive attributes as possible and to provide training programs that foster such attributes, yet hiring and retaining the perfect firefighter/paramedic can be challenging. This is particularly true during periods of heavy personnel turnover. 

* 7. When you think of the West Allis Fire Department, what positive aspects of the organization come to mind?

* 8. When you think of the West Allis Fire Department, do any areas of concern come to mind?

* 9. Please provide any other thoughts or comments you have about the West Allis Fire Department.

Part 3: In addition to responding to fire calls, the West Allis Fire Department also runs the ambulance service for the city. Ambulance calls account for approximately 85% of all 9-1-1 calls to the fire department. Over half of all 9-1-1 calls are for non-life threatening emergencies.

Below are programs that we are currently testing in an attempt to either reduce 9-1-1 use or to offset budgetary concerns. Please indicate your level of support for each program on a scale of 0-5 with 0 being no support at all and 5 being complete support:
Mobile Integrated Healthcare is a program that utilizes two full-time fire department employees to provide assistance to citizens who require more help than typical emergency medical care. These employees work one-on-one with citizens who meet certain criteria including: citizens who call 9-1-1 more than 4 times per month, citizens who struggle to maintain a safe home environment, citizens with extreme substance abuse problems, and hospital patients who have a high likelihood of hospital readmission after discharge. The department is able to support the cost of this program within its current operating budget. The salary of each of these employees equates to $4.03 per average household per year on the average tax bill.

* 10. On a scale of 1-5, rate your level of support for the Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program.

Shared Services Program is an agreement between the fire departments of West Allis, Wauwatosa, North Shore, Greenfield, Milwaukee and Saint Francis. Part of the agreement includes sharing resources between communities by sending the closest, most appropriate resource to the scene of an emergency regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. With this agreement in place, there are times when fire trucks and/or ambulances from neighboring communities are called upon to respond to incidents in West Allis. Reciprocally, there are times when West Allis fire trucks and ambulances are unavailable for calls within West Allis because they are being utilized at incidents in neighboring communities.

* 11. On a scale of 1-5, rate your level of support for the Shared Services Program.

Candidate Physical Agility Testing (CPAT): The West Allis Fire Department serves as a testing site for Candidate Physical Agility Testing (CPAT). The CPAT has become the nationwide standard physical test for firefighters across the nation. When applying for a new firefighting job, all candidates must take the CPAT test. There are a limited number of testing sites and West Allis is one of only a few in the area. West Allis utilizes primarily on-duty firefighters to run the testing site. The test is run twice per week and takes away from time that could otherwise be spent on firefighter training, public education and community risk prevention activities. However, the department generates, on average, $20,000.00 per year as a CPAT testing site that is used to offset its operating budget. *Note: CPAT testing is not allowed to interfere with response to emergency calls.

* 12. On a scale of 1-5, rate your level of support for holding CPAT at the West Allis Fire Department.

Door-to-Door Public Safety Campaigns: To reduce the number of emergency responses and the number of deaths/injuries from fire and carbon monoxide leaks in the community, the West Allis Fire Department routinely canvasses neighborhoods that meet certain criteria, distributing free smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and information on fire safety. Typically funding for the alarms come from various grant sources, however, tax dollars are sometimes used to purchase equipment. This effort reduces the risk of death or serious injury from fires and carbon monoxide emergencies, and has the potential to reduce the number of calls for service, thus reducing vehicle maintenance costs and keeping fire department crews available for emergency calls. It also provides positive interaction between citizens and fire department personnel. However, time that may be used for firefighter training is reallocated for personnel to target neighborhoods.

* 13. On a scale of 1-5, rate your level of support for Public Safety Campaigns.

Part 4: Below are programs that we are considering but have not yet implemented in an attempt to either reduce 9-1-1 use or to offset budgetary concerns. Please indicate your level of support for each program on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “do not support” and 5 being “strongly support.”
Nurse Triage Line: A nurse triage line is a service that runs concurrent with the existing 9-1-1 dispatch center. When a person calls 9-1-1 for a medical complaint, the 9-1-1 dispatcher asks a series of questions to determine what resources need to respond. Throughout that questioning, if certain criteria are met that lead the dispatcher to believe that the call is non-life threatening, the 9-1-1 call is transferred to a nurse triage line at a local medical facility. The nurse then works with the caller to determine what resources are needed for the caller (medical transport van, taxi, doctor’s appointment, etc.) This could result in less ambulance calls for the fire department, keeping resources available for life-threatening emergencies.  However, there is a potential for upset 9-1-1 callers when their call is transferred to nurse line rather than responded to in a traditional manner. The West Allis 9-1-1 dispatch center also must first become accredited through a third party agency before they can implement a nurse triage line. Accreditation would cost approximately $20,000.00.

* 14. On a scale of 1-5, rate your level of support for Nurse Triage Lines.

Alternative Medical Transport: 50% of the calls that the fire department responds to with an ambulance are for non-life threatening medical conditions. Per state law, ambulances are required to be staffed with two personnel who hold pre-hospital medical care certifications and can only transport to emergency rooms. Some fire departments across the nation have begun responding to such calls with vehicles other than ambulances, allowing them to send only one person and to transport to facilities other than emergency rooms. As an example, some alternative medical care transport units convey non-critical patients to doctor’s offices and/or to urgent care clinics. This has the potential to reduce the demand on emergency crews, resulting in fewer emergent calls for service, lower vehicle maintenance costs, and increased availability of fire department resources for emergency calls. However, there is potential for misdiagnosis when 9-1-1 call is determined to be non-emergent in nature.

* 15. On a scale of 1-5, rate your level of support for Alternative Medical Transport.

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