Audit shows work needed at EM fire department
Caleb Warnock DAILY HERALD
A feud between the chief and deputy chief of the Eagle Mountain Fire Department has led to a yearlong city audit and 14 recommendations to improve morale.
The city now has 26 volunteer firefighters and nine part-time paramedics. Paramedics are dispatched to 911 calls from 6 a.
m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
As of July 31, the city will begin 24-hour-a-day paramedic service.
The audit showed there is a long-standing "distrust" between Chief Robert DeKorver and Deputy Chief Kevin McCarthy, too much responsibility with too little experience for many of the captains, and a need for drug tests and physicals, among other things.
After two firefighters quit a year ago, Eagle Mountain City Administrator Chris Hillman asked City Planning Director Shawn Warnke to do an outside audit of the department. Warnke presented his findings to the City Council on Tuesday.
While praising the firefighters for their work and dedication, Warnke found many concerns about how the department is being managed, including:
Part-time firefighters sometimes being given no assignments while at work, or given urgent assignments toward the end of their shifts.
Firefighters who fail to follow procedures not being held accountable.
Experienced firefighters having difficulty taking orders from inexperienced firefighters promoted into captain positions, leading to "conflicts, bickering and backbiting."
Managers sometimes giving feedback in a way that "destroys morale."
Broken equipment not being reported to those coming onto a shift, leading to an incident in which paramedics were called to rescue someone trapped in a vehicle, only to discover the extrication equipment was malfunctioning, "resulting in the patient being pinned in the vehicle for almost an hour while the Fire Department waited for extrication equipment from Saratoga Springs."
Chief Robert DeKorver being disorganized, inconsistent in applying standards, lacking some necessary management skills and having difficulty delegating, leading him to work too many hours.
Deputy Chief Kevin McCarthy needing to improve his communication skills and be less critical of the work of volunteer firefighters.
"The biggest issue is synergy," Warnke told council members, noting the ongoing feud between DeKorver and McCarthy has created many challenges in the department. "I think the word they both used was 'distrust.' "
Warnke said he was skeptical the rift could be fixed, but DeKorver has since written a letter saying the two men will work on it.
Before DeKorver wrote the letter, "I didn't get the sense they wanted to work it out," Warnke said. "I think it is up to us to make sure they work it out."
Another issue is that some managers "don't have clear guidelines of the hours they work, and they are salary employees and they get paid no matter how many hours they work," Warnke said. "Chief DeKorver is out of town two weeks a year and still gets paid even though he can't work here. I think it creates morale issues when a chief officer is gone for two weeks and still gets paid for it."
DeKorver is a part-time employee.
Paramedics also have access to prescription narcotics with little accountability for the medication, he said.
"They should be subject to drug testing and we should make sure the drugs are secure," he told council members. "Also, we should make sure we have physicals for firefighters to make sure they are physically able to perform their job duties."
In interviews with the Daily Herald, both Warnke and DeKorver said there have been no reported incidents of missing narcotics.
Warnke told council members that his first recommendation was to hire a full-time fire chief.
He also recommended that all volunteer firefighters be asked to keep time logs for three months so managers could get a sense of what the volunteers spend their time doing while on duty.
Warnke also suggested the city begin paying volunteer firefighters for their time in training, noting the proposed city budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes such money.
Mayor Kelvin Bailey praised the fire department after Warnke's presentation.
"This is kind of constructive criticism of the fire department, not criticism of the fire department," he said. "Don't let your hearts drop and think there is something wrong with the fire department, because there isn't.
"We actually have one of the best fire departments in the state. If you look at any volunteer organization, I guarantee you couldn't find a better one."
In an interview with the Daily Herald on Friday, DeKorver said he has already begun taking management classes and buying and reading books on management. He declined to comment on whether he would be a candidate if Eagle Mountain decides to hire a full-time fire chief. DeKorver now works full time for the Sandy city fire department.
"I feel very confident the issues in the audit will be taken care of," he said. "A lot are already in progress."
McCarthy could not be reached for comment.
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06-12-2005, 01:16 PM #1
Eagle Mountain VFD needs better MGTFront line since 1983 and still going strong
06-12-2005, 04:46 PM #2
That would explain this.....
Full-time position with benefits. Salary range from $22.17 to $34.12 per hour DOE. Application and job
description available by contacting DeAnna Whitney, 801-789-6604. Applications and resumes to be mailed to DeAnna Whitney, HR Coordinator, 1650 E. Stagecoach Run, Eagle Mountain, UT 84043, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (801) 789-6649. Initial screening for applications will be June 9 by 5:00 PM; however, applications will be accepted until position is filled. Eagle Mountain City is an equal opportunity employer.
Published in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News June 5, 2005
Posted on www.ulct.org Job Bank 05-24-2005Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
"Everybody Goes Home"
07-05-2005, 10:34 AM #3
Just for the record, the "reporter", Caleb Warnock arrived late to the council session. He did not read the report, took from the discussion on the report what he wanted to hear. Based his article on a the word "feud", his invention, which was never uttered in reference to the report and is not used in the report to discribe the "divergence" of opinion between the chief and a junior officer.
The report drafted by the city was a critque of the department to identify the needs, strengths and weaknesses of a growing department. It identified the department need for full time supervision, due to the lack of volunteers in the city (Eagle Mountain is a bedroom community of 13,500). Day time personnel with little experience (The department is 5 years old). Two stations and a growing number of calls, so far over 170 -July 5th.
The article sensationalized the report, never addressed the real issues of budget, call volume, young inexperienced firefighters and lack of resource tax base.
Background on EMFD,founded in 1999, began with 1 brush truck and no station. In 5 years the following has occured with the leadership of Chief DeKorver.
3 Structure Engines
2 Brush Trucks
1 5000 gallon Water Tender
1 Chiefs Truck
1 Utility Truck
Office space for combined Fire Police sub station
FIRES grant - New PPE-FTOG, SCBAs, SCBA Air Fill Station
Day Time Manning - 12 hours then 16 hours and starting July 24 24-7 with 1 Firefighter Paramedic and 1 Firefighter EMT-I in the station, 2 FF-EMT-I or B's with first response units from home.
From nothing to
Haz Mat Awareness
Haz Mat Operations
Wildland Firefighter 1
9 Firefighter Paramedics
12 Firefighter Intermediates
10 Firefighter Basics
Over 18000 hours of training last year
1 documented full arrest save last month released from ICU to hme.
If this sounds like a department in the article , I'll have a snack of the Daily Herald with salt.
More information at www.emfire.org Thanks, Stay Safe and Keep Low, jack.
07-22-2005, 01:16 PM #4
Fixing for the record Record.
Jack well the point is pretty much moot at this point as a New Full time Chief has been hired, but I thought id correct you a little bit on some of your information about DeKorver and ALL his accomplishments.Background on EMFD,founded in 1999, began with 1 brush truck and no station. In 5 years the following has occured with the leadership of Chief DeKorver.
Before DeKorver became Involved with EMFD. From 1997-1999. the following occured:
Purchased and completeely rebuilt a class A Structural Fire Engine.
Built a brand new Fire Station in the City Center part of Town.
Recruited 40 Firefighter Volunteers.
Drafted an implemented a complete set of SOP's
Obtained over 250.000.00 worth of PPE and other equipment to become opeational.
Initiated a weekly firefighter training program to maintain and upgrade certifications.
Had a progressive (non-resident Firefighter) program inplace providing the town with trained Certified Firefighters and EMT-Bs.
Purchase of a Type 6 brush truck.
Office space for combined Fire Police sub station
FIRES grant - New PPE-FTOG, SCBAs, SCBA Air Fill Station2 StationsFirefighter Certifications ,From nothing to
Over 80% of the active members of EMFD were at least FF-I and EMT-B prior to deKorver taking over in 2000 and the training program was already set up for Wildland Firefighter and additional EMS training.
Robert DeKorver has done many good things for the community and I am sure he has a little salt in his wounds over his tenure being over. But to give him all the credit for EMFD is not correct even though I am sure it is just the information that you have been given to you from DeKorver.
Ill post some photos of the actual construction of the first fire Station and some of the apparatus prior to Robert getting involed to verify my statements and or corrections to your information.
Eric M Taylor
Founding member and Proud of it.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2005, 06:34 PM #5
Station #1 Circa 1997
This photo is of EMFD Station #1-(City Center) being built in 1997. A full two years before DeKorver got involved with the Department.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2005, 06:37 PM #6
Station #1 being built Photo #2
Here is another photo of the Origonal Fire Station being built in 1997 under direct supervision of Eagle Mountains Founding member and Fire Chief. Eric TaylorFront line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2005, 06:40 PM #7
EMFD Fire Engine Circa 1997.
Here are some photos of EMFDs first fire engine as purchased from the City of Murray before its refurb for Eagle Mountain by Eric Taylor and the first generation of 40 Firefighters.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2005, 06:43 PM #8
EMFD Engine after Refurbish by Chief Taylor
Here is EMFDs Class A fire engine in 1997-98 getting ready to respond a couple of years before DeKorver even knew about EMFD.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2005, 06:53 PM #9
Brush unit Circa 1998 Purchased by Chief Taylor
Here is a brush unit purchased by Chief Taylor in 1998 a full-Year before DeKorver chowed me an interest in being part of Chief Taylors Team.
I hope this assist you in verifying that lots of Work did indeed occurr prior to DeKorver becoming involved and infact continued the work that I did in fact accomplish years prior to DeKorver starting with EMFD.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
07-27-2005, 01:07 AM #10
Chief Taylor, yoiu are correct about the first station and the first equipment. With your leadership the department made many gains prior to running it's first call. However, in Feb 1999 Chief Dekorver was approved by the department and city council to become a member of EMFD.
The Office space I am speaking of is the former city hall, new one opened this spring. This office space will be shared by the Utah County Sheriffs Office. We will have an office for the chief, and both deputy chiefs. A training room and storage.
I do remember the city offices being in what is now the chiefs office, then it was the libruary. The front office was a combo office and sleeping quarters (at least when I hired on in 2000, it had a futon inthe front office.
The grants i am speaking of are as follows, I wrote one for apparatus and it was rejected that was in 2002. In 2003 EMFD recieved a grant for new PPE and SCBA's. 217K.
The second station was approved in the fall of 2002 and opened in 2003.
The hearings for the approval of our ambulance license was in the fall of 2001, we put it into service in 2002.
the application for paramedic service was put in to the state in 2003 and approved int he spring of 2004, in july we began paramedic service.
The other items you mention emt-b emt-i ff-1/2 wildland 1/2 etc are true we continue to train and insist on these certification as a minimum. i do believe that both robert and kevin had a hand in helping move these items forward during your tenure as chief.
You are correct in many things and i feel it is important to document and preserve our departments history. and it must be accurate to be of value for future generations. Thank you for the corrections, chief. stay safe and keep low, jack.
Last edited by dchomen; 07-27-2005 at 10:23 AM.
07-28-2005, 01:32 AM #11
Thank you too and too all of us that took and are taking part in the future of that community. I am sure that it will continue to grow and become a great place for future generations.
Eric TaylorFront line since 1983 and still going strong
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