Tag Archives: OES

Small Fire Department Operations Training

{Tim Suter, Director of Office of Emergency Services}

The Midtown, Rockwood, Kingston, Blair, East Roane County, Sevier County, Fire Departments and Roane County’s Office of Emergency Services completed a 2-day course designed to impart foundational tools and skills needed to coordinate training in small fire and emergency medical service organizations like our own.

Trainees left with a better understanding of:

  • Why and how the local training officers must be a catalyst for change
  • Standards of care according to OSHA and NFPA
  • Safety considerations in training
  • Marketing training internally
  • Identifying ways to justify training needs
  • Resolving training conflicts using
  • Selecting and evaluating training curriculum and materials from outside sources.
  • Effective delivery and evaluation of training

Roane County Emergency Medical Services – Dec 2018

{Tim Suter, Director of Emergency Medical Services}

Community Affirmation: Roane County emergency medical responders work long hours in every imaginable condition. The hard work they do behind the scenes can go unnoticed in the face of personal tragedy. They don’t work for the praise and certainly not the money. Our emergency medical responders chose a vocation that requires a passion for the job and compassion for the suffering. Here is one of many examples of a Roane County Emergency Medical Service provider who works passionately with compassion.

Sir: I am writing to you about one of your EMTs. He responded to our home at (redacted) on November 1st. He was really sweet and kind to my mother after she had fallen in our home. He kept her calm while she was put on the gurney to be transported to the ER at Roane Medical Center. His kindness did not stop there. While he was finishing up his paperwork he noticed me waiting to hear about Mom. He came over to give me a word about mom and to let me know that she was being taken care of by the doctor. He gave me words of encouragement. You have a fine man in Charles Dodson and I appreciate his time. He may not have rushed into a burning building but the care he showed my mom makes him a hero and his speaking to me in the ER waiting room helped me to make decisions with a clear mind. He and his teammates are real hero’s to me and I wish that you would accept my thanks for their services and convey to them my thanks. – Ruby Curtis

The New Hazmat 1 – Dec 2018

{Scott Stout – Director of Office of Emergency Services}

The county purchased a new fire truck with the CDBG Community Development Block Grant that will take over the role of Hazmat 1. The Dodge Ram HME Ahrens-Fox MiniEvo M3 is faster and more maneuverable than its larger predecessor a 1996 Ferrara (CDBG). The Dodge Ram will replace the Ferrara’s as Hazmat 1 because it is more maneuverable through most entrances and offroad destinations.

This Roane County Treasure Might Save Your Life – Oct 2018

{Tim Suter, Director of Emergency Medical Services – Written by Danielle Brown}

On the eleventh, those of us who were able, gathered at the steam plant to remember the first responders who gave their lives 17 years ago. Our flag waved high, strung between two ladder trucks, in the muggy Autumn air. The bell sang its dirge, 5-5-5, a signal for a Line of Duty Death (LODD). Each ring resonating through our respect, sorrow, memories of the day and a time when our nation was one. To my left and right, first responders heard the same bell ring but it sang a different song to them. Our firemen, police, and emergency medical personel hear the melancholy song of a comrade lost, a song that may be rung for them someday.

Roane County’s first responders risk their lives for our community but their risk goes beyond mortal injury. September was Suicide Awareness month, an uncomfortable but necessary conversation. This is a particularly insidious problem because of its ability to creep into one’s life with little trace. George Carlin captures how society has approached this delicate topic over the last century. In World War I, we called PTSD “shell shock”, in World War II, we called it “battle fatigue”, in the Korean war it was called “operational exhaustion,” and in the Vietnam War, we began to call it “post-traumatic stress disorder.” Carlin goes on to say, “The pain is completely buried under jargon.” We can give shell shock a fancy name but a syndrome by any other name can still change the course of someone’s life. PTSD is a clear and present concern for our first responders who are at a high risk.

Riding with Roane County’s finest, Mattlock Russel and Pat Murphy in Medic 1, I caught a small glimpse of ouremergency medical ’s daily life. One minute they are sitting down to grab a bite, but a crackly voice calls over the PA. Zaxby’s is forgotten on the table and our emergency medical responders are off to a family in crisis, performing lifesaving procedures in a moving vehicle, holding the life of another human being in their hands, remaining calm in the face of frantic loved ones, gathering vital information and communicating effectively with other medical professionals. Then when the siren is off and the doctors have taken over, the adrenaline is still fresh and it’s time to see if the cold meal left on the table is still edible. This emotional rollercoaster runs on a 24-hour-on, 48- hours-off schedule and the average emergency medical responder works multiple jobs. The Doctors have the pay and the prestige but the child that won’t let Medic 1 leave without a hug, is the one who really sees our invisible heroes.

How does an emergency medical responder wind down, relax, and cope with the daily unpredictability and trauma? Everyone has their own mechanisms but Pat Murphy and her two sons, Michael Murphy a Roane County Deputy Sheriff, and Keith Murphy a Loudon County critical care paramedic cope with a servant’s heart for their first responder family. Pat works in Priority Ambulance in Loudon and Knoxville when she is not on shift here in Roane County. While she admits she works her second and third job to keep busy, if pressed she will tell you that she uses a large part of her surplus income, in combination with her sons to throw one epic first responders party every year. “The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served. -Gordon B. Hinckley”

The week before the big day, Pat and her sons take off work to prepare; wrapping up to 150 hot dogs in bacon, making Halloween treats for the kids, building a bonfire that puts Mount Guyot to shame, and setting up the bump and jump. For the last 10 years, Pat and her family have covered the bill for this party, save for last year. The freezer containing hundreds of dollars worth of party food broke down but that didn’t stop the Murphy’s. They went right out and bought a second round of party food; the show must go on. Thankfully, word got out and Pat’s EMS family donated relief funds. Pat has already begun preparations for this year’s first responders family gathering.

Photographer Unknown

Volunteer Firefighters Train Over 64 Hours One Month – Sept 2018

{Scott Stout – Director of Office of Emergency Services—Special Thanks to Brad Goss}

Volunteer firefighters undergo hundreds of training hours necessary for firefighting safety and efficacy. The state of Tennessee requires a 16-hour introductory class, followed by 64 hours of basic firefighter training, and another 16 hours of “live burn” training. After 96 hours of training, a volunteer firefighter is certified as ready to enter the hot zone. The cost of mistakes in firefighting is high, for that reason the training never ends. Once completing initial training, every firefighter participates in a mandatory minimum of 20 training hours each calendar year.

In August, the Roane County Volunteer Firefighters underwent 64 hours of training. On Saturday the 18th, Chief David Maupin, and Sam Wolf, the former Fire Chief of South Roane County, lead a water supply training; using a tanker to supply water and a pumper engine to spray water. Though both tankers and pumpers are fitted with a pump and a tank, the tanker’s tank is necessarily larger, and the pumpers pump is more powerful. The two types of fire trucks are designed to work in tandem. The pumper utilizes its powerful pump to disperse water, while the tankers gather much-needed water and gofers it back the pumper. Tankers can use water from a fire hydrant, swimming pool or any accessible nearby body of water. Wolf led the trainees in constructing a drop tank for the tanker to fill. A drop tank is a large plastic mobile pool that can hold 2,000 gallons of water. The trainees practiced using the tanker to fill the drop tank then utilizing the pumper engine to suction water from the drop tank and finally disperse the water.

Please join us in extending our appreciation to the Roane County Volunteer Firefighters. Most recently, thank you for giving freely of your Saturday morning, braving the weather, and giving our county peace of mind.

Scott & Garrett Guttner – A father raising his son to understand the value of community service.

Dana Mitchell, Macayla Harmon, and Unknown

Roane County Facilities Are Looking Brighter – Aug 2018

{Lynn Farnham – Roane County Purchasing Agent}

The County Commission appropriated funds in the 2017-18 capital budget to perform lighting upgrades in the courthouse, the Sheriff’s Office & Jail, and the Office of Emergency Services. The project replaced all fluorescent lamps and ballasts to L.E.D. lamps and ballasts. Not only has this allowed for savings on the utility bills, but it will also improve the quality of lighting in these facilities. The Purchasing Department arranged to have TVA audits done of county facilities to determine the savings potential for each location. It was found that there was the potential for significant savings in each of the facilities that were audited. The table below is a summary of the information from the TVA audits. The amounts listed below are estimates based on the audit.

FacilityCostAnnual - kWh Savings - Monetary
Ambulance &
HWY Building
$7,200 96024.097$9,600
Courthouse$14,75085307.035$8,500
Sheriff, Jail, & OES$16,95072692.406$7,300

An Invitation to Bid for the lamps and ballasts was issued by the Purchasing Department. This is an annual contract that can be renewed to purchase lamps and ballasts for future upgrades as funding becomes available. The lamps and ballasts have a 10-year warranty. The projects listed above are complete. Most all of the installation of the L.E.D. lighting was performed by county inmates. Many thanks to Sheriff Stockton for providing the county with this valuable service.

No Tax Increase – Aug 2018

We are operating under the fiscal 2019 Budget. Thank you to the Roane County Budget Committee members: Darryl Meadows, Carolyn Granger, James Brummett, and Mike Hooks for their hard work on the fiscal 2019 budget. Many improvements have been made over the years in budget planning and preparation with the county establishing a solid financial foundation to help make long-term decisions. The Budget Committee held a public hearing, followed by a budget committee meeting and finally a County Commission work session. The County Commission unanimously approved the Appropriation Resolution and Tax Resolution.

Some highlights of the budget include:

  • A 2% raise for general government employees
  • Approval of the Seventh Capital Improvement Plan for the general government
  • A continuation of the multi-year debt budgets
  • Allocation of funds to purchase the final property for the jail improvement project
  • Plans for a Rockwood ambulance station

Topics of Continued Deliberation Include:

  • We anticipate the school improvement plan discussion will continue in the coming months
  • The Wheel Tax will be considered on the November ballot

The county continues to purchase assets from current revenue instead of debt financing. This allows for the necessary replacements of ambulances and patrol cars as they approach obsolescence. Stay tuned to further Roane County Newsletters, as we will be announcing further improvements budgeted for the Office of Emergency Services and animal control.

Hyper Reach Emergency Information System – May 2018

{Traci Cofer, Assistant Director of Office of Emergency Services}

Traci Cofer, the Assistant Director for the Roane County Office of Emergency Services, spoke at the Leadership Roane County Class of 2018 Graduation and Chamber Banquet on Friday, April 20, 2018. The Leadership Roane County 2018 class members collaborated together to develop a media campaign for Roane County’s Hyper-Reach Emergency Information System. The Office of Emergency Services (OES) partnered with Roane State’s Communications Professor and students to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to be shown on local television stations, social media platforms, as well as radio stations. The success of this project is measurable because we can watch the number of sign-ups grow over the years as the PSA is circulated throughout the various categories of media. You can see the chart below for the base number of sign-ups for 2018. We also partnered with Roane State’s Student Activities Coordinator to have all annual incoming Freshmen signed up when they come in for Orientation. OES also purchased two 39” x 88” banners with signup information to be displayed at Roane State Community College’s main campus in Harriman and the Roane County Courthouse. Our next step in the media campaign project is to have all City/ County Officials and community leaders post pictures of themselves with our banner with the slogan “I’m signed up! “on their various pages and social media sites. This will help promote sign up based on the public trust in their community leaders.

MonthCount
April 243
March151
Feb16
Jan63