New Fire Station Puts Central County Fire & Rescue Firefighter/Paramedics Closer to More Residents.
CCFR’s newest fire station will provide many residents and businesses with quicker response times. Fire Station #5 moved from its location on Ehlmann Rd. to a new building at 3421 Harry S. Truman Blvd. in St. Charles, Missouri.
Central County Fire & Rescue Station (CCFR) Fire Station #5 will soon have a new home. Construction is now underway for a new station at 3421 Harry S. Truman Blvd. in St. Charles, Missouri.
The station’s replacement is part of the community-created SAFE-T (Securing A Future of Excellence – Together) long-range plan, and is being funded by proceeds from the 2015 Prop. S bond issue.
“We are so proud to have the support of the St. Peters community as we take these important steps to improve our fire district, and in turn enhance the level of emergency service we’re able to provide,” CCFR Fire Chief Dan Aubuchon says. “This new station will allow CCFR to grow with our growing community.”
The new 13,000 square foot building will include three engine bays, a decontamination room for emergency equipment and personnel, a storage room for firefighter gear, a storm shelter for on-duty personnel, a physical training room and an emergency generator for non disruption of power.
“Our current location is too small to house the modern rescue equipment our crews need, and can only house three firefighters at a time, which doesn’t meet the National Fire Protection Association’s latest recommendations,” Aubuchon says, adding the current building is more than 40 years old and has a history of mold.
In addition to being larger and better equipped for modern rescue needs, it is also closer to where more emergency calls originate within the District. Aubuchon says this will allow for faster, more efficient emergency response to more residents and travelers in the high-traffic Hwy. 370 and Hwy. 70 areas.
Plans are in progress for the current Station #5 building at 2934 Ehlmann Rd. to be used as a headquarters for the Central County Community Assistance Program, which responds to emergencies throughout St. Charles County.
This volunteer-led program provides victim assistance such as temporary shelter, food and clothing, and referrals to other resources for long-term needs. They also provide canteen services to firefighters from all area departments, who often spend hours on the scene of a call without access to food and water.
The new station is estimated to cost $3 million, was designed by Hurford Architects and is being built by LayneCo Construction Services. It is expected to open for service mid to late 2019.
Learn more about the current and new CCFR Fire Station #5:
District to Hold Community Input Session on March 20
Before construction begins on Central County Fire & Rescue’s (CCFR) newest fire station building, District officials want to hear from the community. On Tuesday, March 20 residents are encouraged to stop by the current Fire Station #5 (2934 Ehlman Rd., St. Peters, MO 63301) anytime from 5 – 7 p.m. for a community input session.
During the session visitors will have the chance to see renderings of the proposed station, maps of the improved coverage area, and details about the new building. They will also be asked to provide feedback on the proposed new station building. Firefighters, district leadership and board members will also be available if participants have any questions.
The existing Fire Station #5, on Ehlmann Road was built on land owned by Missouri American Water in 1976 and is too small to house updated equipment and fire trucks. The new fire station will be built at 3421 Harry S. Truman Blvd. This location will increase the number of residents within the recommended four-minute response time, and the station will be housed on district-owned land.
The community recommended replacing the aging station to better meet the needs of the community during the SAFE-T (Securing A Future of Excellence – Together) process. Due to sound financial planning, funding is now available for the new building, and the planning process has begun.
“Before we break ground on the community’s newest fire station we want to make sure we hear what the residents of the area think, and make sure they like how it will fit within their neighborhood. We also want to hear if they have any suggestions for improvement,” CCFR Chief Dan Aubuchon says.
On March 20, residents will also have the ability to learn more about the proposed new station and provide feedback on the District’s website.
For many of those in St. Peters, Missouri advanced life-saving medical care is now closer than ever before. Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR), one of the busiest fire protection districts in the region is now offering paramedic-level emergency medical care.
Learn more about Proposition L to provide enhanced emergency medical services to the community.
Watch our informational video
What is Prop. L and how would it improve CCFR’s emergency medical service offerings?
Proposition L, which is on the Nov. 8 ballot, is a proposal to provide funding for advanced medical training and equipment for existing firefighter/EMTs and to hire additional firefighter/paramedics.
Advanced medical training for fire department personnel who are responsible for protecting residents of the district would provide firefighters and paramedics with the additional education necessary to respond to all types of medical emergencies. Equipping response vehicles (fire trucks) with advanced medical tools such as cardiac monitors and lifesaving medications will allow responders to quickly deliver critical care.
CCFR continues to work toward meeting the nationally recommended staffing standards. If approved the District would continue toward the goal of having all shifts fully staffed to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.
How would Prop. L change our current emergency medical response program?
Currently, CCFR trucks are staffed by firefighter/EMTs (emergency medical technicians) certified to provide basic life support (BLS), which involves medical treatment that does not including invasive procedures or medication administration. EMTs cannot do any procedures involving needles or administering medication.
Paramedics provide advanced life support (ALS), a higher degree of medical service including the administration of medications, intravenous fluids, and various monitoring functions and invasive procedures.
By upgrading from BLS to ALS, the District would be able to provide residents more effective medical care during an emergency response. A top-to-bottom review of the District’s emergency medical response system has found that staffing paramedics on all fire trucks is the best approach to handle the wide range of emergencies that CCFR regularly responds to.
How is a paramedic different from an EMT?
A paramedic can provide life-saving medical interventions that EMTs do not have the training and equipment to provide. For example, if a patient is suffering from a severe allergic reaction a paramedic can provide and administer an EPI pen, secure an airway and provide IV medication. In a similar situation, an EMT could only provide CPR.
During a heart attack a paramedic can monitor heart rhythms, electrically control an unstable heartbeat, pace a patient’s heart rate and get them back in to normal heart rhythm, start an IV, administer medication and secure an open airway if needed. An EMT can check vital signs and use an automated defibrillator to shock a heart back into a rhythm only after the heart has stopped and provide CPR.
A paramedic can also administer IV and other medications for stroke, seizures, diabetic and drug overdoses and intubate to provide an airway.
The minimum course requirements for EMT-P is 1,000 hours of instruction to include:
250 hours of clinical experience
500 hours of class room/practical lab
250 hours of clinical hours in a health care facility
For EMT the minimum number of hours to achieve is 144.
Why would paramedics on the truck provide more optimal emergency care?
With paramedics on fire trucks residents will have increased access to lifesaving medications, equipment and interventions. More than 2/3 of CCFR residents live closer to a fire station than an EMS base. Because of this, CCFR’s crews may be the first to arrive at an emergency scene. CCFR arrives to many emergency scenes within five minutes of being dispatched. With the proper training and equipment firefighter/paramedics can immediately begin providing advanced medical care.
If an ambulance and fire truck are both on the emergency scene firefighters will be able to work seamlessly with local paramedics. It would also allow for a higher level of medical response for those in need of rescue from a crashed automobile or other emergency situation.
CCFR first responders were among the first to carry Narcan on their fire trucks to assist those suffering from a drug overdose. Within 24-hours of implementing the program a life was saved with the use of Narcan. It is expected that the District will see similar results for other medical emergency situations if paramedics and the proper equipment are placed on all fire trucks.
Why is Prop. L needed now?
The needs of our community are changing. With an aging population CCFR is responding to more medical emergency calls than ever before. According to the U.S. Census, in 2000 7.8% of the St. Peters population was 65 years old or older, by 2010 this number had risen to 11.4%.
In 2015 50.7% of CCFR’s emergency responses were emergency medical and rescue calls. In 2010 there were around 1,600 emergency medical calls, in 2015 there were 2,850. Prop. L will allow the District to enhance emergency medical services without impacting other service areas.
What other fire districts provide paramedics?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 56.3% of fire departments that serve communities of 50,000 to 99,000 people provide paramedics. CCFR serves more than 90,000 residents. Of those that serve 100,000 to 249,000 people, 63% provide paramedic level care.
In the St. Louis Metro area nearly all fire protection districts have paramedics. In St. Charles County only the Wentzville Fire Protection District and the City of St. Charles Fire Department staff their fire trucks with firefighter/paramedics.
How would the paramedic program be phased in if funding were approved?
The District plans to have all of the trucks equipped with paramedic equipment within 18 months. At this time, the phase-in process of providing a minimum of one paramedic on each shift, at each fire station would begin. Current firefighters would be encouraged to complete paramedic-training courses. Those who already have paramedic training and certification would begin providing these services as soon as the equipment and licensure is available. It is expected to take up to five years to complete the implementation. If the proposal is approved all newly hired firefighters will be firefighter/paramedics.
What are the financial details of the proposal?
Prop. L would allow the District to levy an additional tax of 25¢ per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation. If approved, the additional investment for the owner of a $175,000 home would be 23 cents a day, $1.60 a week, $6.93 a month or $83 a year.
Can individual firefighters decide to independently become paramedics?
Eleven of our firefighters are currently trained, licensed paramedics. However, since the District is not licensed and does not have the proper equipment, medication and protocols these paramedics cannot provide advanced medical support when they are on an emergency call.
What is our current staffing level?
Since the implementation of the original SAFE-T (Securing A Future of Excellence – Together) plan nine years ago, the District has worked toward meeting National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staffing standards. Staffing levels have improved, but they are still at a level where vacation or sick time can trigger minimum staffing or overtime. Currently, there are six firehouses with three to four firefighters at each station and one battalion chief.
CCFR Staffing levels compared to national standards:
NFPA Minimum Staffing
CCFR Current Staffing
What is the status of the projects that were approved by the Prop. S bond election?
Proposition S was a proposal to improve the District’s facilities and firefighting equipment. Projects included:
Restore a regular equipment replacement cycle.
Replace the existing fleet of fire trucks.
The new fleet of fire trucks is being built at Pierce Manufacturing. Delivery is expected in the Fall of 2016.
Replace aging fire fighting equipment and gear as needed to keep the community and firefighters safe.
The District is continually updating aging firefighting and rescue equipment.
New thermal imaging cameras are being used.
The new fire trucks will have new rescue equipment such as Jaws of Life and other tools.
Firefighter turnout gear (coats, boots, pants, etc.) are being replaced as needed.
Increase the District’s training program to meet the changing needs of the community by updating the CCFR Training Facility.
Planning in progress
Purchase land and replace Station #5.
Planning in progress
Perform necessary updates, repairs and maintenance to aging fire stations, which include station #1 (1 Timberbrook Dr.), Station #3 (511 Willott Rd.) and Station #6 (1151 Jungs Station Rd.).
Planning in progress
Proposition S was a bond issue. A bond issue is a way for the district to borrow money for major equipment purchases or to make major facility improvements or construct new facilities, much like a home mortgage or home improvement loan, which must be repaid over a period of time. The funds from Proposition S cannot be used for personnel, training programs or the recurring cost of paramedic medical equipment and supplies.
How is CCFR funded?
Nearly all of CCFR’s funding comes from local property taxes (99%), 1% comes from fire prevention and code enforcement fees.
What is the current tax rate?
The general tax revenue rate is .7437.
Who does CCFR serve?
CCFR currently provides emergency services to approximately 90,000 residents in a 72-square-mile area of St. Charles County.
Where can I find my polling place?
Go to the website govotemissouri.com for details about where and when you can vote.
When is the election?
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. The proposal requires a simple majority to pass. It is crucial that you remember to vote on that day and remind all of your friends and family to do the same. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Who is eligible to vote in the November 8 election?
All registered voters in the Central County Fire & Rescue District are eligible to vote in this election. A person may vote in any election who:
Is a citizen of the United States and is 18 years of age or older.
Has been a resident of the state and of the election district, in which the person seeks to vote for at least 28 days prior to the election.
Has registered before the election registration deadline.
Is not registered to vote in another jurisdiction.
Where can I get additional information about registration or absentee ballots?
Additional information is available through the Saint Charles County Election Authority by calling 636-949-7550 or 1-800-822-4012, or visiting http://www.govotemissouri.com.
How will Proposition L appear on the ballot?
The proposal will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as follows. The format and language of the proposal are written as required by election law.
To provide advanced medical training for fire department personnel, responsible for protecting residents of the district, and to equip first responders with the additional education, medications and tools, such as cardiac monitors and lifesaving medications, to allow them to deliver critical medical care. Shall the Board of Directors of Central County Fire Rescue, a Fire Protection District of St. Charles County Missouri, be authorized to levy an additional tax of not more than twenty- five cents per one hundred dollars assessed evaluation, to provide funds for the support of the district?
At their meeting on Thursday, Aug 25, the Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Board of Directors passed a resolution to place Proposition L on the Nov. 8, 2016, ballot. Prop. L is a proposal to provide funding for advanced medical training and equipment for existing firefighter/EMTs and to hire additional firefighter/paramedics.
By placing paramedics on fire trucks, lifesaving medications, equipment, and interventions not available to EMTs (emergency medical technicians) would be available to residents faster. It would also allow for a higher level of medical response for those in need of rescue from a crashed automobile or other emergency situation. Over the past three years, nearly half of CCFR’s emergency calls have been medical responses.
“We have seen an increase in the number of medical calls we assist with, and the needs of our community are changing. We can provide faster lifesaving care to our residents by placing paramedics and the appropriate advanced medical equipment on each of our fire trucks,” says CCFR Chief Dan Aubuchon.
“Even though we have paramedics on our team, they cannot give paramedic level care because they do not have access to the proper equipment, and the District is not licensed to provide paramedic services,” says Aubuchon.
Currently, all CCFR firefighters are EMTs. A paramedic can provide lifesaving medical interventions that EMTs do not have the training and equipment to provide. For example, during a heart attack, a paramedic can monitor heart rhythms, pace a patient’s heart rate and get them back into normal heart rhythm. They can also start an IV, provide medication and secure an airway if needed. An EMT can only use a standard defibrillator to shock a heart back into a rhythm if the heart has stopped, provide CPR and basic oxygen. A paramedic can also administer IV and other medications for stroke, seizures, diabetic comas, allergic reactions, and drug overdoses and intubate to provide an airway.
Almost every fire protection district in the St. Louis Metro Area and more than half of the fire departments with a population size similar to CCFR nationwide have paramedics on their fire trucks.
If voters approve Prop. L the District can levy an additional tax of 25¢ per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation. The additional investment for the owner of a $175,000 home would be $1.60 a week.
CCFR will host a series of open houses to provide additional information and answer questions about the proposal. The first event will be an Open House at CCFR Fire Station #4,1259 Cave Springs Blvd., on Sept. 16 from 2 – 4 p.m. and a Senior Movie Afternoon and Open House will be held on Sept. 21 from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. at CCFR Fire Station #2, 109 McMenamy Rd. Additional activities will be announced in early September. District officials are also available to speak and attend neighborhood and community meetings.
In 2009 the community approved funding for the original SAFE-T plan. Changes in the economy resulted in CCFR losing more than $5 million dollars from decreases in assessed valuation. Assessed value is based on local property values, and as property values decrease so does CCFR’s revenue. This lost revenue could have provided funding for five rescue pumpers and two ladder trucks, as recommended by local residents during the SAFE-T program.
Proposition S would allow the District to issue $16 million in general obligation bonds to enhance training, and update aging equipment and facilities. Much like refinancing a home, the no-tax rate increase bond issue would allow the District to make these improvements without increasing the tax rate.
The majority of the District’s equipment was purchased more than 12 years ago. Because of the tremendous rise in calls and use of equipment since then, repair costs have increased 583% since 2003. All nine fire trucks are due for replacement, along with thermal imaging cameras, firefighter air packs and Jaws of Life rescue tools. Many of these items were due for replacement in 2008.
If approved, Proposition S would provide funding to update the District’s training center, and ensure emergency responders have the training needed to respond to a wide variety of emergency situations including automobile accidents, hazardous materials incidents and homeland security situations.
Update Outdated Fire Stations
Much like homes, fire stations need regular maintenance. Because of the current financial situation there has not been funding available for some regular maintenance such as driveway and roof repairs at many of the stations. Additional funding would also allow for aging fire stations to be updated and replaced if needed to meet current standards and emergency service needs.