Williamson ESD #4 Board elects officers

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By CHRISTINE BOLANOS

The Williamson County Emergency Services District #4 Commissioners elected their officer positions during a regular meeting Feb. 29.

Sandra Taylor will continue as president, alongside Dan Clark as vice president, James Crabtree as secretary and James Baker as assistant treasurer. New board member Kirk Lowe is taking on the role of treasurer.

The board authorized staff to revise the rate schedule for fire prevention activities. Fire Chief Anthony Lincoln told The Independent this will facilitate the payment process for customers.

“We’re trying to make it a one-stop deal,” he said. “As a developer you have to come in and pay this fee and then come back and have this stuff done, we’re trying to get it to where we can figure out what it’s going to cost you for the whole project.”

With the changes, the customer will know what the entire project will cost from the get-go, instead of finding out what rates are as the project moves along. It will be similar to a quote system, where overall cost is included, as well as a breakdown for individual items.

“We’re just trying to make it easier for them,” he said.

Commissioners also gave fire department staff the green light to proceed with proposed changes to amendments in the International Fire Code or IFC 2006. The proposed changes generally have to do with labeling to make firefighters’ jobs easier and quicker.

“There’s always improvements you can make in a plan and it’s stuff like addressing,” Lincoln said. “Like if you have a strip center and its addressed on the front. We want it to be addressed on the back doors also so if we have an incident there we want the guys to go in the right door. It’s the small things that make you a little more successful sometimes.”

The IFC also includes information on what constitutes a development. There are two exceptions currently and the proposed changes would include a third exception.

“It’s dealing with roadways and connectivity into neighborhoods to try to give the developer a little more latitude in making the project successful,” Lincoln said.

There are also proposed changes having to do with electrical wiring. Lincoln said the fire station is working with San Gabriel Crossing apartment complex already on labeling electrical wire.

“So when you go to disconnect the power for a building you want to make sure you’re disconnecting the power for the right building,” he said. “So we’re getting them to label all the different disconnects.”

Other proposed changes include ensuring fire department connections or FDCs, are connected as well as visual alarms on FDC sprinkler rooms.

Lincoln said the fire department may also be looking at incorporating a newer version of the IFC in the future.

“We’ll probably start looking at newer codes and see if we’re going to upgrade in the future,” he said. “Just because they start being more thorough on fire code things out there.”

Lincoln presented his monthly Chief’s Report during the meeting. The department responded to 134 incidents in January. Of those, 64 percent were rescue and medical; 17 percent were good intent calls and 10 percent were service calls and citizen assists. Seven percent were fire response incidents, 1 percent were hazardous condition (no fire) and 1 percent were false alarm and false call.

The average district response time was 7 minutes and 35 seconds for the month of January. The response time is down compared to the average response time in 2014, which was 8 minutes and 26 seconds, and in 2015, which was 9 minutes and 18 seconds.

The ESD board is expecting to hear results from the 2014/15 annual audit at the March 21 meeting. The gathering will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the fire station.

Lincoln said he expects the audit will be normal as the auditors did not take as long reviewing documents as they did last time.

Lincoln said he expects the ESD to set a deadline for March 25 for request for quotations, or RFQs, related to fire station #2. He hopes to have the top three firms picked out at the ESD’s April meeting. He said the committee who selects the firms consists of himself, Lt. Clayton Huggins, firefighter Charles Johnson and Commissioners James Baker and Dan Clark.

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