Bradley County Fire and Rescue
Jul 08 - admin
The Bradley County Fire and
Rescue Department has experienced a great deal of progress since 2004. This has been accomplished with the help of a
Commission and Fire Board. Chief Dewey
Woody and the entire BCFR staff have also been instrumental in these
In 2004 the
Commission was interested in developing a long range plan for the Fire Department.
The Commission requested that the County Technical Advisory Service (
CTAS) conduct an evaluation of fire protection in
County. This plan has been the
foundation for steps that
County has taken since then to improve fire protection.
CTAS Evaluation recommended three additional fire stations to be added to
the seven that were in place at the time.
One of these stations was established in July of 2005 in the
Inman Street. At this time
the county hired twelve full-time firefighters.
Tasso Lane was purchased in January of this year for the second
recommended fire station. Construction
on the new station should begin this fall.
An additional nine firefighters will be hired and trained to staff the Tasso
Station and necessary equipment will be purchased. Three staff will be transferred from the
Inman Street Station to fully staff this station. It is anticipated that this new station will
be in full operation in the spring of 2009.
There are currently fifteen
full-time firefighters. Three
firefighters were hired last spring in order to have enough trained personnel
to staff the Tasso Station. These
fifteen paid personnel staff a fire engine in 24-hour shifts. A five person
engine company responds along with volunteers anywhere, outside the fringe
area, at all times.
There are also approximately
100 volunteers that we rely heavily on to complete the daily mission of
BCFR. In 2005 a Volunteer Firefighter
Incentive Pay Program was implemented to offset the expenses volunteers incur
to fulfill their duties. This program
was also recommended in the
In August of 2006 the Fire
Department and Rescue Service merged as recommended in the
CTAS report. This merger increased
available personnel for fire protection as well as the availability of
specially trained personnel that will enhance rapid intervention response. In 2007 the Charleston Fire Department merged
with BCFR which also increased volunteer staffing and equipment.
A major aspect of fire
protection is the availability of water.
The 2007-08 budget was the first for
County to fund additional fire hydrants on existing waterlines in strategic
locations. Additional funding was
allocated in the 2008-09 budget to continue this project. The utilities assist in this effort by
installing hydrants on new waterline extensions.
County has a contract with the city of
Cleveland Fire Department to cover the “urban fringe” area. The urban fringe encompasses any structure
that is within five road miles of a Cleveland Fire Station. The Bradley County Fire Department covers the
remaining parts of the county or the “rural” areas. The current contract with the city runs
June 30, 2010.
The deadline for
County to make a decision on whether to continue this contract is
30, 2009, so I am sure you
will hear a lot of discussion in the coming months on this topic. Please keep in mind during these discussions
that I am interested in providing the highest level of fire protection at the
lowest cost for
County citizens. This will be my
primary motivation during any discussions or negotiations with the City of
The firefighters of the
Bradley County Fire and Rescue Department, along with the Cleveland Fire
Department, provide an invaluable service to our citizens and I am thankful for
their commitment and dedication to our community.
Filed Under: 2008