County Departments Spotlight Accomplishments, Trends – Brevard NC

 

March 16, 2017



Editor’s Note: Accomplishments, trends and goals from the past six months of the majority of the county’s departments were heard during a recent Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting.

Each department head or a representative gave brief six-month updates. The reports of the first 16 departments were published in the past two editions. The following is the remaining department reports.

Emergency Management — (Accomplishments)

Effective response to last fall’s wildfire incident; coordination with Emergency Services stakeholders (Red Cross, volunteer departments, Public Health); completion of Emergency Management Planning Grant (EMPG) requirements for funding; and completion of required disaster response drills.

(Trends) Coordination of response disciplines; alternative methods for funding Emergency Services; continued integration of non-traditional agencies into emergency services response; standardization of service level and cost countywide; and reevaluation of service districts.


(Goals) Develop, present and build consensus on implementation of effective emergency services strategies; make recommendations and obtain approval to revise Fire Service District maps; and restructure emergency management assignments to improve efficiency and communication.

Maintenance — (Accomplishments) Completed building maintenance in all county buildings, with total square footage of 281,351; installed new signage at Community Services Building; relocated the Board of Elections and Wellness Center, with new signage; renovated DSS basement area to accommodate storage and IT needs, making space available at maintenance shop to house grounds equipment; continued coordinated work with Sheriff’s Inmate Work Program (painting, sanding, drywall finish etc.); completed installation of security measures at Community Services Building; completed gutter/roof repair on DSS building and installed new windows in third floor; and identified a grant program to install LED units in Community Services Building

(Trends) Aging facilities and equipment have increased maintenance issues and increased costs; continue window replacement at DSS/Community Services Building; building drainage/piping aging; flat and aging roofs with increasing maintenance and repair needs; aging HVAC systems requiring technician time/increased part-time need; moisture/humidity in Register of Deeds; parking lot deterioration (developing a repair and replacement including cost estimates); paint and building beautification efforts (inmate workforce); and aging equipment/needs.


(Goals) Continue security improvements in county facilities; continue improvements to building and grounds appearance; continue HVAC replacement program; complete maintenance work orders within timely manner (respond within three work days); and paint all corridors in courthouse, large and small courtrooms, and Community Services building.

Housekeeping — (Accomplishments) Reassignment of Housekeeping to the Maintenance Department; implementation of new housekeeping schedule, including reassignment of housekeeping responsibilities, including use of inmate workforce and internal housekeeping at Solid Waste facility; hired lead housekeeper; and evaluated cost of housekeeping program.

(Trends) Reevaluation of housekeeping program, including reassignment of responsibilities and improved performance measures; privatization of specialized housekeeping services; continue working with TVS clients in a community partnership for delivery of supplies; and evaluation of equipment and cleaning materials to identify possible efficiencies.

(Goals) Implement a housekeeping supplies tracking system and reduce housekeeping supplies storage; improve efficiency through implementation of revised housekeeping schedule; and monitor and update staff training.

Public Health — (Accomplishments) Competed and secured family planning funds for three years ($29,304 annually); responded to a complex tuberculosis event; wildfire air quality education used as a model by surrounding counties; and three community action plans developed from the Community Health Assessment.

(Trends) Increase in paid billing claims; increase in sexually transmitted disease testing; relatively steady numbers in environmental health permits; continued progress in CDC Public Health preparedness capabilities rubric; and threatened state/federal funding streams.

(Goals) Analyze financial impact of repeal/replace ACA’s Public Health Prevention Fund; analyze N.C. Medicaid Managed Care Model; no agency expansion until impact determined; and focus on efficiencies and improvements for current programs and projects.

EMS — (Accomplishments) Worked with Mission Hospital on strategies and protocols to reduce out of county transports. Since this started in September, the department has seen a decrease and is continuing to refine the process and look at other options. Frees up ambulances to cover other calls in the county.

The Community Care Paramedicine Program is currently seeing 12 clients on a regular basis. Due to call volume, two staff members have been working one day per month, in addition to their regular shifts, to handle initial visits and follow ups. This has reduced several unnecessary ambulance transports and helped clients obtain the necessary support they need.

The Stryker cot mounts have all been replaced, with the new style that is much safer in the event of an accident and charges the battery operated cot while it is mounted.

In 2016, EMS maintained a total average response time of 8.9 minutes, with a goal of 9 minutes; completed mass violence response training with and continue working with Blue Ridge Community College and school system on response procedures, equipment and full-scale exercises; helped Animal Services review all of its euthanasia records to remain in compliance with regulations; assisted Communications Department with the implementation and ongoing review of its Emergency Medical Dispatch program.

(Trends) Becoming more difficult to maintain an average response time under 9 minutes, especially considering the outlying areas. Although the total call volume decreased in 2016 due to reduced out of county transports, EMS continues to see call volume crunches, which tie up all on-duty trucks at the same time.

Community Care Paramedicine Program has helped reduce repeat transports of its clients.

EMS agencies across the country are seeing an increase in violent events and have been purchasing ballistic protection (helmets and vests) for staff.

Continuing education and mandatory training needs continue to increase, resulting in more overtime.

(Goals) Spread ambulances out around Brevard to reduce response times outside the Brevard area. Staff an additional 24-hour truck, possibly in an outlying fire department initially. Take the supervisors off the truck at night to provide an additional response unit; replace an ambulance; reduce average response time to under 8 minutes, focus on outlying areas; continue mass violence training and response procedures in conjunction with Blue Ridge Community College and school system, including purchase of ballistic vests and helmets for EMS staff, and mass violence response kits; continue to add clients to the Community Care Paramedicine Program; and consider future base replacement/relocation.

The Brevard EMS base was built in 1957 and severely limits growth potential. It has no room for expansion, with extremely tight bays, limiting size of trucks, dangerous access/egress, not enough bay space for current number of trucks, needs a new roof and has multiple water issues.

911 Communications

(Accomplishments)

Completed the installation of security electronics and structured communications wiring on the Election Center project; continue working with 911 Board for Required Backup Plan and Backup Site; finalizing selection of equipment from vendors for CAD/GIS/911/Radio; implemented power phone priority dispatch for emergency medical dispatch, fire dispatch and law dispatch; transferred day-to-day management of New VoIP telephone service in Community Services, Election Center, Child Development, Brevard EMS Base, Solid Waste Main Facility, Animal Shelter, Library, Tax/Register of Deeds Building to the Information Technology Department; installed new pep wave units in all EMS units to allow for vehicle tracking and currently working to incorporate the location into the GIS system to allow for quicker dispatch times by allowing the system to determine closest paramedic unit to respond; and updated two-way equipment in the Fire Marshal’s Office to improve response times to request for service.

(Trends) Fire call processing time has increased; steady increase of calls and calls for service over the past two years.

(Goals) Continue working to locate an available frequency pair for switching Animal Services radio communications to a county wide VHF system; continue working on GIS layers for efficiency and to improve public notification and use of available information for various inquiries; bring on-line the 911 back-up site as required by state law to remain eligibility for funding from the state; finalize preliminary engineering for a countywide simulcast radio system to improve response times and make communications countywide seamless; finish installing remote control and monitoring devices on all generators to meet ISO rating requirements; reorganize the Communications/Emergency Management Department to allow more direct supervision within the 911 center to ensure compliance with protocol; respond to daily issues and concerns from response agencies; promote efficiency in the 911 center, and implement strategies to meet the NFPA guidelines; increase use of contract services for technical radio and tower site maintenance and repair; continue monitoring performance of call processing time since the implementation of the PowerPhone system; evaluate the need for possible additional staff to meet the processing time requirements based on current staffing levels and achieved processing times; implement unit response prioritization for response calls that will compliment the PowerPhone System.

Department of Social Services — (Accomplishments) Increased child support collections; established three foster care licensed homes between July and December; income maintenance unit is processing Medicaid and food and nutrition applications and re-certifications timely; full implementation of Medicaid Administrative Claiming in Adult Services unit for social worker’s time when working with their clients in qualifying situations that are Medicaid eligible or others seeking eligibility for Medicaid benefits. This is an uncapped reimbursement source for the agency.

Children Services will begin its third round of foster home license training to continue efforts in recruitment of more Transylvania County licensed foster homes. The agency has completed nine adoptions since July.

(Trends) Increasing requests for DSS guardianship cases; ongoing shortage of space; increasing needs for staff training; decreasing applicants for DSS vacancies; increasing employee safety/security awareness; and increase in foster children placed with relative/kinship persons versus licensed placements.

Child Development — (Accomplishments) The county’s child development center, located beside the library, continues to maintain a five-star license and a superior sanitation rating.

The center has had fewer than two openings at any one time since Transylvania County Schools began, except for the developmental day openings, which are filled by the school system. The waiting list is checked on a monthly basis and updated as needed in-house.

Although formal data is not available, the Transylvania County Pre-school coordinator has indicated at least 80 percent progress toward children’s IEP goals. Initial assessments on the creative curriculum was conducted in the fall and a winter assessment was completed in late February, which will provide data to show if students are showing progress.

(Trends) The center is experiencing difficulty in recruiting fully qualified center personnel and is experiencing an all-time low in the number of available substitutes. The center is experiencing ongoing concerns from parents regarding building security. Maintenance did install a security door and is exploring an option to have a camera and remote unlock to allow parent access. The Division of Child Development and Early Education is requiring additional ongoing training for all center staff.

(Goals) Maintain a five-star license. The waitlist will be managed by center staff to ensure timely placement and meet established enrollment categories whenever possible.

Eighty percent of preschool age children will show progress towards kindergarten readiness.

Administration — (Accomplishments) Completion of the Safety Survey (public and outside agency) and implementation of improvements; first year of Strategic Plan Implementation and tool development; annual work plan move to digital entry; all agenda items reflect strategic plan connection; began long-range capital planning process with the board; first year of nonprofit funding policy implementation; vehicle inventory, study and recommendations complete for prioritizing needs; countywide ordinance review begun to prepare for update and codification and coordination with Rosman to align; minutes scanned back to May 2002 for electronic archival; regular coordination with the City of Brevard and town of Rosman; working through funding agreement for the Goldenleaf funded Ecusta Road project involving Transylvania Economic Alliance, city and county; began meeting room policy work group to make recommendations to board; comprehensive research complete on in-house attorney option and recruitment process undertaken; and increased coordination with Mission Health, including EMS out of county transports and mental health and substance abuse.

(Trends) Increase in use of commissioner meeting room for county meetings; staff turnover in front office and transportation requiring additional support from administration; growing regional project interaction (broadband, transportation); demands for product development for economic development; demands for workforce support from business leaders (housing, child care/early childhood); growing need for budget stabilization year to year, including purchasing replacement, such as vehicles and computers, and maintenance projects on existing facilities.

(Goals) Engage business community in the conversation around workforce support efforts; establish a county-wide meeting room policy for adoption by commissioners; explore opportunities to create additional efficiencies, including contracting versus in-house comparisons and organizational structure, grouping like activities to cross support; process evaluation, technology support; explore opportunities to be a part of regional projects like broadband; collaboration with town and city on development projects, economic development projects, and parks and recreation projects/operations; construction of the Ecusta Road site as a re-investment model to sustain funding for economic development; long-range capital planning, including courthouse and schools; increase access to historical records on digital media; turn annual work plan product into a report to citizens; and a comprehensive report that also provides department by department snapshots available online and in print.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017