Guest Column

Dayton Fire Department strives to be the best.

By Jeffrey L. Payne, director and chief of the Dayton Fire Department

Each day approximately 61 firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians aboard seven fire engines, four ladder trucks and seven medic units respond to emergency incidents. Our emergency responders are skilled at saving lives, protecting property and providing emergency medical transport for sick and injured patients to local hospitals for continuity of care. When not responding to emergency calls our crews are often busy training, performing fire safety inspections and maintaining the firehouses from which they respond from and live during a 24-hour work shift.

Complementing our fire response efforts is the fire prevention bureau tasked with inspecting businesses, specialty facilities and schools ensuring compliance with established fire codes. Fire prevention is an integral part of our organization and is a key component to keeping the public safe. Proactive fire prevention efforts save lives and protect against business losses resulting from fires.

Within the fire prevention bureau is our fire prevention education specialist. This specialist provides presentations to schools, civic and concerned citizen groups. He also coordinates public events involving fire crews such as block parties and firehouse tours. These presentations and events yielded more than 20,000 citizen contacts in 2016. Although the specialist’s message is customized for each group’s age the common message is to teach fire safety behaviors and how to respond should you have a fire in your environment.

Even with these efforts fires still occur in the city; sometimes arising by malicious means. The Dayton Fire Department arson investigation unit is charged with identifying the cause and origin of a maliciously set fire, collection of evidence, follow up investigations and, if necessary, the arrest of alleged arsonists. Our fire investigators often follow up with witnesses and neighbors to glean additional information that may serve to benefit their investigation. Often it has been these interactions that have proven to be the pivotal piece of information leading to a successful investigation and prosecution.

As chief of the Dayton Fire Department it is my purpose to ensure that the citizens and workers in the city of Dayton receive the highest quality care and customer service possible. We take pride in receiving the highest customer service ratings among all departments with the city of Dayton’s organization. However, we are not resting on our laurels and we continually strive to provide the best possible experience for the customers we serve.

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