The Longview Fire Department, due to its many diverse responsibilities of function, must work within the authority and under the oversight of many different credentialing agencies. Those agencies include:
- Texas Commission on Fire Protection
- Texas Department of State Health Services,
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education
- State Fire Marshal's Office
- Drug Enforcement Agency
- Insurance Services Office
- National Fire Protection Agency.
This section will briefly describe the importance of not only maintaining but, when possible, working to improve upon these stakeholder relationships.
Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP)
The Texas Commission on Fire Protection is the state agency charged with the oversight and enforcement responsibilities for all paid, career fire departments operating in the State. The Commission has established procedures/guidelines for fire departments to adhere‐to for criteria such as firefighter certification and credentialing, firefighter safety, firefighter continuing education, firefighter standard operating procedures, firefighter injury reporting, and fire equipment testing and data collection. The department must annually renew the certification credentials of all 168 uniformed personnel with the Commission. LFD is also subject to periodic on‐site inspections by a TCFP Field Compliance Officer to ensure the department is maintaining the required levels of procedures set forth by the Commission and established in the State of Texas Administrative Code.
Texas Department of State
Health Services (DSHS)
The Texas Department of State Health Services is the state agency charged with the oversight and enforcement responsibilities governing all emergency medical service providers operating in the State and delivering pre‐hospital medical care. The DSHS has established procedures/guidelines for EMS providers to adhere‐to for various criteria such as Emergency Medical Technician (Basic, Intermediate, Paramedic) Certification and continuing education, licensing for EMS service delivery levels (Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Mobile Intensive Care Unit), EMS service delivery protocols, EMS service delivery equipment standards, and EMS Subscription Program requirements. Longview Fire Department must periodically renew its EMS Service Provider's License, and also ensure continuing education requirements are met and certifications current for all 168 uniformed members of the department. These renewals are required to operate an EMS Service within the State. The requirement for the department to operate under the local authority of a Medical Director, Dr. Greg Harrington, GSMC ER, is also mandated by this agency. All of the stated requirements are also set forth in the State of Texas Administrative Code.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
The Texas Department of Public Safety is the state agency charged with the oversight and enforcement responsibilities for all emergency medical service providers operating in the State who utilize certain narcotic, controlled substances in the course of their service delivery. The department currently, by protocol and under the authority of the Medical Director, administers four (4) regulated drugs that require licensing (Ativan, Fentanyl, Morphine, and Versed) as a MICU‐level of service. These requirements are also set forth in the State of Texas Administrative Code.
Texas Division of Emergency
The Texas Division of Emergency Management is the agency branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety charged with the oversight responsibility for emergency management activities statewide. All emergency management activities occurring in the City of Longview/Gregg County are coordinated through the DPS Disaster District Chairman (DDC), who is the local DPS Captain assigned to the Northeast Texas Region (based in Tyler).
Texas Commission on
Law Enforcement Standards & Education (TCLEOSE)
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education is the state agency charged with the oversight and enforcement responsibilities for all Licensed Peace Officers working in the State. While this agency has a much larger oversight with our Longview Police Department counterparts, the Fire Department also maintains a staff of Licensed Peace Officers for activities such as Arson Investigation and SWAT Medics. These department employees are required to meet the same standards as LPD Police Officers for areas such as certification and credentialing, continuing education, and firearms qualification. The department currently has approximately 10‐15 personnel (primarily assigned within the Fire Marshal's Office) that must adhere to the standards set forth by TCLEOSE. These requirements are also established in the State of Texas Administrative Code.
State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO)
The State of Texas Fire Marshal's Office is the state agency charged with the oversight of all fire incident‐reporting requirements. The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) is the national database that the Fire Department utilizes for the purpose of capturing critical fire and emergency response data for dissemination into the State's database. This locally collected data is meshed with the same data from fire departments across the state and nation for the purpose of identifying trends in fire origin and cause, fire‐related death and injury, response typing, and the financial impact of fire loss. The department reports on a monthly basis to the SFMO.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
The Drug Enforcement Agency is the Federal agency charged with the oversight of all medications classified as controlled substances. While the department, as previously identified, must adhere to the Texas DPS for this function at the State‐level, there is a similar responsibility at the Federal‐level that must also be maintained.
Insurance Service Office (ISO)
The Insurance Service Office is a nationally recognized authority for categorizing fire departments based upon their capabilities of providing fire protection for their communities. The ISO grading schedule replaced the Key Rate system in Texas in the late 1980's as the preferred method for calculating a community's property insurance rates, hence the lower the ISO grade of a fire department, the lower the property insurance rates for the community. The ISO grades fire departments based upon a scale that ranges from a Class‐1 to a Class‐10 grading. A Class‐10 would refer to a community that has no established fire protection for its residents and property. A Class‐1 would refer to the fire department in a community that has met all of the minimum requirements, as defined, to operate effectively as a fire department in providing public fire protection. This grading schedule is based upon the following three areas:
- 50% of the grade is for the actual fire department and factors areas such as staffing, stations, apparatus, equipment, training, etc.,
- 40% of the grade is based on the community's water delivery system and factors items such as needed fire flows, water storage capabilities, fire hydrant distribution, etc.,
- 10% of the grade is based on the community's communications capabilities and factors things such as 911 service, radio communications, redundancy systems for both, etc.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
The National Fire Protection Association stands as a nationally recognized body for establishing guidance criteria for fire departments operating in the United States. The NFPA has criteria ranging from the Life Safety Code, National Electrical Code, and various Building Codes; yet, more specifically impacts fire departments in areas such as Firefighter Safety. These guidelines affect all aspects of a fire department ranging from fire apparatus design, firefighter protective equipment, and firefighter tools and appliances. In the U.S., the NFPA is the standard that fire departments will be measured against to if ever faced with the unfortunate occurrence of firefighter injury or death while functioning in the line‐of‐duty.