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Monday, 31 December 2012 11:31

The Alliance Advantage

The Miami Valley Fire/EMS Alliance is a Council of Government organized under the Ohio Revised Code 167. The Alliance Full/Voting membership area is the eight contiguous counties to Montgomery County. To date, there are 19 Full/Voting members, five Affiliate members and four Associate members. The membership agreement and cost per capita of $0.24 has not changed since the Alliance formation in March of 1995. The Alliance was founded to encourage cooperation among the fire departments allowing the departments and ultimately their citizens to save both time and money. Joint purchasing was the initial endeavor with immediate cost savings for members. The Alliance has three bids posted on the website www.mvfea.com The Alliance bid for EMS Supplies and Equipment is strong at an overall savings of 28%, 30% on gloves, and 20% on Pharma and IV Solutions. The two additional bids are Ladder Testing and Physical Exams. Other joint-departmental purchases have been for fire hose, foam, and high visibility vests.

Since 2005 the Alliance has conducted the Entry Level Testing Program for the departments that wish to save approximately $5,000 per testing cycle.

The Alliance strives to serve its members through new initiatives and programs. The Alliance is a Testing Center for National Testing Network (NTN). The new initiative was a request from members to test entry level firefighters. When fire departments tested on their own, the cost was $5,000 per testing cycle. By the Alliance administrating the Fire Team test it saves the departments both time and money. The Alliance administers four tests a year. The test is in four parts: 1.) Human Relations, 2.) Mechanical, 3.) Math, and 4.) Reading. Alliance testing has grown to include more NTN entry level tests for E-Comm, or a call taker/dispatcher test, and Frontline, which is a law enforcement test. For advancement in the fire service, the Alliance can host a NTN promotional test for Lieutenants, Captains, and Battalion Chiefs.

The Alliance administers a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) which is approved in cooperation with the International Association of Firefighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFF/IAFC). The CPAT exam is proctored by paid employees working at the CPAT warehouse in Kettering, OH. The CPAT exam can be used only for entry level firefighters. Schedule dates and more information about CPAT can be found on the Alliance website www.mvfea.com.

Another benefit of membership is the Alliance Assessment Centers for fire officers. The centers are proctored by the Alliance staff. Assessors have been well-trained and are fire department members. The Assessors volunteer their time and expertise. Working with the fire department personnel, Assessment Centers are designed to include exercises such as an in- basket, a presentation, and/or dealing with troubled employee. Reports from the Assessment Center Coordinator include scoring and feedback for each candidate as well as feedback suggestions for the Fire Chief. Most Assessment Center fees from other companies range from $3-5,000 and fees can increase based on the number of individuals tested. Alliance members pay $500 for any number of candidates. There is also a non-member fee of $2,500.

Through the work of several workgroups, committees, and advisory boards, the Alliance fosters cooperation with area departments by training and information sharing. The State of Ohio requirements firefighters to obtain Continued Educational Units (CEU’s). The Training Committee provided a solution for cost-effective training. Working with our partner Sinclair Community College, the Alliance has bi-monthly webinars and other video-based trainings. They are archived on the Alliance website www.mvfea.com. This allows departments to access the training on their schedule. The Alliance is the owner of a truck towable Confined Space Training Trailer and a Mayday Training Trailer. The Mayday Trailer is larger and a towing company transports it to a department’s chosen location. The Communications Committee has been very instrumental in regional cooperation for not only fire departments, but also with law enforcement and public works to develop an 800 MHz radio Use Template, and several SOP’s. All of which are posted on the Alliance website.

Because of the present statistic for active duty firefighter deaths, the Alliance has taken the lead with the development of the Health & Wellness Workgroup. The workgroup’s dedication led to a better understanding of methods to improve firefighters’ fitness. The workgroup developed a Wellness and Fitness Template that is posted on the Alliance website. For every dollar spent on improving health and wellness, communities may save funds on insurance cost and have the added value of a healthier and fit department. When the alarm is sounded, the Alliance wants every firefighter to be able to respond and to come home safe.

The Alliance interfaces with several local organizations. Cooperative efforts include working with the Mayors and Managers Association, Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, American Red Cross, Greater Miami Valley EMS Council, Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, Greene County Emergency Management, Sinclair Community College, Catholic Social Services, MGLERC, and the Miami Valley Communication Council.

While the Alliance Advantage is evolving, the mission is as significant today as it was in the beginning; if not more.

Under the Alliance umbrella there are three agencies. The Alliance primary duty is being their fiduciary agent. The Alliance processes all payables and receivables and is the primary contact for the Annual A-133 Single Audit. The Alliance is the sponsoring agency for OH-TF1, a Federal and State of Ohio Urban Search and Rescue Team, and the Dayton Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team. The Hazmat team is classified as Type I Team and responds to incidents in Greene and Montgomery Counties. Region 3 Rescue Strike Team, an eight county response team, is also under the Alliance umbrella.

As the Sponsoring Agency for OH-TF1, the Alliance has access to a 5,000 square foot OH-TF1Training Center. The Training Center has an office, restrooms, and a large classroom able to seat approximately 50 people. The building is wired for internet and other communication capabilities. The Training Center is available for members to use by scheduling through the Training Officer at the Alliance office.

While the Alliance Advantage is evolving, our mission is as significant today as it was in the beginning; if not more. The Alliance provides cost-effective and cooperative regional initiatives. The Alliance promotes and supplies regional training for firefighters, educational opportunities, entry level and promotional testing, strategic planning, cooperation with many government organizations, improving firefighter wellness and fitness, and the cost-savings on equipment and services. And last, but certainly not least, it is our members who are truly the Alliance Advantage.


The Alliance Advantage Includes...

  • Numerous Bids and Special Discounts for Fire & EMS Equipment & Supplies
  • Entry Level Testing for Firefighters, E-comm (Call Taker and Dispatch), Law Enforcement, and Correction Officers
  • Ladder Testing, 28% Discount on EMS Supplies, Firefighter Physicals, Reflective Safety Vests, Hose and Tools
  • Entry Level Testing for Firefighters, E-comm (Call Taker and Dispatch), Law Enforcement, and Correction Officers
  • Regional CPAT Exams Sanctioned by IAFF/IAFC
  • Promotional Testing for Fire Officers
  • Assessment Centers for Fire Officers
  • Background Checks through Ohio BCI&I
  • Strategic Planning
  • NIMS Training
  • Regional Training Cooperatives - Hands-on & Online through Webinars
  • Mayday Training Trailer, Instructors and Certification
  • Blue Card Training Simulator
  • Confined Space Training Trailer
  • Regional SOP's and SOG's; Health & Wellness, Firefighter Dependant Care
  • Regional Communication Templates
  • Health & Wellness Templates
  • Hazmat and Rescue Training
  •  OH-TF1 Regional Training
  •  Region 3 Rescue Strike Team Training
  • Regional Cooperation with Local, State and Federal Government Agencies
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