by Max Brantley
Little Rock Fire Chief Gregory Summers, in a memo to City Manager Bruce Moore, has outlined what he believes will be better procedures, including door-to-door checks, to check homes for injured following major storms. This follows the April 15 storm in which rescue workers in initial checks missed two people killed when a tree fell on their house on Cynthia Drive.
LITTLE ROCK FIRE DEPARTMENT
OFFICE OF THE FIRE CHIEF
CITY MEMORANDUM NO. 11 - 018
DATE: JUNE 8, 2011
TO: BRUCE MOORE, CITY MANAGER
FROM: GREGORY SUMMERS, FIRE CHIEF GS
SUBJECT: STORM-RELATED FATALITIES
On April 15, 2011 Little Rock Firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak with a tree on the house at 9206 Cynthia Drive. Firefighters arrived, mitigated the incident, and investigated reports of concern for an elderly couple on Dryad Street, after which time they returned to service for additional calls. Subsequently, we returned six hours later to discover that there were two fatalities at 9201 Cynthia Drive, the result of a tree crashing through the northwest corner of the structure. After my initial examination of the scene, I requested an internal investigation into our actions: what information we received via dispatch, what we discovered upon arrival, and what actions we took. This investigation was spearheaded by Assistant Fire Chief Douglas Coney.
We have determined that our personnel acted within the scope of the emergency to which they· were dispatched; however, we believe that we could have done things a little differently that night, and therefore have implemented changes in response to incidents of this magnitude that do not quite meet the threshold of Standard Operating Guidelines for response to collapsed structures.
• Battalion Chiefs are instructed to be more involved in assessing the situation when one of these large-scale storms has impacted the city.
• Fire companies will conduct a door-to-door check of the residents in the affected neighborhoods.
• Each home will be marked appropriately (per SOG #11200) or, at a minimum, keep a listing of what was checked and by what company.
The Little Rock Fire Department prides itself in providing the highest level of service to the citizens of this city, and it stands ready to improve upon our mission statement "Protecting life and property through service and education - LRFD 24/7."