Departmental Weekly Update
Long Range Financial Report Shows Challenges Ahead

Maintaining service levels has been an ongoing challenge in many sectors of local government over the past several years. Costs to provide services are exceeding the revenues that local governments are able to raise in "built out" communities. Ideas such as consolidated services and intergovernmental agreements like the North Shore Fire Department are ways some communities have attempted to maintain exceptional service levels.
The North Shore Fire Department has been providing services to North Shore communities for 20 + years. A 2015 study by the Public Policy Forum of Milwaukee showed that if the seven North Shore communities, the Villages of Fox Point, Brown Deer, Bayside, Whitefish Bay, River Hills, Shorewood and the City of Glendale, had not consolidated their fire departments in 1995 they would have collectively paid $2.8 million dollars more in operating costs in 2014 to provide the same level of service currently provided by the North Shore Fire Department. Despite those savings, a Long Range Financial Planning Sub-Committee of the North Shore Fire Department Board of Directors recently released a report reflecting three different areas of financial concern for the sustainability of the North Shore Fire Department and its current service level. (Click here for the rest of this report)

Weekly Summary
    • A 14 year old boy drowned in Lake Michigan just north of Atwater Beach in Shorewood on July 18. The fire department was dispatched to a report of a swimmer that had not surfaced after jumping in the water. Rescue divers were able to recover the boy, who was not breathing and didn't have a pulse at the time, but he was not able to be resuscitated by emergency medical responders once removed from the Lake.
  • North Shore Fire/Rescue sent an engine company and chief officer as part of a task force response from Milwaukee County to assist the Burlington Fire Department in Racine County while the community experienced major flooding on July 14. The crew provided fire/rescue and EMS protection to the community while Burlington firefighters dealt with the flooding for approximately 10 hours. Several major bridges in the community were not usable during the floods making challenges to deploying fire/ems resources timely for other emergencies, thus requiring the need for additional resources to stage in areas throughout the community. The response was coordinated through the State's Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Fire/EMS Mutual Aid Agreement.
  • Four people were injured in a motor vehicle accident at W. Brown Deer Rd. and N. Deerwood Dr. in Brown Deer on July 17.
  • Truck 82 and Battalion 8 assisted Milwaukee Fire Department two different fires on July 18.
  • Two people were injured in a roll over vehicle crash at N. Teutonia Ave. and W Bradley Rd. on July 18. 
  • Administrative Staff held their monthly staff meeting.
  • Chief Whitaker and IT Staff met with the CAD and RMS Vendor Pro Phoenix to discuss challenges that the Department has been experiencing with the product.
  • Chief Whitaker met with North Shore Now Reporter Jeff Rummage to discuss the Long Range Financial Plan that has been submitted to the Board of Directors.
  • Chief Whitaker met with EMS Medical Billing to discuss ongoing implementation of the Imagetrend Elite product.
  • Finance Director KateLynn Schmitt attended training sponsored by the Government Finance Officers Association this week.
  • Staff held a project kick-off meeting with representatives from Converged Technology Professionals, the Department's new phone system vendor. Brown Deer, Bayside and North Shore Fire are all transitioning to this vendor as part of a cooperative purchase project.
Thank You Firefighter Chad Semrow

North Shore Fire/Rescue Firefighter Chad Semrow was off-duty traveling on US Highway 41/45 in Germantown on July 1 when he encountered a major car accident.

Chad stopped to render aid and was assisted by another passer-by who happened to be a Battalion Chief with the Racine Fire Department. I received a note from the Racine Battalion Chief recognizing FF Semrow for his service. Thank you to Chad for stopping to assist and being a great representative of our organization!

Chief Whitaker,
I would like to take a minute of your time to commend the actions of one of your members.  On Saturday, July 1, 2017, I assisted in a 1 car rollover accident on Hwy 41/45 in Germantown.  One of the other motorists who stopped to render aid was a North Shore Firefighter.
I must point out to you and your organization what a fine job your firefighter did in assessing and stabilizing the patient until the Germantown Fire Department was able to take over the scene.
Chief, you obviously have some highly trained members in your Department who do not hesitate to act when called upon.
I am sorry I did not get his name, but please pass along to him my utmost respect for a job well done.
Paul J Madden
Battalion Chief - Racine Fire Department

Chief Whitaker
Calls for Service This Week
Incident Type
Incident Count
Weekly Average (2015 & 2016)
Emergency Medical
Weekly Average (2015 & 2016)
Priority 1 & 2 Calls
Meeting Response Goal of 7:02
(goal of 90%)
Average Response Time
Priority 1 & 2 Calls
5 minutes 46 seconds
(goal of 6 minutes)

*Priority 1 & 2 calls are calls for service which the Department sends an initial responding unit to a scene with lights and sirens operating. Priority 3 calls are responses that are considered non-emergent.

Documents of Interest

2017 Department Strategic Plan 

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