The City of Borger was recently named the winner of a special award at the Texas Municipal League Annual Conference in Houston.
During the opening general session of the 2011 conference, which was held in Houston, the city was announced as the winner of the Public Safety category for cities under 25,000 for its “Public Safety Training Partnerships.”
Presented with the challenge of protecting a highly industrial and high risk employment base situated outside of the incorporated city limits with limited funding means, the City of Borger and Borger Fire Department turned to a cooperative approach.
Through a public-private partnership, the BFD has brought a new income stream into the city while also increasing its capabilities by providing high value services at a substantial cost savings to its industrial partners. The result is increased public safety and economic development at the same time.
The initial training centered on services and skills that local industries needed and that fire department personnel were already credentialed to teach. These services included fire extinguisher training, CPR, First Aid, and HEPA Fit Testing.
For these services, the training division established training fees that saved local industries a substantial amount, covered all costs to the department, and supplemented the department's training budget. The program has since grown to allow the creation of a rope rescue team and HAZMAT response resources that were previously not available to the community through the BFD.
These skills are now available to the city's local industries as the division now has several credentialed instructors in these areas. Continuing to expand on the concept, the latest addition to the department's capabilities is industrial-confined space entry.
The program has proved to be extremely successful. In the last year, the department has trained over 250 people, taught more than 20 classes, provided services for five industrial confined space entries, and signed a yearly contract to provide safety training for one of the Borger community's major industrial employers. Another major employer is currently in negotiation for an annual contract to provide its training needs as well.
The program has created a win-win situation for all parties, which includes increased public safety, higher trained fire fighters, new fire department teams and capabilities, higher trained industrial partners, cost savings passed on to industries, and increased cooperation.
The award marks the second year in a row that the City of Borger and the BFD have been awarded TML's “Municipal Excellence Award” for achievements in public safety. Questions or comments about this program, any other program, or the Borger Fire Department in general can be directed to Chief Bob Watson at 806-273-0950.
The City of Borger and Borger Fire Department continually strive to provide the best services to the citizens it serves.
The Texas Municipal League's “Municipal Excellence Awards Program” recognizes and encourages the achievements of Texas cities in meeting the challenges of municipal government. Innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, increasing citizen participation, and reaching toward higher service levels are all daily occurrences in Texas cities, and deserve recognition. It is through the recognition of the best that all Texas cities share and learn from these achievements.