Over the past 6 years the WFD has far surpassed the five year plan we originally drafted in 2012. The explosive growth of the Town has been the driving force for staying ahead of the plan, which is something many fire departments are simply unable to achieve. Of course, the support we receive from the Fire Board, Town Council, Town Manager, and community are critical in our ability to meet these benchmarks. (Download the PDF here)


 2012 – 2018 Major Achievements

2012

Hired 2 full time firefighters
Hired 3 additional administrative chiefs for a total of 4 (Operations, Administration, Support, and EMS/Training)
Transitioned EMS affiliation from Witham to St. Vincent
Began ALS paramedic service
Purchased Aerial ladder truck, L71
Created Standard Operating Guidelines and Policies for the agency, revised and added to many times over
Created Job Descriptions for all positions
Began program of wellness and annual physicals
Promoted first company officers, 3 Lieutenants
Implemented mutual aid agreements with neighboring fire departments
Joined Indiana Task Force One with three members on the team
Implemented Public Safety Officer program with WMPD
Worked with other county departments to implement standard run strings from dispatch
Began training with other area departments on consistent basis
Began Project Lifesaver response program
Began public education and fire prevention program
Began car seat installation service
Updated webpage, started social media outreach with Facebook and Twitter

2013

Chief Westrich promoted to Chief of the Department
Began staffing both an engine and ladder 24/7
Initialized Health and Safety committee and application of NFPA 1500 standards
Initiated routine meetings of LFD, ZFD and WFD Operations Chiefs
Continued to expand ALS training and service delivery
Purchased second set of gear for all firefighters per NFPA standard
Completed OSHA mandated fit testing for all employees
Began quarterly community CPR classes
Conducted CPR training for all WMPD officers

2014

Lowered ISO rating from 7/9 to 4/4X, placing WFD in the top 14% of all Indiana fire departments
Hired 3 full time firefighters
Created Incident Management Team response with area agencies
Began full service ALS ambulance transport with M71
Renovated former Town Hall building at Cozy Lane to establish second 24/7 fire station

2015

Began 24/7 operations with two stations
Renovated Station 71 to accommodate full time fire crews
Hired 9 full time firefighters with recruit training
Created full time Fire Marshal position
Initiated Work Performance Evaluation program for all firefighters
Replaced aging fleet of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
Purchased Ladder 72, a Quint Aerial for Station 72
Developed field operations guide and standard company function responses
Equipped all apparatus and WMPD PSOs with Narcan, began Opioid Overdose programs

2016

Hired 10 full time firefighters
Replaced vacant Fire Marshal position with Steven Milstead
Promoted two station Captains
Replaced all staff vehicles on 5-year lease schedule

2017

Hired two full time Deputy Chiefs (Administration, Operations)
Hired 3 full time firefighters
Hired 3 full time civilian paramedics
Developed employee-driven mission, vision and values
Began Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV-drone) program with UAV71
Began Whitestown Firefighter Experience outreach program 

2018 – 2019 (Bonus)

Hired full time Division Chief of Training
Transitioned department to Total Quint Concept, allowing for four firefighters on all fire apparatus
Replaced entire cache of mobile and handheld radios
Worked with other county agencies to ensure Locution computer automated dispatching implementation at BCCC
Replaced L71 with Quint Aerial L71
Property secured for Station 72
Architectural and Engineering work beginning on Station 72

 Summary

We have grown from a predominantly part-time based department, with 9 full time firefighters and one full time Chief to a full career department in 2019 with 42 full time firefighters and 5 full time Chief administrators. In that time we have consolidated resources to allow for four-person staffing on all fire apparatus. This transition to the total quint concept (TQC) will also facilitate a much easier expansion over the next few years of growth and service delivery. Eventually, the agency will transition back to typical operations of engine and ladder companies as growth slows and calls for service increase with the population.

The square footage of commercial buildings in the district has exploded by a factor of four while residential construction has more than tripled in the same period. We’ve seen apartment complexes double and high-rise construction go from zero buildings in 2012 to 6 by the end of 2019. The coming years are set to be just as busy with a new interchange on I 65, multiple commercial projects, a large community recreation development, several housing subdivisions, and the Little League regional headquarters all planned to start in the next two years.

As we look forward to our next long-range plan, running from 2020-2025, we foresee a balancing in growth and experience where we attempt to bring three seasoned shift battalion chiefs in to lead this young department into future. While actual firefighting experience currently averages 12 years/person, the actual time on the job at Whitestown is only averaging 2 years / firefighter. This results in a void in culture, history and agency experience, which we are actively working to correct and improve. We anticipate further improvement in our ISO score, which may lower insurance rates throughout the town and will place us among even fewer top-ranked agencies in the nation. Station development will continue with at least one more station in that timeframe and EMS service delivery will also increase with another transporting ambulance. While we recognize that the growth in this area will eventually slow, it doesn’t appear to be on the horizon just yet.