- Full Name and Title:
Dustin Glasgow, Engineer Paramedic
- How long have you worked for NCFPD?
I have been employed with NCFPD since 2005, working as a reserve firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, and engineer.
- Why did you want to come to work for the NCFPD?
I decided out of high school that I wanted to be in the fire service. My dad, Charlie Glasgow, worked at NCF for 33 years prior to retiring in 2008.
During my years as a fire explorer, I was able to train with, and get to know, all the people here at NCFPD. It was during this time I knew I not only wanted to be a firefighter, but that I wanted to continue the legacy my dad left.
- What do you like most about working for NCFPD?
The thing I like most about NCFPD is the focus we have on a family atmosphere and proficient training.
- What does a typical day look like?
A typical day as an engineer includes some very key and important tasks. As the engineer who operates the firetruck, I am responsible for ensuring that it is mechanically sound and ready to go.
We perform a standardized DOT “Pre-Trip” Inspection every day. This includes checking the air-powered brakes, all the emergency lights, the powertrain and all its fluids, the water pump, and hoses. This entire process takes approximately 30-60 minutes.
During response to incidents, it is my job to ensure that my crew and I arrive safely to the scene of the emergency. At fires, I operate the pump panel and get water to all our deployed hoses, while making sure they are sufficiently pressurized.
At the station, we continually train and retrain on all our equipment. We also practice various emergency scenes to perfect the times we can rescue victims or mitigate hazards effectively.
- Are you involved in any programs (explorer program/volunteer etc.)
I am currently involved in several programs.
- I am the program lead for all our mapping needs in the district. The term in the mapping world is GIS. This stands for Geographic Information System. I work with our dispatch center to assure that all the maps are correct. This includes things like: roads, fire hydrants, parcels, topography, and aerial imagery.
I make all the wall maps we have in the stations to give us an idea of where we need to go before we leave the station. I work with our dispatch to create what we call “Preplans”. These allow us to get detail in an apartment complex, or industrial facility. These “Preplans” allow us to mitigate hazards more quickly when they arise. They tell us key features about a building like layout, exits, sprinkler rooms, fire panels etc. With GIS there are powerful tools we can use to determine areas of higher wildfire threat, areas of higher emergency calls, or areas where there are high instances of traffic accidents. GIS in the fire service is of great value to us and our customers.
- I also coordinate our “MDC” (Mobile Data Computer) program. In every vehicle we have what are known as “tough tablets”. These MDC’s are mil spec rated for water, dust and impact. We use these MDC’s to communicate over a wireless connection to our dispatch center. They can send us 911 call information right to our screen. They also provide us with live information called AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location). This gives us the ability to see where other vehicles are in the whole of North County, which provides us great situational awareness of what is going on in and around our district.
- I work with our IT department in developing procedural forms to improve workflows. I have created dozens of automated forms that improve communication through requests, work tickets and vehicle deficiencies. I created an internal webpage to house all these forms and provide information when people need it.
- To the best of your knowledge, what are the needs of NCFPD?
I think that the most important need we have is in our budget. Our budget is unique in that the only way we get our funding is through property tax. This is very dependent on the economy and how well our property values are performing.
The other piece to this is our EMS delivery system. Being one of the first ALS (Advanced Life Support) fire departments back in the 90’s, we have seen a lot of changes since its implementation.
When we started our ambulance service, it was an efficient and solvent model. Over the years, with the changes in health care costs, we have been subsidizing this program while maintaining excellent ALS ambulance services. This has been a hit to our previously mentioned budget constraints. We need to find new sources of revenue to put more money back into our infrastructure and facilities. Due to the subsidization, these two areas have suffered some lack of funding over the last few years.
- Are the conditions of some of the current fire stations hindering your work; if so, how?
The current condition of some of our fire stations does limit our ability to have proper training areas, office space, fitness areas, and clean zones.
Most modern fire stations are designed around efficiency and safety, and most of our stations are behind on these standards.
There has been a huge spike in cancer in the fire service. This has led to many changes in how our stations are built and designed. In the modern fire station, there are positive air displacement systems, decon. areas, and a clear separation of contaminated and clean areas. We only have one modern fire station that meets these new standards.
- What are the consequences — with respect to the services being provided to residents throughout the fire District’s service — of THESE NEEDS not being addressed?
Without additional revenue measures, there could be potential effects to our EMS (Emergency Medical Services) delivery model, which could affect the type and quality of the services provided.
As a department that has 100 percent paramedics, our standard is very high for our customers, and we take pride in providing this service. I would hate to see our EMS delivery model continue to suffer.
We live and work in this district 24/7/365. It is our home away from home, and we desire to provide the best service, with the best equipment, best facilities, and best people in North San Diego County; that is what our fire family and our customers deserve.