MILTON, Ga. — Milton Fire has drafted a strategic plan that will set out its priorities and goals over the next few years that aims to help it better serve residents and employees.
Milton Fire Chief Gabe Benmoussa recently presented a draft of the plan to the City Council that will serve as a blueprint for the department through 2025.
Milton Fire Department has found its new chief in Gabe Benmoussa.
Some highlights include new initiatives and priorities for Milton Fire. Benmoussa said the plan will work to enhance its response to disasters through an integrated response between Milton Fire and other city departments, with the ultimate goal of a more region-based response to disasters between Milton and other North Fulton communities.
The strategic plan also calls for a risk assessment study specific to Milton’s needs that will increase “overall community safety.”
The department will also focus on reducing response times through various means, including bringing a new fire station online.
Milton currently has four fire stations — No. 41 on Arnold Mill Road, No. 43 on Hickory Flat Road, No. 44 in the city’s new Public Safety Complex on Ga. 9 and No. 42 on Thompson Road, which was recently torn down to construct a new facility in its place.
That leaves a gap in the central portion of the city, and Milton Fire plan calls for the department to build, staff and open station No. 45 in the area in 2024.
The document outlines ways Milton Fire can improve its response times through technology. One example is for the department to implement “automatic vehicle locator” technology. This would expedite response times by automatically connecting the closest city emergency vehicle to a call site based on the vehicle’s location at the time of the call.
The department is also looking to develop a volunteer fire corps. Benmoussa said part of the process will be conducting a needs assessment and feasibility study that will explore the possibility of merging Milton’s volunteer group with Alpharetta’s “strong” volunteer fire program.
Benmoussa said another goal is for Milton Fire to be accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Only about 1 percent of departments achieve this certification, and Benmoussa wants Milton to be in that “elite” group.
The department will also pursue expanding its paramedicine program. The plan calls for a “mobile integrated public health” service that could include partnerships with local hospitals and health providers to help better serve Milton’s elderly population and reduce EMS responses for non-emergency calls. Benmoussa said the department sometimes fields calls for instances like someone needing a bandage replaced. This program could connect the person in need of a non-emergency service with a health provider without tying up Milton Fire resources.
Employee safety is also a priority under the plan. One new initiative, Benmoussa said, would be the creation of a PTSD peer support team.
The strategic plan could also be used as a recruitment tool, he said, laying out the department’s priorities when potential recruits apply.
The plan outlines potential timelines for these new goals and initiatives, with most set to be completed over the next two to three years.