Fort Worth puts out request for proposal for fire department study

Fort Worth City Council put out a request for proposal Nov. 8 for firms to do a study on the city's fire department. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Fort Worth City Council put out a request for proposal Nov. 8 for firms to do a study on the city's fire department. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Fort Worth City Council put out a request for proposal Nov. 8 for firms to do a study on the city's fire department. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Michael Glynn, Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Association president, told city officials in September that the Fort Worth Fire Department was short-staffed by more than 200 firefighters. Glynn’s warning was one of the factors that led Fort Worth City Council to add 10 additional firefighter positions to the city’s budget Sept. 21 as it was approved.

The council has also decided to commission a study of the fire department’s effectiveness and needs.

The council put out a request for proposal, or RFP, on Nov. 8 for consulting firms to bid for the study. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 9, and firms will be presented to City Council for consideration in January after an interview process, according to the timeline outlined within the RFP.

The RFP states that the purpose of the study will be "to evaluate the overall operations of the city of Fort Worth Fire Department, analyze its current service delivery models and make recommendations for long-term planning purposes."

On Nov. 2, during a work session, several council members expressed interest in expediting the timeline for the study to be completed in hopes of giving the council more time to adjust the budget for fiscal year 2022-23 to reflect the findings of the study. A proposed timeline, outlined in city documents, holds that the study will begin in February and end in either July or August, with a midway update in May.


“In preparation for [the] next budget cycle, there’s going to be a lot of decisions that we’ll need to make, and this staffing study could potentially be a larger sum of money that we need to plan ahead on—so getting [it] in July or August wouldn't allow us, in my opinion, to make plans in advance,” District 6 Council Member Jared Williams said.

Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke noted that the midpoint update of the study in May would provide a basis that would allow his staff to prepare a recommended budget by July.

A spokesperson for the city confirmed that the timeline was unable to be altered, and a copy of the RFP that was published reflects a notice to proceed for the chosen firm being given in January or February.

But Mark McAvoy, Fort Worth director of planning and data analytics, said during the Nov. 2 meeting that the timeframe is tentative and will depend on the contractor’s capabilities.

“As we identify opportunities to compress that schedule and speed it up, we’re going to take advantage of those,” McAvoy said. “A lot of that is going to be dependent on the selection process and the ability of the contracted vendor to be able to do that work.”

Regular informal updates on the study will be given at council work sessions, according to city documents.

Steven Ryzewski contributed to this report.

By Anjali Krishna