Under the leadership of Commissioner Joseph Finn, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and Local 718 President Rich Paris, the Boston Fire Department (BFD) implemented major innovation and investments in state-of-the-art safety equipment, policy changes, and a three year partnership with O2X Human Performance. Within this three year period, BFD recorded a total cost savings of $6.3 million including a $4.7 million reduction directly attributed to decreased injury rates, paid time off, monthly sick call, and increased resilience of the department.
Beyond the $4.7 million saved in salary and overtime expenses, the total economic impact of the changes made by BFD is much higher when considering the reduction in costs associated with surgeries, disability, and administrative duties due to a healthier, more resilient fire service.
Appointed to his role in 2014, Commissioner Finn has been working with Boston city leaders and local union representatives to implement sustainable, department-wide culture change and improve the health and safety of Boston firefighters. Those include new initiatives in the Safety, Health, and Wellness Division that provide Boston firefighters with cutting-edge respiratory and fitness equipment and a partnership with O2X Human Performance focused on training and education. To date, O2X has hosted 18 workshops for about 900 Boston firefighters, including three academy classes, with plans for continued support through additional workshops, refresher training seminars, and ongoing mobile and digital access to sustainment programs.
The programs and partnerships developed by Commissioner Finn and Boston Fire Department leaders were designed to address job-related risks and enhance the safety and wellness of Boston firefighters. Not only have they had a quantitative economic impact of $6.3 million total cost savings, but they have also facilitated a positive, department-wide culture change for firefighters, recruits, leadership, and support personnel.