Fire Department LEP Assessment and Plan

As part of the City of Boise’s Limited English Proficiency Assessments (LEP), the Boise Fire Department has developed the following plan to provide meaningful access to its services for LEP populations. The plan will be updated on a biennial basis.

Four Factor Analysis

  1. The number or proportion of LEP persons served or encountered in the eligible service population. Because much of the Fire Department’s focus is on emergency fire, rescue, and medical response, fire prevention, and safety compliance, enforcement and education outreach, and because most of the Department’s programs are delivered on as needed basis, it is assumed that the proportion of LEP persons encountered is similar to that in the general public in the City of Boise.
  2. The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with the program. Again, because of the public nature of much of the Department’s work, it is difficult to determine the number/frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with Department programs. LEP individuals are most likely going to come in contact with the Department as recipients of emergency fire, rescue, and medical response services or safety compliance, enforcement, and education outreach. Over the past year, it is estimated that Department administrative staff had a handful (less than 5) of interactions with LEP persons.
  3. The nature and importance of the program, activity or service provided by the recipient to people’s lives. Most of the Department’s work directly affects the health, safety or welfare of the general population including members of the LEP population, to the extent LEP individuals are present within the City of Boise and the service areas for the Whitney Fire District, and the North Ada County Fire and Rescue District, for which the Boise Fire Department provides Fire and Rescue Emergency services under Joint Powers Agreements
  4. The resources available to the recipient and the costs. The Department has “I Speak” language cards available at the front desk. If necessary, the Department is also able to utilize services available through the Boise Police Department’s Community Outreach Division’s Refugee and Immigrant Liaison Officer at City Hall West, or access the telephone language service – Language Line Services – through the Clerk’s Office located at City Hall. Google translate will also be installed on the Department’s website. It is not known how many employees are bilingual in the Department.

Department Plan

Identify Individuals Needing Assistance

The Department frequently surveys front-line staff for instances of direct or indirect contact with LEP individuals. The Department also has “I Speak” cards available at the front desk. In addition, the Department includes within its outreach materials information on a phone number to call for translation or interpretation services.

Language Assistance Measures

The Department will ensure that department flyers include information about providing language assistance if necessary. The Department will continue to locate “I Speak” cards at the front desk. It will also have Google Translate installed on its website and have access to Google Translate on any front office computer where LEP individuals may be encountered. When an interpreter is needed in person or on the telephone, the Department will access the telephone language service – Language Line Services – through the Clerk’s Office and/or will obtain access to an interpreter through the Police Department’s Interpreter Contact list.

Training Staff

In addition to the training provided by the city, the Department will ensure that its staff understands its Title VI LEP responsibilities. Staff will also receive specific training on what language assistance services the City of Boise offers and specific procedures to be followed when encountering LEP persons.

Providing Notice to LEP Persons

The Department will continue to provide notice on its website and in its outreach materials that language assistance is available upon request. In addition, a notice in Spanish will be posted at the front desk of the Department explaining that language assistance is available upon request.

Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan

The Department will monitor and update this plan on a regular basis, but not less than annually. At minimum, the Department will examine how many LEP persons were encountered and determine if their needs were met. The Department will also review its documents to determine if any of them should be translated into other languages and to determine if more program-specific outreach should be undertaken. It will also look at any complaints received and learn how to better serve the LEP population through those complaints.

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