Weekly Update

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I know earlier this week many were frustrated with how the vaccine process was handled, especially at the Pipkin Building.

The City of Memphis is now partnering with the Health Department to ensure the process runs smoothly and people get their vaccine in a timely manner. That’s why on Wednesday of this week, we opened the old Appling Inspection Station at 2355 Appling City Cove to help administer the second round of vaccine for the Moderna, group 1a1.

On the first day, we administered nearly 1,500 shots with an average wait time between two and three hours. The next day, Thursday, we performed an additional 1,345 doses and dropped the average wait time down to around 45 minutes. This is all made possible through a partnership with the City of Memphis, University of Tennessee University Clinical Heath and the Shelby County Health Department.

To improve the process after our first day, we enforced two rules. First, you must have an appointment. Second, do not arrive more than an hour ahead of your scheduled time, and you must have proof of an appointment with the date and time.

For more information on the vaccination process and to sign up, go here.

Our fair share: Recently, there were some concerns regarding whether or not Shelby County has been receiving our fair share of vaccines from the state of Tennessee. Over the last couple weeks, I have been voicing those concerns in phone conversations with the Governor’s Office. In a letter from Governor Lee this week, he shared the data and assured me that we have received our fair share and broke down the methodology the State used to determine it.

To see the Governor’s full letter, go here.

Memphis Fire Department: As I’ve mentioned in this space many times before, we are a data-driven government. Whether filling potholes, picking up your trash, or tracking our response times in critical situations, we measure and we track it each month in our monthly performance meetings.

I wanted to pull out some data points from Memphis Fire just to demonstrate the volume of calls and to say thank you to the men and women of your fire department.

fire performance

In the chart above, you can see that our goal is to answer a fire call within 106 seconds 95% of the time. Our average time to answer a fire call for 2020 was 154 seconds. What these numbers mean is that from the time you call in to report a fire, on average, it takes us 154 seconds to have a truck or ambulance dispatched and on the way to help.

The next graph shows the numbers of total Fire and EMS incidents for the month of December 2020 broken down by City Council district. As you can see, our crews have been busy. Every day, we’re constantly working to be better and deliver you the best service possible.

fire by council

African American History in Memphis: Ours is a city full of rich history, especially African American history. To help share and properly remind us of it, we have contracted with Dr. LaSimba Gray, Jr., former pastor at New Sardis Baptist Church.

Dr. Gray has been working with us on ways to preserve and promote the history of Beale Street. You see, I love Beale Street. I love it for the history and what it means to our city. It’s been the inspiration for so many blues hits, and where the likes W.C. Handy, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King became legends. It’s where Ida B. Wells’ anti-segregationist newspaper, Free Speech was located (and subsequently Dr. Gray is in the process of a campaign to build a statue in her honor). Additionally, it’s where Robert Church (the first African American millionaire) purchased land and later contributed a park at the corner of Fourth and Beale (Dr. Gray is in the process of establishing an annual celebration in his honor).

Another project Dr. Gray is helping us with is the restoration of what is believed to be the oldest surviving single-room African American schoolhouse, which is currently located behind the new Memphis Fire headquarters on Avery.



All that to say, I’m happy to have Dr. Gray on our team and excited to see all these projects coming to fruition.

Enjoy your weekend.


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