20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? Question 6

Response time and available staffing are the two most important factors that influence fire department success at emergency scenes.   There has been much debate in the fire service literature and among fire service managers and city administrators...


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• Incorporation of a duty-officer program to ensure an immediate response to size-up or triage calls quickly. This helps readily determine the needs of an emergency incident and coordinate response resources.

• Automatic mutual aid to reported working structure fires and rescues.

For simplicity, the department may choose to separate the response time into community preparedness, turnout time and total response time and develop strategies that address each. In this manner, each portion of the response measurement can be evaluated and possibly improved. n