Thread: Response Times

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6

    Angry Response Times

    I read the report on Fire department response times with interest. Whilst I don't disagree that target times aren't being met in many cases, particularly in small, rural areas that depend on volunteers mainly, such as the department I work for, I'm wondering just where the figures provided in the Excel worksheet came from. I looked on Sunday & found that my Department had only 8 fires listed for the 1986 - 2002 period, none of which were reached withing 6 minutes. Today, Monday, I started with the year 2002 & looked for each call to a fire (structue, vehicle, appliance or wildland). I found that in the first 8 months of that year alone, we had 18 calls to fire. Twelve of them were reached within the 6 minute target, 6 were not. Our dispatch to on-scen time ranged from 1 minute up to 14 minutes. I took these figures from the written reports that are typed directly into NIFERS. When my Captain asked what I was doing & I told hime, we both looked at the article again. We scrolled down the spreadsheet to our department, and low and behold, the number of fires for the '86 - '02 period had suddenly gone from 8 to 12, the extra 4 all getting an attendance within the 6 minute time frame. it does make me wonder where the 'journalists' got there figures from, and what sort of 'selective statistical' method they are using.

    We also noticed that there seemed to be a serious lack of any large, metropolitan & urban fire departments response times listed

    I have no real problem with this story, and tend to agree with it, except for the fact that they have either failed to check their facts properly, not carried out a proper & thorough investigation, or, as I suspect, just not bothered to do the job properly & made a lot of it up as they went along.

    I'll finsih checking their so-called figures for 1986-2002 & post the actual figures, as supplied to NIFERS.

  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Thumbs down Here Too........

    Same problems here. We have more Fires in one year, than we were credited with for that whole span of 16 years. I think that they only counted First Due Building Fires, But, if so, they're still way off.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  3. #3
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    7,288

    Default

    Wait a minute. Are y'all accusing a journalist (i.e., someone who makes their living embellishing facts to sell more newspapers/commercials/etc), of mis-represented statistical information to sensationalize a problem? Why I've never heard of such a thing...

    I know some departments that brag about a quick response because their first unit on location is there within 2 minutes in most areas. Because it's a paramedic responder that's sleeping at the station. Or an ambulance because they're sleeping at the station. They don't count it as when the first fire truck arrives. Of course I got in that argument with my own chief when I was out of the area and heard about how it took 15 minutes to get the first unit. He said we had 4 within 4 minutes and showed me the dispatch sheet: 1 paramedic responder and 3 ambulances. First engine took 15 minutes. Swing and a miss....

    While I agree the facts ought to be straight and fully represented, I think the intent is clear: fire protection needs beefing up in a lot of areas. But like they said over and over: you only get what the taxpayers are willing to pay for. Like the town that voted down a $50/year increase in taxes to fund another station, right after that woman was killed in the fire. The public forgets stuff like that because "it only happens to other people, not me." A person may be smart, but people are collectively stupid.

    I know I'm preaching to the choir, Harvey and others have been big advocates of educating the public about the fire service and its needs. That's about our only weapon on an ignorant public, education.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,684

    Default

    if you check the other thread about this, the author posted where/how/why he got his information.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Dig deeper... you may find like us, due to a setup error with someone else's software, all our fires were tallied to the wrong department number...big bummer...makes ones dept look like slouches..

    The author used the best information avaialable to him at the time,( kinda like our nation's foriegn policy)...

    I think the authors did a good job on a hard problem, reiterating the communities have to reexamine their growth and level of responce, and perhaps some individuals can decide to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
    Last edited by permaprobie; 02-01-2005 at 02:38 PM.
    "I am permaprobie, and I approve this message."

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    . I think that they only counted First Due Building Fires,

    While there is definitely differences in what counts where, I don't think it's Dedman's problem.

    My department is listed for 25 structure fires in the time frame -- that's probably about right for more-or-less working fires or greater in our first due area. (Thank goodness for automatic mutual aid to get some action )

    I saw towns in Massachusetts with slightly less population and three times the call volume.

    And that is probably an easy to explain discrepancy --

    In my town, the only reports that traditionally "go up" to the state and later nationally is what the Fire Marshal fills out. I think that's still the same, even though we have NFIRS-compliant software at our station.

    The Fire Marshal doesn't investigate anything much less than an actual flames-showing fire. No chimneys, no partition fires, no smoke-in-the-building, fire alarms, etc, etc. I don't know how chimneys get classed, certainly a partition fire is a structure fire...but in my town that would never go up into the national database because of the way it's reported.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    (Thank goodness for automatic mutual aid to get some action )
    Amen!
    "I am permaprobie, and I approve this message."

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Just to clarify things, when I started tallying the figures, I took the on-scene time to be time of dispatch to the time of arrival off the first engine. I ignored the occasions when a Chief or medic unit was first on scene, I listed the first engine

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Fire Department Response Times

    Found the statistics interesting. I assumed that most fire departments dispatched using the same protocol-namely giving the address and closest cross streets or intersections (particularly in urban departments). In actuality, this is not the case and fire departments use various methods of dispatching. It would be worthwhile to find out what dispatching methods the fastest responding fire departments use, to see if there are any patterns or similarities that might be playing a role in making circumnavigation faster or more efficient. As drivers we are often only as good as the information we get from dispatch, and this can play a significant role in affecting (and shortening) response times. Obviously there are many contributing factors involved, but I find this to be one of the primary contributors on my fire department.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register