Response Time is Critical
Response time is a crucial predictor of the eventual success of a responding agency to mitigate loss of life, serious injury, fire losses, and damage to the environment that is caused during emergencies. The sooner highly trained, well-equipped first responders can arrive on scene, the easier it is to control emergencies which, by their very nature, are fast moving, rapidly developing incidents.
Two key emergencies to which fire rescue agencies routinely respond are cardiac arrests (heart attacks) and fires in their beginning (incipient) stage. It is of utmost importance to ensure the arrival of a properly equipped first responder unit to these emergencies within six (6) minutes. This is the critical time frame at which brain damage begins to occur during cardiac arrest, and incipient stage fires spread beyond the room in which they originate. This is an important benchmark by which we can judge the effectiveness of a fire rescue agency- How much of the area to which an agency responds can the first due unit arrive within six (6) minutes?
By employing this six-minute standard, we can objectively determine how many and where fire stations should be located within our district. One of our main goals should be to locate fire stations to reach the maximum amount of our population within a six (6) minute response time. As our population grows, new stations should be brought on line to achieve this objective.