Percent of Time PFA Fire Personnel are on Scene Within 6 Minutes 20 Seconds in the Urban Area
The 90th percentile time in the third quarter of 2021 in the urban area (City of Fort Collins GMA) was 8:36 seconds with an increase of incidents over the second quarter of 2020 (2020 = 5,567 / 2021 = 6,680 increase of 19.99%). The overall benchmark goal for the PFA Standards of Cover is to respond to emergent calls within the urban area is 7:20 minutes 90 percent of the time. This is a lofty goal that is designed to be difficult to achieve. This represents a 75.21% successful completion of this goal.
Several system changes have contributed to the performance of PFA units on this measure. PFA has seen an increase in all emergent call processing times with the re-establishment of Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD). This process involves call screening through a nationally recognized protocol (software provided by the Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority, LETA) that allows for dispatchers to take emergency action with callers over the phone such as directing and coaching callers to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This contributes to PFA’s mission as “prompt” response begins with the call to 911. PFA and FC911 moved away from EMD and send in 2015 to specifically improve call processing (time from receiving the call in dispatch to sending response units) which is one of three components of total response time (call processing + turn out + travel = total response time). The need to return to EMD and send is for overall system efficiency and to “right size the response”. This involves sending more efficient units to specific incident types.
The second system change was in the definition/designation of the urban and rural response zones. The urban area is larger now moving from 48 square miles to 62 square miles. This includes far northeast Fort Collins which doesn’t currently have a fire station. The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) removed the suburban designation from its accreditation model. Most of the old suburban area became urban. The PFA has continued to develop a specific policy on the urban and rural designations which are:
- Urban Zone: Within Fort Collins and Timnath city limits. Residential, commercial, and industrial zoning. 112 or more addresses per quarter mile.
- Rural Zone: Agricultural, rural residential, and open space.
- Small areas surrounded by an opposing zone are incorporated into the surrounding zone.