Percent of Time PFA Fire Personnel are on Scene Within 7 Minutes 20 Seconds in the Urban Area

Desired Result:  Above Target

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Analysis of Performance

NOTE: As of Q1 2022, this Measure was changed to be within 7 Minutes 20 Seconds per guidance from the PFA Review Board.

The 90th percentile time in the third quarter of 2022 in the urban area (City of Fort Collins GMA) was 09:12 with a decrease of incidents over the third quarter of 2021 (2021 = 6,689 / 2022 = 6,650 increase of -0.58%). 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 66.87% 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.

The PFA Standards of Cover compliance model as adopted by the Poudre Fire Authority Board of Directors designates the plan for improvement. The recommendations of the 2020 Community Risk Assessment and Standards of Cover specify the following analysis. Items two through five have the potential to improve this measure:

1)Analyze system improvement with an additional company and determine the optimal location.

2)Analyze the impact of an additional RAM unit in the south/southeast portion of the jurisdiction.

3)Analyze the impact of an additional static planning zone in the southwest or western portion of the jurisdiction.

4)Analyze the optimal static planning zone station location in the northeast portion of the jurisdiction.

5)Analyze the impact of the current training schedules and rotations to ensure optimal coverage of the entire jurisdiction.

PFA outcomes measures (specifically flashover and fire loss data as well as cardiac arrest survivability) continue to be at a high level. The cost of improving response time performance will need to be weighed against possible improvements in outcomes.

Metric Definition
Fire response time measures the time elapsed from when the citizen/customer dials 911to when the first PFA personnel arrives on-scene. This data includes calls for emergencies in the urban response area of PFA. PFA's target is to respond within 7 minutes, 20 seconds at least 80% of the time. This is aligned with PFA's baseline performance goals under fire service accreditation.
Why Is This Important?
Quick response times mean that fire-rescue staff reduce the potential for fire loss and respond to medical/rescue calls within critical time frames for delivering patients to definitive care. Rapid response has the potential to limit costs to residents, the community, the health care system and other responding agencies.
City Organization Impact on Performance

High – Response times for emergency calls are influenced by fire companies through efficient turn-out times, firefighter training, effective station location, and the use of technology for efficient dispatch and call mapping.

Benchmark Information
Benchmarking in progress