Percent of Time PFA Fire Personnel are on Scene Within 6 Minutes 20 Seconds in the Urban Area

Desired Result:  Above Target

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Analysis of Performance

NOTE:  This Measure will be updated with Q4 2018 data through current once the new data analysis software called ADAM (Apparatus Deployment Analysis Module) has been completed as of September 2019.

The 90th percentile time in the third quarter of 2020 in the urban area (City of Fort Collins GMA) was 9:31 seconds with a decrease of incidents over the third quarter of 2019 (2019 = 2,196 2020 = 1,618 decrease of -26%). The overall benchmark goal for the PFA Standards of Cover is to respond to emergent calls within the urban area is 6:20 minutes 90 percent of the time. This is a very lofty goal that is designed to be difficult to achieve. This represents a 37% 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 actually 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”. The urban area is much larger now moving from 48 square miles to 77 square miles. This includes 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 developed a specific policy on the urban designation and is coordinated with the Northern Larimer County Emergency Response Area (NLCERA) contract as Zone 1. 

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:

  • Analyze the system improvement with a third support company and determine the optimal location.
  • Analyze the impact of an additional RAM unit in the south/southwest portion of the jurisdiction.
  • Analyze the impact of an additional static planning zone in the southwest or western portion of the jurisdiction.
  • Analyze the optimal static planning zone station location in the northeast portion of the jurisdiction.
  • Analyze the impact of the current training schedules and rotations to ensure optimal coverage of the entire jurisdiction.


Further, Poudre Fire Authority just completed its second accreditation assessment process and will be receiving a recommendation on altering the benchmark goal for response times in the urban area. The goal is not realistic and not attainable. At the same time 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.


The PFA Senior Leadership team will evaluate the benchmark goal and make a recommendation for changes to the PFA Board as a part of the SOC Compliance process. 

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 6 minutes, 20 seconds at least 90% 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