Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

# of Fire Stations

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • # of Fire Stations

    I just read the "Bid To Shut Firehouse Splits N. Tonawanda" story from the Firehouse daily newsletter. Click this link [ http://tinyurl.com/of02 ] for the story.

    To summarize, the community currently has six fire stations for a city of 10 square miles. A consulting firm has suggested closing half of them. Of course, the firefighters and some citizens are opposed to the idea and say that all six are needed to provide an appropriate level of service.

    What I find interesting is that my city probably has 10 square miles of populated area (we just finished a large annexation that could nearly double our land area... but it's all uninhabited). How many fire stations do we have? ONE. I can't imagine three, let alone six.

    So, my question is... How big should a station's coverage area be? I know ISO says 1.5 miles for an engine & 2 miles for a truck. But what are we realistically talking about? And in heavily populated areas, is population protected more important than land area? If so, how many people does it take to warrant a fire station?

    How big is your first due area in terms of area & population?
    sigpic

  • #2
    Living close to this situation, I firmly believe that N. Tonawanda needs the 6 fire stations it has. I live 9 miles from North Tonawanda, and work about 3 miles from the city. There is a fairly impressive industrial base in the response area of the NTFD, and some of the business districts are narrow 2 lane streets with on street parking. To close 3 of the 6 fire stations will only mean that the city of North Tonawanda will be relying on Mutual Aid rather heavily, which then would pull the fire protection from the areas providing mutual aid.
    When I am able to get some more information about the city I will provide it.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

    Comment


    • #3
      It all depends on the surroundsings, Look at FDNY and all the fire houses and trucks they have, they dont cover a large span of area, its just heavily populated. Our Department runs out of one station that covers approximitly 50 square miles. More than half of that is country. So like I said before it depends of population and different surroundings.
      Ryan

      I.A.C.O.J. Probie

      You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

      Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01

      Comment


      • #4
        1.5 miles for engines, 2.5 miles for trucks is an old standard...wonder how much of that came from the days of horse-drawn apparatus? 5 miles is the ISO mandate to have a station within that distance for any credit (there might be some small technical exceptions to that).

        Time to reach the victim/fire is what counts. 1.5 miles in rural areas where you arrive to single family story is a lot different from 1.5 miles arriving at a high-rise.

        Risks to exposures vary a lot, too. Old Chief's phrase is it's OK to lose the fire building, but you better not lose the exposure. There's a big difference there between having a fire in a single ranch house on a 2 acre lot...and having a fire in the 2nd story of a three decker in a neighborhood full of them (and even well staffed cities like Boston have lost entire blocks of three deckers!)

        NFPA 1410 did one really important thing. It referenced the time to survive a heart attack vis a vis getting a defib to them. You can't justify absolute response times it called for on a fire protection basis -- that could be handled overtime or in new developments by sprinklers and such that greatly reduce property & life safety...but the people writing 1410 recognized that universal defib implants will take a lot longer to implement than universal sprinkler ordinances. EMS is what they're pinning the hopes of fire department staffing on, 'cause let's face it if we were serious about fire protection then engineering controls could reduce that workload 80% or more. But you can't engineer out people's belly aches being a call to 911.

        BTW, using NFPA 1710, my rule of thumb goes:
        -- Each station can protect about 7 square miles
        -- To afford the # of apparatus and personnel towns running 3 platoons need 24,000 population & 800 people/sq mile density, and 4 platoons need 30,000 population & 1000 people/sq mile. If you drop below the population, most towns simply don't have the tax base to do it, and if you drop below that density your geographic distribution needs outstrip the ability to pay for it. When you get to dense cities, like New York and Boston things really get funky 'cause they need more resources to make up for congestion & big buildings. And we won't discuss states like California with truly screwed up property tax systems!

        Anyway, we protect about 25 square miles from two stations, although 90% of it is closer to one station -- the small substation is a couple good football passes from the town line. All of it is within 5 miles of one of the stations...but even there there's a big time difference between the 5 miles all on paved state & town highways and the 5 miles that's 3 miles of town road and 2 miles of private dirt road.

        I'm not a fan of many, small stations in rural areas. I believe a few big stations provide better use of resources -- have all your drivers & members go to one place, it's easier to keep everything maintained, and it's easier on teamwork. Keep 'em concentrated in the villages, rather than spread out in thinly populated areas.

        In my town if we built a West station (a consultant's proposal), would it help? I don't think so, less populated area, fewer members & drivers, and now you have drivers going to that station and what, if they discover the truck gone, now drive to the central station to pickup a truck they could've had on the road five minutes ago?

        You've got to keep times reasonable, but reasonable doesn't mean everyone's entitled to a firehouse on their corner in the city, and the person building in the very rural area best understand that one of the trade-offs for the privacy, cheap land, and low taxes is it might be 10, 15 minutes for a fire truck to get their
        IACOJ Canine Officer
        20/50

        Comment


        • #5
          Taking the last census numbers at present we have a population density of 6877 per sq. mile with 40 Engines and 24 Trucks, 3 of which are Platforms. Engines average coverage area is 3.47 sq. miles and the Trucks average coverage area is 5.78 sq. miles. City has a total of 139 sq. miles.

          From a study I did for our coverage and staffing arguments in front of the City Council we were provided this information by the Local IAFF Unions. This was in late 1999. They are as follows.

          New York 308 sq. miles, 23705 density per sq. mile, 206 Engines with 1.50 sq. mile coverage(avg.), 150 Trucks with 2.06 sq. mile coverage.

          Chicago 227 sq. miles, 12252 density per sq. mile, 98 Engines with 2.32 sq. mile coverage, 59 Trucks with 3.85 sq. mile coverage.

          Philadelphia 130 sq. miles, 11736 density per sq. mile, 72 Engines with 1.88 sq. mile coverage, 34 Trucks with 3.97 sq. mile coverage.

          Boston 48.5 sq miles, 11865 density per sq. mile, 34 Engines with 1.42 sq. mile coverage, 22 Trucks with 2.20 sq. mile coverage.

          Milwaukee 96.1 sq. miles, 6536 density per sq. mile, 35 Engines with 2.75 sq. mile coverage, 17 Trucks with 5.65 sq. mile coverage.

          Cleveland 77 sq. miles, 6566 density per sq. mile, 25 Engines with 3.08 miles coverage, 14 trucks with 5.50 sq. mile coverage.

          D.C. 61.4 sq. miles, 9884 density per sq. mile, 32 Engines with 1.92 sq. mile coverage, 16 Trucks with 3.84 sq. mile coverage.

          Buffalo 40.6 sq. miles, 8082 density per sq. mile, 23 Engines with 1.77 sq. mile coverage, 12 Trucks with 3.38 sq. mile coverage.

          All the sq. mileage's are averages. Granted, some info may have changed but it is still pretty close to what is true today.

          These are just 8 of the 48 cities that responded to my requests at the time. We used most as comparables. I also have many more eastern urban cities and about 10 western cities.
          Last edited by FireLt1951; 09-23-2003, 07:20 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't overlook geography as an important factor.

            For example, it's kinda hard to make a grade crossing when there's a train on the tracks. Or you might have a river or interstate which effectively restricts access to part of your jurisdiction.
            ullrichk
            a.k.a.
            perfesser

            a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

            Comment


            • #7
              +Too Many Variables.........

              My place. P.G.County Md. A County, NOT a City. Big difference. Or is it?

              Population 830,000
              430 Square miles

              48 stations
              91 Engines
              24 Ladder/Towers
              12 Heavy Rescues
              12 ALS Ambulances
              51 BLS Ambulances
              And the list goes on.....

              675 Full Time Employees
              3,000 Volunteers (all types)

              308,000+ responses in 2002

              Any way you do the math, it's not small town America.

              My Station, Glenn Dale VFD Co.18
              2 Engines, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Tower Ladder,
              1 ALS Ambo. 1 BLS Ambo. 1 Brush rig.
              3 Staff/Command units
              2 Full Time Medics 24/7
              5 Full Time FFs Working Day Work M-F
              48 Volunteers Actively Responding
              50 Volunteers in Staff/Support positions
              9,137 Responses in 2002

              We cover a First Due area of approx. 20 Sq. miles with a population of approx 17,000. Our normal 1st alarm mutual aid area is about 65 Sq. miles with a population of 125,000. We normally do not have any problems with excessive response times or distances.
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                For what it's worth, I'm going to try to attach an image (map) of our still alarm area. Our struture response area is a bit bigger. (Our initial assignment is 3 E's and 1 T, and 1 DC for a SFD, and 4,2, 1dc for commercial or MFD) I could not get all of our still on one map, but you get the idea. Our still travels on a little farther to the west (arrow) and our station is marked with the square.

                My city is around a pop. of 1.5 million
                The Dept. has 49 stations w/ 49 engines and somewhere around 20 trucks.

                I'm not sure about the square miles of the city, but I would guess around 300, I could be way off in either direction.

                As far as runs a year and all, I don't remember, but if you have a current "yearly runs" issue of FIREHOUSE, it will be listed. I seem to remember it being up around 14th for 2002, something around 110,000 runs I think.
                Attached Files
                http://www.sanantoniofire.org

                IACOJ
                Got Crust?

                We lucky few, ... we band of brothers

                Comment


                • #9
                  # of stations??

                  I think someone once told me ISO said we should have 5 in our entire area (125 sq. miles, pop. 13,000, 1 station, mostly rural, all volunteer) I don't see it happening. One of the towns we contract with has asked us to put a station there. We reminded them that we were a village department and doubted village taxpayers would assume the costs for a new station and new equipment they would rarely if ever even see. We also told them there really wasn't any sense in building a station to be staffed by the total of 4 or 5 members we have living in that area. After reading the posts here I noticed that was one topic not really brought up, why open a station if there are no members to staff it. I know it really only applies to volunteer FDs, but it is something to consider.
                  Last edited by tripperff; 09-24-2003, 03:20 AM.
                  Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

                  Anything found in my posts is soley my opinion and not representative of any other individual or entity.

                  You know that thing inside your helmet? Use it wisely and you'll be just fine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We have 16 sq miles serving 18,000 people out of 2 stations.
                    2 fully staffed engines
                    1 reserve engine
                    1 truck co.
                    1 brush
                    3 ALS ambulances
                    1 command truck
                    2 HAZMAT Units

                    We run about 2,500 calls a year.
                    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

                    IAFF Local 3900

                    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

                    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

                    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: # of stations??

                      Originally posted by tripperff
                      I think someone once told me ISO said we should have 5 in our entire area (125 sq. miles, pop. 13,000, 1 station, mostly rural, all volunteer) I don't see it happening. One of the towns we contract with has asked us to put a station there. We reminded them that we were a village department and doubted village taxpayers would assume the costs for a new station and new equipment they would rarely if ever even see. We also told them there really wasn't any sense in building a station to be staffed by the total of 4 or 5 members we have living in that area. After reading the posts here I noticed that was one topic not really brought up, why open a station if there are no members to staff it. I know it really only applies to volunteer FDs, but it is something to consider.
                      Several Points: If the Village taxpayers are footing the bill now, what's the difference? And, why isn't the entire area that you serve paying their share? Second, why would the Village "Rarely See" the equiment from that new station? Any sensible system runs equipment from more than one station on ALL structure Fires. Equipment from the new station should be the backup for the existing station and respond to all structure alarms in your departments area. Third, Opening a new station is a huge undertaking, but it has a lot of advantages. For one, you can demonstrate your need for more volunteers, as well as providing a place for them to serve that is closer to home. There are a million good reasons for expanding your department, and only a few poor excuses for not doing so. Stay Safe....
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As promised here is some info I was able to gleen from the NT website.

                        Population 33,262

                        They serve that population with 3 engines, 1 truck and a rescue. Approximately 25-30 percent of the city is industrial varying from heavy industry to marinas and light manufacturing. It is also an old city with many 2 multiple occupancy wood frame buildings. Some of the apartments are so close together it would be difficult to walk in between them (just enough room for a natural gas regulator and valve assembly).

                        Here is the NTFD IAFF Local 1333 website: http://www.ntfd.org/Information.htm
                        Shawn M. Cecula
                        Firefighter
                        IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The numbers are ........ What?

                          Shawn, thanks for the info, but, one question if I may? you passed along what the NTFD website had, but someone in an earlier post said they had 6 stations. 3 engines, 1 ladder, 1 rescue, would be 1 piece each in 5 stations, what's in the sixth? or, I would suppose, the apparatus numbers aren't right. Anyway, no complaints, thanks for looking into this for us. Stay Safe....
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I apparently need to go back for remedial counting. That should read 4 engines, 1 truck, 1 rescue out of six stations. You can get a better look at the stations by clicking here
                            Shawn M. Cecula
                            Firefighter
                            IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, Shawn......

                              OK, I think I got it right. I'm amazed that there are departments out there who still have a single piece in a station. In our area, the average is about 7 per station, with almost every station running 2 Engines, some have 3. When you add Ladders, Rescues, Ambulances, etc. you can fill a station pretty quick. Our 8 bay station is home to 11 vehicles. Stay Safe....
                              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

                              Comment

                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                              Collapse

                              Upper 300x250

                              Collapse

                              Taboola

                              Collapse

                              Leader

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X