In an emergency, minutes can be the difference between life and death. No one understands this more than the officials at the North County Fire Protection District; as such, they are doing everything in their power to minimize response time when called for either a fire or medical emergency.
One of the factors influencing response time is “turnout time,” or the amount of time it takes crews to get suited up in their rigs and responding to a call after being alerted by dispatch. Fire Chief Steve Abbott says that the configuration of certain older stations can reduce this turnout time by up to a minute. He wants his personnel to maintain a turnout time as close as possible to the National Standard of 80 seconds.
There are many factors that impact response times; one of these is the condition of the fire stations. At the present time, for example, firefighters and paramedics at certain fire stations must deal with overcrowded fire stations and, in some cases, they must navigate through several buildings in order to get to the fire truck. In several stations older technology apparatus bay doors can slow response time by 20-30 seconds, and in some cases different station configuration is needed to replace them.
NCFPD officials are working toward addressing these challenges.