COLUMBUS – The Columbus Fire Department is seeing an increase in response efficiency after implementing procedure changes earlier in the year.
Chief Dan Miller appeared before the Committee of the Whole on Monday night to provide an update on the department utilizing Task Force procedures since August. Task Force response objectives include having the right resources when initially responding to a call, and maximizing the availability of staff and apparatus to respond, while utilizing existing apparatus.
Miller says that in the first half of 2018, there were multiple times per day where there was no available, staffed, fire apparatus, and no available, staffed, advanced life support equipped units. Miller also supplied data which showed that 31% of the time there were delays in response to emergency calls, and over 10% of calls were overlapping.
Under the guide of Task Force response, an ALS-equipped fire engine and ambulance are sent to most incidents. Once the initial situation is evaluated and brought under control, the second unit can typically return to service, making themselves available to other calls.
When comparing the first half of the year to the second half, the number of calls answered in less than seven minutes has increased from 82% to 86%, the number of calls answered in greater than seven minutes has decreased from 18% to 14%, and the number of calls answered in greater than ten minutes has decreased from 4% to 2%.
Miller says that the Task Force implementation has not only improved response time, but has also made personnel more comfortable with the type of apparatus that are on scene. Miller also says that CFD is looking at the possibility of going to a two-station system, which would require another adjustment of procedures so that they are assisting those in need in the most effective manner.