The results of a study suggests several ways Carrollton Fire Rescue can optimize its operations, and while a few of the suggestions have been implemented, there are many more that the department is considering.
In November 2017, Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) was hired to conduct a study on the fire department’s operations and gave the department several suggestions to maximize its service.
“The ESCI analyzed our response data, and they didn’t find sufficient data to support the need for a full-time sixth ambulance, but they did suggest a peak ambulance,” said Gregg Salmi, Carrollton fire chief.
Salmi said the city approved funding for and placed a peak ambulance at Station 7 due to its inability to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) response time standard in Station 7’s district.
Salmi said prior to the peak ambulance the department met the response time standard 79.6 percent of the time during the day. At night it was met 73.2 percent of the time.
After adding the peak ambulance, the fire department met the response time standard 91.6 percent of the time during daytime hours and 74.5 percent of the time at night.
As part of the study, an engineering study was done on the city’s oldest stations – Stations 6, 3, 4 and 5.
Fire Station 6 was rated in poor condition and deemed too costly to remodel. The study suggesting completely rebuilding the station, but Salmi said the city is awaiting confirmation from an outside engineer to determine if there truly is a need to rebuild it or if remodeling it is an option.
The city is also looking to rebuild Stations 3,4 and 5, but a lack of land has led to some setbacks for Stations 3 and 4.
“We have some challenges with Stations 3 and 4,” Salmi said. “The site that those stations are on, we don’t think it’s big enough to put a modern type fire station on those sites.”
Salmi said an updated fire station would be large enough to include drive-through bays for safety as well as a decontamination room between the bay and the living quarters.
The department evaluated its current staffing model, which was suggested by the ESCI. The department currently needs 41 members per shift for minimal staffing plus nine members to cover absences such as sick leave and vacations.
Salmi said the fire department is appropriately staffed for normal operations, but it does not have the capacity to implement additional services without hiring more members.
A position to educate the public about fire safety and other safety practices was funded and filled this year.
Other future suggestions include utilizing medical priority, which is more efficiently dispatching units to medical calls.
“In other words we would dispatch the appropriate amount and type of apparatus to a medical call based on the severity of the call,” Salmi said.
The department may also add a second-shift battalion chief and a training assistant position.