Note: material provided by Tom Daly.
Rapidly increasing demand for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) and longer than desired response times in Northern Nevada’s Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD), including obligations to respond outside of the District pursuant to automatic and mutual aid agreements , will result in the need by FY2021 for new fire stations and crews or the addition of staff and vehicles at existing stations, where they can be accommodated.
- TMFPD has not added a new station since 2012 but call volume has increased 33%.
- The total district response time is now longer than the 8 minutes considered the maximum to respond to a heart attack or to prevent flash-over of a fire to another building.
- The majority of the increased demand comes from the North Valleys, but there are only four fire stations there compared to five serving the South Valleys.
- Build a new fire station to meet the demand. This would cost roughly $6.5M to build and equip a new station not including labor costs of roughly $1.2M per year to staff. It would take about 3 years to build and staff.
- Add crews to existing fire stations to increase the capability to respond. This is the least expensive approach and can be implemented quickly. The drawback is that it does not provide improved geographical coverage, so the northern most neighborhoods would still have long wait times.
- Convert an existing volunteer station in the North Valleys to a regular, professional station. There are 3 volunteer stations that are candidates for this conversion. Some expansion of such a volunteer station would be necessary to house a full-time crew (est. $950k).
- Relocate the crew from station 44 (Silver Lake/Stead) to one of the volunteer stations. TMFPD station 44 is now within the city limits of Reno as a result of annexation. Proceeds from the sale of the station property could partially offset the capital costs of expanding the volunteer station.
- Increased staffing is probably covered by the existing 2021 budget as tax revenues increase with demand (development).
- FEMA would likely provide 65% of the funding for the first two years and 35% in years 3-9 through a SAFER grant. FEMA funding may also be available to partly offset the purchase of the new vehicles required.
- TMFPD would plan to continue to use volunteer stations as “force multipliers”.
It is time to decide and act to bring the TMFPD capability up to meet the increasing demand.
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