Oh Good, LFR is Back in the News

July 15, 2010 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been wondering what topic(s) we might bicker about here in Lincoln now that the arena vote has come and gone. There are plenty of possibilities, but one possibility we haven’t heard much from lately is Lincoln Fire & Rescue. Fortunately, the frequently under-performing department is back in the news thanks to firefighter response times that fall far short of department goals: LFR strives to arrive within four minutes 90% of the time; they’ve lately been hitting the 4-minute mark a mere 63% of the time. Ambulances are meeting their goal of arriving within 8 minutes 90% of the time.

There are a lot of factors that could make firefighters’ slipping times more or less understandable. Their goal could be unrealistic, for example. Perhaps they just set the bar way too high for themselves. (But making unobtainable targets is itself a problem.) Perhaps construction season is hurting response times. To cite one example, South 48th Street is closed in College View. That can’t be helping Station 6’s response times. There are plenty more possibilities.

Just as concerning to me as the lagging response times is the fact that Fire Chief Niles Ford doesn’t have a good explanation for them. The times have gotten worse “pretty consistently”, in his words. If that’s true, why hasn’t he been proactive in reviewing the available data? If this problem has been building over, say, several months, shouldn’t explanations already be available?

I should note that my response to this issue is distorted by the fact that The Missus and I are currently halfway through Season 3 of The Wire. Those of you who have seen the third season know how I envision Chief Ford could be questioned about this.

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The Comments

Mr. T July 15, 2010 at 2:55pm

The article doesn’t provide much context to what is obviously a pretty important issue. My understanding is that the 4-minute amount is based on a national standard that most fire and emergency services across the country strive for (because brain death can begin 4-6 minutes after cardiac arrest).

My guess is that the most significant reason explaining the lagging response times is the most obvious one: As Lincoln continues to expand, coverage of fire/emergency services becomes stretched. I also know that Chief Ford (and indeed most City personnel) are well aware of this issue.

In other words, unless we are willing to fund the building/relocation of a new fire station and/or hiring of new personnel, we can expect the lag in response times.

It basically comes down to money. A growing city can only keep property taxes down long enough before services become stretched too thin.

Mr. Wilson July 15, 2010 at 3:13pm

<em>The article doesn

Dave K July 15, 2010 at 3:43pm

I don’t think Mayor Beutler would make a good Colonel Rawls.  But in keeping with analogies to The Wire, perhaps Chief Ford could just adjust the ‘departure times’ for the fire trucks to be roughly four minutes before they arrive at their call.  That way they’ll all be within the response time. Or he could make sure all fires were in a couple specially-designated zones throughout the city, and keep a fire station within a block or two of them.

The Wire is so great ...

The Tig July 16, 2010 at 6:47pm

Maybe some of Lincoln’s drivers are partially to blame.  There was a time when motorists would pull to the side when they heard and saw emergency vehicles (EV).  Now they stay in their lane (heaven forbid the car next to them might get in front) until that EV is right on their tail and they slow down in wonderment of what they should do.  Also having to almost stop at intersections because some idiot driver is in too big of a hurry to get through the light is also slowing down EV.

If there’s an EV anywhere close to your vehicle-GET OUT OF THE WAY AND LET ‘EM THROUGH!

humuragilla August 7, 2010 at 1:35pm

порно фото

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