The following article was written by Cynthia Lambert at The Tribune. Click here to read the article in its entirety.
SLO City Council mulls emergency response times, possible need for new fire station
San Luis Obispo firefighters can’t meet national emergency response time standards with the city’s four fire stations — a situation that could worsen as a slew of proposed developments are built at the southern end of the city unless a fifth station is added.
The city fire department’s goal is to meet a national standard of four minutes of travel time to 90 percent of fire and medical emergencies that require a response with lights and a siren (code three).
The fire department’s current response time to 90 percent of code-three emergencies is 9 minutes, 5 seconds. The travel time of 5 minutes, 40 seconds has increased over the past seven years, while calls for service have increased 26 percent, said Stewart Gary, a public safety principal with Citygate Associates.
The idea of adding a fifth station to improve fire services was recommended by a city consultant several years ago, but a resurgence in development, along with some large projects planned for the city’s southern edges, has prompted San Luis Obispo officials to reassess emergency response needs.