FFFPD response time 5.1 minutes in fourth quarter of 2013

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FREDERICK — The Frederick-Firestone Protection District saw a 3.8-percent increase in calls for service in 2013, according to a report presented by the district.

Fire Chief Theodore Poszywak, speaking to the Frederick Town Board of Trustees, presented the the FFFPD quarterly report Jan. 28, and he highlighted a change in how response times are now measured.

“With regards to service, we responded to a total of 412 incidents in the fourth quarter with an average total response time of 5.1 minutes,” Poszywak said.

Poszywak explained that the response time starts once the call arrives at dispatch; in previous years, response time was measured from when the FFFPD received notification from dispatch.

“I’m glad the new metric actually does put the dispatcher on the hook for performance like it does for you and your team,” Trustee Amy Schiers said. 

Poszywak said a call spends on average around 30 seconds with dispatch, and he praised ongoing changes in the dispatch process for Weld County.

“They’re actually changing dispatch centers — physical locations — as well as Weld County has decided to go with their own zone controller for the towers and the 800-mhz system for the county,” Poszywak said.

Trustee Laura Brown said the change in measurement was significant.

“Are you still able to break out what part of that response time is yours and what part is dispatch?” Brown asked.

Poszywak replied that the FFFPD is able to manually break down the numbers to determine the district’s portion of the response time.

“On future reports, we’ll bring back that original number,” Poszywak said. “Our goal is to get it back to looking at our performance, because that’s what the report is supposed to do.”

Trustee Fred Skates asked how the flood and the corresponding road closures affected the response time for the FFFPD.

Poszywak said the flood affected the district’s response times for the third quarter of 2013; he estimated that the flood affected 60 of the approximately 400 calls for that quarter.

“We talked about that in the overages report; in the calls over seven minutes, you saw that,” Poszywak said. “But what offset that quite a bit is that we brought in additional resources; we had additional companies on the streets, as well, to handle that additional call volume.”

In total, for 2013, the district replied to 1,562 calls for service, compared to 1,504 in 2012, Poszywak reported.

“With regard to training, for the fourth quarter 2013, our employees and reserves participated in 509 hours of medical training, and 3,264 hours of fire and rescue training for a total of 15,107 hours of training they participated in for 2013,” Poszywak said.

The district made these changes while facing a drop in revenue driven by lower assessed values for properties in the district.

“With regard to the proposed budget for 2014, the board did pass that on Dec. 9,” Poszywak said. “It was a fairly challenging budget this year: we saw a pretty significant decrease in assessed value, mainly around natural gas. So the assessed value was at 375 million for the district and dropped to 344 million — basically dropping us to 2012 levels.”

Poszywak said the district would maintain staffing and services despite the reduced budget.

At the annual meeting of fire chiefs across the state Dec. 5, a FF FPD Captain Jim Klug was presented with the Colorado Fire Instructor of the Year Award.

“This award is presented annually by the division of Fire Prevention and Control to recognize truly outstanding fire instructors whose extraordinary contributions serve as an example and challenge other instructors to excel as well,” Poszywak said. “Jim has been with us since 2008; he’s been in fire service for 13 years. He’s just one of those people who has a passion for what he does.”

Mayor Tony Carey said he appreciated all the work of the FFFPD.

“I think the fire department is one of those things that people don’t think about a lot until their house is on fire or their having a medical emergency,” Carey said. “Fred alluded to the flood, and that all seems to be a distant memory when you drive down [Weld County Road] 18 … Thank you very much.”


Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.