The largest division within the Northshore Fire Department is the Operations Division. The Division is under the supervision of a Deputy Chief and is comprised of four shifts each staffed by a Battalion Chief, two Lieutenants and seven Firefighters.The Operations Division carries out the primary functions of the Northshore Fire Department, responding to a wide array of requests for service such as: fire suppression, emergency medical, vehicular extrication and technical rescue. The Operations Division also provides a host of non-emergency support services when other public or private agencies are unavailable to assist.The Operations Division supports a Technical Rescue Team (TRT) that can respond to and aid in emergency calls such as building collapse, confined space rescue, rope rescue, and trench rescue. Firefighters assigned to the TRT must put in many hours of training to learn and maintain the special skills needed to provide these services.
In addition to emergency work, firefighters assigned to Operations work closely with the Prevention Division performing commercial, and multi-family residential occupancy inspections on an annual basis. Firefighters also provide a wide range of services to the community including blood-pressure screening; tours of fire stations and apparatus; and fire and life safety presentations.
The largest single type of incident was requests for emergency medical aid, accounting for 2,526 (74%) of the total call volume, as seen on the chart on the right. Most EMS responses were requests for service related to medical illnesses; the rest were primarily related to injuries caused by accidents. In 2009, firefighters successfully resuscitated five citizens who had suffered sudden cardiac arrest.
Fires represented only 4% of the 2009 call volume, however, preparation and training for these types of events takes the greatest amount of time due to the inherent danger and risk fires pose to both the community and responders. The chart below provides a breakdown of the different types of fires we responded to in 2009.
|Station Coverage and Staffing
The Northshore Fire Department operates out of 2 fire stations with a daily minimum staffing of 9 personnel. Station 51 is located in Kenmore and is staffed with 1 Engine Company, 1 Aid/Rescue and 1 Command Vehicle. Station 57 is located in Lake Forest Park and is staffed with 1 Engine Company and a Shoreline Fire Department Medic Unit. For the purpose of statistical analysis the District is divided into three response areas, Kenmore North, Kenmore South and Lake Forest Park. In addition to the three response areas, units are frequently requested to respond outside of the jurisdiction to assist neighboring communities. The chart below displays the distribution of responses between each response area.
In 2009, the Northshore Fire Department responded to 3,420 incidents; 3,034 of these incidents were emergency responses where life and/or property were at risk. Lights and sirens are used for these types of incidents to expedite our arrival when seconds can make a dramatic difference. The chart on the left provides a more complete breakdown of the different types of incidents and their corresponding percentage of occurrence.
Response Time Goals
The Northshore Fire Department has established response time standards that provide a benchmark for performance goals. For all emergency responses, our standard is a two-minute turnout time and a four-minute travel time for a total response time of six minutes from dispatch to arrival. We are striving to achieve this goal 90% of the time for all emergency responses. In 2009 our compliance percentage with this goal was 83% for fire responses and 86% for basic life support emergency medical responses.