The Village of Pinehurst recently completed a report on how to improve their fire department emergency response times.
The study took over seven months to complete and was led by a team that included Pinehurst Village Manager Jeff Sanborn, Fire Chief Carlton Cole and Firefighter JR McLaughlin. Also represented were Human Resources and Fleet Management.
The report concluded that the primary reasons for not meeting current requirements included a lack of public awareness about the needs for posting residential address. A physical road system that is not conducive to a quick response from the two current fire station locations, and inadequate staffing levels as well as a rescue truck not optimal for medical and rescue calls were also noted.
A contributing factor was increased traffic and large construction vehicles on small village roadways and the possibility of a train disrupting travel routes for calls.
The goal of the report is to find ways to cut the time required for both response time (arrival of first responding apparatus on site) and the reaction time (time from the call coming to the dispatch order being given). Currently, the percentage of calls with a response time of six minutes and 30 seconds (or less) is 68 percent with an average response time of five minutes and 45 seconds.
The fiscal year 2023 goal is to raise the percentage of calls meeting the six minutes and 30 seconds standard to 75 percent and to cut average response times to five minutes and 35 seconds.
The reported made the following recommendations:
1. The hiring of a full-time firefighter as a floater among three shifts along with six additional reserve firefighters.
2. To replace the current rescue truck that is better suited to handle EMS calls.
3. To evaluate the need and location for an additional fire station.
4. To amend the Pinehurst Development Ordinance and Municipal Code regarding signage requirements for residential properties.
The cost to implement the recommendations is projected to cost $760,000 with $681,000 included in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. This consists of the hiring of a full-time firefighter, the replacement of the fire/rescue truck and $200,000 to evaluate the need and location of a new fire station.
The Village Council approved the report recommendations at their July 23 meeting.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.