Burnsville Fire Department Looks to Improve Response Times

Updated: 04/19/2014 7:47 AM
Created: 04/18/2014 9:34 PM
By: Todd Wilson

The City of Burnsville has changed a lot since the birth of its fire department in 1991. An increase in population, traffic and emergency calls has added to increased response times.

Friday afternoon there was an accident on 35E south. The Burnsville Fire Department was on the scene and pulled a woman out of her car and put her on a stretcher. She was pushed to a waiting ambulance and it drives off. The response time was five minutes.

"The goal for our response times for emergency calls is six minutes for 80% of the time. And right now we're meeting that roughly 64% of the time," said Fire Chief BJ Jungmann.

He says meeting their target time has been an issue for years. He says at the moment the problem is five-fold.

"As we have an aging population they tend to need more medical services. Staffing is one of those things that we keep identifying to work on and geography," he said.

Add onto that an increase in call volume, most of it being emergency medical services. The department has two fire stations covering approximately 27 square miles. Staffing per shift is around nine daily. The city's population is roughly 60,000.

"Last year we did 5,415 calls. 4,300 of those calls were medically related," he said.

Jungmann says there is no quick fix but they do have a few ideas. The plans include more personnel and added stations.

He says while their call volume for medical emergencies continues to rise, their alarms for fire have stagnated.

The fire department is sharing this information with city council. There's no firm date as to when they will meet and figure out what direction to go.

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