Emergency Response Times Improve with Additional Personnel
BRUSH PRAIRIE, WA— Clark County Fire District 3 reports that call volumes dipped slightly from 4,381 calls in 2019 to 4,155 in 2020. However, the number of calls for emergency medical service increased from 3,010 to 3,196.
Both statistics are likely due to the pandemic. For example, more people stayed home leading to fewer fires and car accidents, but there were increases in calls for respiratory illness and other underlying medical conditions aggravated by the virus.
Call data also shows that two voter-approved ballot measures – a fire levy lid lift in 2017 and annexation of the City of Battle Ground to the Fire District in 2020 – can be credited with improving emergency response times and helping the Fire District meet its Standards of Cover. Standards of Cover are time limits set by an agency to ensure a safe and effective response to fires, medical calls, and situations requiring technical rescue.
This community support meant that Fire District 3 could hire additional personnel to form a full-time crew at its station in Venersborg and add another 24-hour crew at Station 35 in Battle Ground. Increasing capacity in these two areas means there are additional emergency resources available to respond district-wide, which has improved response times as well.
Fire Chief Scott Sorenson says response times will continue to improve in 2021 because data will reflect a full year of staffing level improvements. Chief Sorenson says that everyone at Fire District 3 is grateful for the community’s support to make this happen.
“These improvements are possible because our community values quality emergency services,” he said. “Everything we do is possible because of our taxpayers.”