Pasco Fire Department growing with the city expansion
PASCO, Wash. – The city’s rapid growth challenges the local fire department to maintain a high percentile of quick response times.
As the city continues to expand, the department looks to keep up with emergencies.
“What we’re finding is that [population growth] is lengthening our response in some sections of our city,” says David Hare, who serves as the Assistant Chief of the Pasco Fire Department.
From the time they get called to an emergency, to the time they get to it, the fire department’s goal is to make it eight minutes or less. They are currently at an 80% percentile at making this time, but to goal is to be at 90 percent or above.
Pasco’s boom could bring more demand to the city. Between 2010 and 2016, Pasco has seen an 18 percent increase in its population.
New programs and technology are coming in place to assist the fire department. In their budget for next year, they are planning on installing an automated dispatching and station alerting process.
Hare says “With the automated dispatching system, our dispatchers will be able to interrogate our phone callers while the dispatching is going on simultaneously. We hope to significantly reduce our call processing time with that addition.”
A huge addition to the expansion within the department is a brand new fire department that will open up this upcoming September.
“The city of Pasco is going to be opening up Station 84 down at 48th and Margaret,” said Hare. “That’s certainly going to help in some areas we have a difficult time reaching right now due to that travel time restraint.”
Hare mentions when he was hired on the department 27 years ago, it was just the fire department that was serving the city. But now, local programs are getting together outside of Pasco to help each other.
“Now we’re seeing an organization of the greater Tri-Cities that are collaborating on a daily basis,” Hare says. Department of natural resources, U.S. Fish and Wildclife. All those people that have an impact on how we serve our community.”