Dallas Fire-Rescue Has Slow Response Times Too. We Need to Understand Why

A few seconds can be the difference between life and death. But while emergency medical calls to Dallas Fire-Rescue are rising, so too are response times, and that could signal trouble ahead.City statistics show that Dallas Fire Rescue responded to just 50.7% of EMS calls within 5 minutes this fiscal year, a rate sharply below the National Fire Protection Association’s national standard of 90% within 5 minutes. And this isn’t new; the department has languished well below the national standard for several years. Many factors, including city size, traffic, staffing decisions and budget restraints, impact response times. But what really caught our attention is this comment from Dallas Fire Fighters Association President Jim McDade. "Plain and simple, we need more ambulances," he said. "Our ambulances are running nonstop. Paramedics are being worked to the bone right now. Frankly, we're just very exhausted.”To our ears, McDade’s concerns point to issues that are strikingly similar to those Dallas’ understaffed police department has struggled with for years. As a city we don’t want to repeat past mistakes.   Continue reading...

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