FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 30, 2019
Contact: Chief Kyle McMann (503) 588-6535 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marion County Fire District #1 Releases Annual Report
Call Volumes and Response Times on the Rise
Salem, Ore. – Marion County Fire District #1 released its Annual Report for the year 2018. The report includes an overview of the agency’s Strategic Plan, a snapshot of its budget, and highlights from service calls last year. A copy of the report can be downloaded on the fire district’s web site at www.mcfd1.com.
A narrative by Fire Chief Kyle McMann shares how the agency plans to manage higher call volumes. The fire district has averaged a four percent per year for the past 10 years, and firefighters are feeling the strain. The number of simultaneous calls continues to increase, the number of volunteer firefighters continues to decrease, and the time it takes to get an effective response force on scene is increasing.
Higher call volumes mean that units may not be immediately available, which increases response times. The fire district has seen an average increase of 33.3% in overlapping incidents and an average increase of 30 seconds in response times.
“We believe in being open and transparent,” said Fire Chief Kyle McMann. “The bad news is that response times are increasing. The good news is that we have a plan to address it before it becomes an issue.”
The fire district adopted a Strategic Plan last June that identified key areas where improvement should be made. Long-term, it plans to hire additional personnel to respond to calls, including back-to-back emergencies where it can take as long as 11 minutes for help to arrive. (The agency’s goal is 7 minutes or less to get to an emergency.)
The Strategic Plan also identifies future capital needs, which include replacing apparatus, equipment, and renovating facilities to better serve the community. It also recommends building up reserve funds to pay cash for some items instead of borrowing money, which costs taxpayers more.
Marion County Fire District #1 provides fire and emergency medical services to 50,000 people over 80 square miles. It is independent of Marion County and a separate taxing authority that has been providing emergency services since 1939. It currently serves the communities of Four Corners, Middle Grove, Pratum, Macleay, Brooklake, Clearlake, Labish Center, and Chemeketa. More than 100 full-time, part-time and volunteer emergency personnel respond to 7,600 emergency calls per year.