Fire Station spacing and response areas are one of the most important and difficult items to plan for in a Professional Fire Department. Fire Stations are built based on existing development, current needs, and anticipated needs. Two major organizations play a role in Station placement. They include the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Both agencies use a predetermined set of data to determine the geographic distribution of fire companies.
ISO collects and evaluates information using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule to determine a Public Protection Classification (PPC). This PPC plays an important role in the underwriting process of major Insurance companies. The PPC is used when determining coverage’s and prices for personal and commercial property insurance. One factor in the overall score is distribution of fire companies. ISO reviews the built upon city limits and assigns a score. This score is based on fully equipped Engine Companies being within 1.5 miles and fully equipped Ladder Companies within 2.5 miles of structures.
NFPA uses different criteria for their recommendations based on response times. NFPA 1710 states an initial suppression engine should arrive within 240 second travel time for 90% of the response area. Initial full alarm (all three houses in Rock Springs) should arrive within a 480 second travel time for 90% of the response area. ISO and NFPA scores help determine placement and adequacy of stations. Together with available land and the direction of community development a location is planned.
Three Fire Houses are staffed in Rock Springs, they include Headquarters station located at the bottom of College Hill, Station 2 located on Hillcrest, and Station 3 located on Industrial. The distribution of these Fire Companies does place some of the expanding parts of the city outside of the distribution criteria. With the rapid growth of today’s fires Rock Springs Professional Fire Fighters are looking to the future and anticipating another Staffed Fire Station to ensure we can meet the needs of our residents. Our Elected Officials and Fire Chief are undoubtedly also forecasting the future needs of the community and creating a plan to ensure public safety is properly protected.
Rock Springs Professional Fire Fighters Vice President