City Testing Modified Emergency Response Model
The City of Portage has historically provided response services for fire and medical related emergencies from three fire stations: Fire Station #1, located at 7830 Shaver Road; Fire Station #2, located at 6101 Oakland Drive; and Fire Station #3, located at 8503 Sprinkle Road. A review of fire response statistics over the past several years reveals that most calls for service (more than 77 percent) are responded to from Fire Station #1 and Fire Station #2. More than 64 percent of all calls for service are medical related emergencies, with only slightly over 3 percent of calls being related to actual fires. Response data also reveal that the majority of incident calls occur during the daytime hours.
Due to staffing and safety considerations, responses to calls for service are typically provided by using fire engine vehicles. In order to provide more efficient and effective emergency service response, the City of Portage has implemented a modified emergency response model for a trial period of six months, beginning Friday, September 7, 2012.
To decrease wear and tear on fire engine vehicles and to direct staffing resources to the areas of greatest demand, the city will begin staffing two specially-equipped SUVs for response to medical emergency calls for service.
One “Rescue SUV” will be stationed at Fire Station #1, with the second stationed at Fire Station #2 for use on medical response runs when staffing permits. Staffing of the Rescue SUVs will be accomplished through a “brown-out” of Fire Station #3 between the daytime hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a shifting of staff and apparatus from Fire Station #3 to Fire Station #1. Responses to calls for service in the Fire Station #3 district will be accomplished from Fire Station #1 or Fire Station #2 during these time periods. Fire Station #3 will be fully staffed and operated as in the past between the overnight hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.
The revised emergency response model will be evaluated at the end of the six-month period and a decision to continue or discontinue the program will be made at that time.
Questions about the testing of this emergency response model can be directed to Richard White, Public Safety Director - Police / Fire Chief, at 269-329-4560.