RFD Set to Analyze Areas Lacking Fire Stations + Staff

RFD taking measures to keep our growing city safe

This spring, seven years after a five-alarm fire burned at the site of the Metropolitan Apartments Downtown, Raleigh Magazine explored the question of whether Raleigh will be ready if and when the next large fire ignites. Fast-forward to now, and City Council’s April 16 meeting led to a unanimous vote to approve a $340,000 contract between the Raleigh Fire Department and Darkhorse Emergency, an emergency solutions analysis brand. 

Through this contract, Darkhouse will conduct an analysis of the current state of the fire department, as well as develop a master plan to improve apparatus and response times, with the goal to forecast trends as the city expands—not only in terms of boundaries, but as the population density in certain areas increases.

“We want to have a third party come in and evaluate the fire department as it stands right now,” emphasizes RFD Division Chief Patrick Marks. “We want to make sure we are exercising the best practice on our deployment model—[with the] right fire stations and apparatus in the right places to do the best we can with what we have.”

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Visualizing the fire safety situation, the city developed maps using analysis software to highlight areas on par with the minimum qualifications met in green, and areas lacking in apparatus and staffing marked in orange and red. (Note: Every district has at least one red area needing attention—namely Six Forks Road, along with Northwest and Southeast Raleigh).  

Analysis is slated to wrap up within at least a year in hopes of having City Council approve the report before next year’s city budget is finalized to then implement those recommendations. 

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.