Mary Alice Reporting –
With 24/7 staffing, the Strasburg Fire Department has seen a drastic improvement on their call responses.
A chart shared on the department’s Facebook page show the calls dispatched to and their average reaction time over the past six years, plus their numbers from January through August 2023.
Chief Steven Laskey explains prior to 2018, their office was volunteer, but a Safer Grant was awarded allowing staffing during the weekdays.
“Subsequent full-time staffing was due to a staffing levy, a combined staffing levy, between the Village and [Franklin] Township. Currently, we staff Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm, with three, and then 8pm to 8am, with two, and then two on the weekends.”
The average reaction time back in 2017 and 2018 was roughly 5 minutes and 8minutes, respectively, but has seen a decrease in 2022 with the first three months at 3 minutes and 30 seconds to around 2 minutes for the remainder of that year.
“Minimal standard is 1 minute for EMS calls during the day, and 2 minutes during the day, and 2 minutes 30 seconds at night for fire runs. Judging by that reaction time, for 2023, so far, being 1 minute and 40 seconds, my members have over exceed my expectations and I’m very proud of them for that.”
Another major improvement since going to 24/7 staffing is a better relationship with neighboring fire departments, with Laskey noting that Strasburg is able to provide more mutual aid.
Additionally, the number of calls the village’s fire department responds to fluctuates between 400 and around 600 calls per year.
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