Sugar Land enhances resources to ensure quality service
The Sugar Land Fire Department reorganized resources during 2013 to better address call volume and strengthen prevention efforts. The results were included in the Sugar Land Fire Department’s 2013 Annual Report.
Sugar Land responded to 7,362 calls for service during 2013, an increase of 691 over 2012. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) represented more than 60 percent of SLFD’s call volume, while structure fires were about .3 percent. Firefighters responded to 22 structure fires in 2013 compared to 27 in 2012.
A focus on strong code enforcement, public education and relatively new infrastructure contributed toward a low number of structure fires in Sugar Land.
The average response time of Sugar Land firefighters in 2013 was 5 minutes 13 seconds for calls in the City.
A priority during 2013 was to begin planning for the creation of SLFD’s own ambulance transport system. The effort was the result of a strategic project to meet Advanced Life Support delivery standards that were identified by Dr. Joe Anzaldua, Sugar Land’s medical director.
• improving response times for advanced life support calls;
• creating a Patient Care Reporting system that can be used by paramedics in the field to ensure local hospitals have access to information prior to the arrival of patients;
• building on a network of assets that provide flexibility, speed and efficiency in public safety response; and
• building an Emergency Medical Dispatch capacity that will send appropriate personnel and equipment to EMS calls.
During 2013, several milestones were met to prepare the City for its own ambulance transport system by January 2015. The expanded duties of the department’s medical director were established, an EMS battalion chief was hired, EMS billing and fee structures are under development, a paramedic hiring process began, an internal paramedic training class was developed and the first medic unit was selected for purchase.
The fire department also began a year-long evaluation of call volume to determine resources needed and where they will be allocated.
Other accomplishments during 2013 included the following:
• More than 1,180 fire safety building plans were reviewed.
• Inspectors conducted more than 3,350 inspections.
• Almost 200 free smoke alarms were installed.
• Sugar Land retained its ISO Class 2 rating, a designation that contributes to lower retail insurance rates.
• Training hours increased by more than 20 percent.
• More than 30 businesses were provided emergency drills and fire extinguisher training.
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