You’re hearing a lot more fire engine sirens today as the number of medical, fire, and other calls continue to climb.
The Manteca Fire Department on an average day in 2017 handled 20.7 calls for service. That’s up sharply from 17.4 in 2016 and 15.9 in 2013. That translates into 7,579 emergency calls in 2017, 6,737 in 2016 and 5,636 in 2013.
That’s a 26 percent increase in call volume from 2013 to 2017. During the same time Manteca’s population increased by 7.8 percent going from 71,164 to 76,247.
Those figures are included in the 2017 annual report of Manteca Fire Department presented to the City Council this month by Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd.
Medical and rescue calls accounted for 60 percent of all calls in 2017 while fires came in at 5 percent. Mutual aid and public assist accounted for 28 percent of the calls, false alarms 5 percent, and hazardous materials 2 percent.
Average response time for Code 3 emergencies such as fires, medical calls or auto accidents was 4.22 minutes in 2017. The target response time once an engine receives a call from dispatch is five minutes. That is considered the outer limit of the best optimum response time in structure fires to avoid flash overs as well as in situations where someone has stopped breathing to avoid death or serious complications.
The average response time was up slightly from 2016 when it was 4.2 minutes and down slightly from 2015 when it was at 4.23 minutes. The response time in 2013 as well as 2014 was 4.15 minutes.
Staffing of frontline fire suppression staff was at 39 in 2013 — down from 42 in 2009. Fire engine staffing was up to 46 in 2017 with roughly a third — 15 — funded through the Measure M half cent public safety staff.
Of similar sized valley cities Manteca has the second lowest frontline firefighters at 46 topping Turlock at 39. Lodi has 51, West Sacramento has 54, and Folsom at 63. Manteca has the second largest population of the five cities with about 400 less Residents than Folsom. the next closest city in size is Turlock with 72,796 residents.
Shipherd noted that without Measure M funding Manteca would be forced to rotate station “brownouts” meaning one of the four existing stations would need to be temporarily closed on most days.
Fire prevention has also stepped up. There were 1,416 fire inspections conducted in 2017 compared to 1,330 in 2016. At the same time fire prevention plan checks went from 327 in 2016 to 424 in 2017.
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