Denver's rapid growth impacting emergency response time

Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 20:10:22-04

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DENVER — The area's growing population is impacting emergency response time in some parts of Denver.

Firefighters at Station 4, located at 17th and Lawrence, are staying active around the clock. It's one of the busiest fire stations in the country. 

Last year, Station 4 responded to 7,000 calls and had an average of 26 calls per a 24-hour shift.

“The growth and development and proximity of people in this area drive that need for this truck company to run as often as they do,” said Denver Fire Captain Greg Pixley.

While crews at Station 4 are meeting national standards in regards to response time, other stations in Denver are falling behind, especially those in the northeast part of the city.

Despite having five firehouses in the area, firefighters are not meeting standard response times. 

Firefighters take between six to seven minutes to respond to an emergency, which is at least two minutes too slow. 

“Timing is of the essence, and when we are seconds late on a call it can reduce the chances of somebody living, and if we are minutes late it could create a catastrophe,” said Pixley.

Pixley blames Denver’s rapid growth for the slowdown, but a recent Denver Fire audit anticipated the coverage issue 15 years ago. 

Budget constraints at the time, however, prevented any real measures to be implemented to address the anticipated problems.

The Denver Fire Department is in the process of opening two additional firehouses in the northeast area to improve response time. 

The stations expected to be open in the next couple of years.