Carson City mayor discusses city’s emergency management plan

Carson City Fire Department's Truck 50 made its debut in December 2020. The city purchased the truck for $1.1 million and it has a projected 20-year lifespan.

Carson City Fire Department's Truck 50 made its debut in December 2020. The city purchased the truck for $1.1 million and it has a projected 20-year lifespan.

The Carson City Fire Department tries to maintain four-minute response times to residents’ emergency calls. Currently, they are unable to meet that standard on the east and northwest sides of the city.
At the Chamber of Commerce’s “Coffee and Conversation with the Mayor” on Thursday, Mayor Lori Bagwell put that problem in the limelight. She answered questions about the CCFD’s new fire truck and ongoing plans for a new fire station on 3500 Butti Way.
The city has known since before 2008 that it needs another station to support growth, but the last time Carson City expanded the reach of its Fire Department was in 1994 when Station 51 on South Stewart Street was added.
Since then, emergency call volumes have more than doubled. At least 10 times per day, the CCFD gets simultaneous calls that require 50 percent or more of their resources.
“Everything is about being able to get to the incident. I can’t help if I can’t get there,” Bagwell said. She added that survivability rates drop quickly when firefighters face delays that push them past the four-minute response mark.
For now, the city is leaning on the new fire truck and nine additional staff members who were hired through the SAFER grant this year.
Fire Chief Sean Slamon said that the truck has been working out very well for station staff. It has a 107-foot aerial ladder and can carry more equipment than the city’s fire engines. It can complete a U-turn in a neighborhood cul-de-sac, unlike the fire engines. And it is better equipped to respond to emergencies in over 40 Carson City buildings that are three stories or taller.
The city made a large prepayment to secure the truck for only $1.1 million, and it has an estimated 20-year lifespan.
But it’s the new fire station that will really make a difference in cutting down call response times.
Bagwell said it’s unfair that certain corners of the city quite literally face lower survivability rates because of the location of their property with respect to the closest fire stations.
“You want to do all that you can for the people you’re trying to help,” she said.
The new fire station is incorporated in the city’s 2022-26 five-year strategic plan, but the city still needs to secure more funding to make progress toward realizing the station.

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