SLO City Council mulls emergency response times, possible need for new fire station
San Luis Obispo firefighters can’t meet national emergency response time standards with the city’s four fire stations — a situation that could worsen as a slew of proposed developments are built at the southern end of the city unless a fifth station is added.
The city fire department’s goal is to meet a national standard of four minutes of travel time to 90 percent of fire and medical emergencies that require a response with lights and a siren (code three).
The fire department’s current response time to 90 percent of code-three emergencies is 9 minutes, 5 seconds. The travel time of 5 minutes, 40 seconds has increased over the past seven years, while calls for service have increased 26 percent, said Stewart Gary, a public safety principal with Citygate Associates.
The idea of adding a fifth station to improve fire services was recommended by a city consultant several years ago, but a resurgence in development, along with some large projects planned for the city’s southern edges, has prompted San Luis Obispo officials to reassess emergency response needs.