The Lynchburg Fire Fighters PAC first priority is Public Safety. We are extending the commitment our members have to protecting your lives and property to ensure our local government provides the public safety system our hard-working taxpayers deserve.
Since 2008, we have grown in resources by one 24-hour ambulance and an EMS Supervisor response vehicle, which requires an additional 3 people per shift to staff, plus 2 power shift (8 hours Monday - Friday) ambulances. Two years ago, these power shift ambulances were removed from service to absorb the personnel back into the three 24 hour shifts - because we are operating with roughly the same number of fire fighters we have had for over two decades.
In the first 6 months of 2019, the Lynchburg Fire Department ran out of medic units to respond in the event of a medical emergency at least 44 times. This is not good enough for the community, because heart attacks, strokes, traumatic injuries and sudden cardiac arrest can strike at a moment's notice. Failed public policy has resulted in the community outgrowing our Fire and EMS service delivery capabilities, but it's not too late to catch up.
The last Fire Station in the City of Lynchburg was built in 1994. There is no strategic plan in place to build new fire stations in the city, and the rapidly growing corridors between Boonsboro Road, Old Forest Road, Lakeside Drive, Graves Mill Road, Timberlake Road, Candlers Mountain Road and Wards Road are experiencing some of the fastest growing and highest call volume in the city, yet there is no plan in place for station realignment for proper distribution of infrastructure to support community growth and development.
This year, we lost even more ground as the National Fire Protection Association updated NFPA 1710: Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments. With this update, they corrected language about jurisdictions based on population density and effectively increased the gap for our fire department to provide industry standard protection for our urban response area. Every fire engine, ladder truck and the heavy rescue are staffed with a minimum of 3 fire fighters, which puts us 2 fire fighters short of industry standard staffing for our department. Industry standard staffing would provide 10 fire fighters with the first and second arriving units often from different fire stations at the scene of a fire, but it currently takes 4 fire engines to provide this level of staffing at an incident, which is exactly half of the fire engines in service 24 hours a day in our city.