Message from the Chief
The Austin Fire Department (AFD) is committed to creating safer communities through prevention, preparedness, and effective emergency response. We aspire to assist our fellow citizens as quickly, effectively, and compassionately as possible.
Firefighting is but one component in a myriad of services we provide. Our other roles include rescues, traffic collisions, medical calls, hazardous materials response, arson investigations, emergency prevention and inspections, and public education. We currently have more than 1,100 firefighters at 45 fire stations strategically placed around the city.
FY 2014-15 was a successful year for the Austin Fire Department in many ways:
In FY 2014-15, 90% of the customers surveyed in the City’s annual community survey were satisfied with the quality of AFD’s services. This met the established goal of 90%. AFD continues to enhance the quality of services we provide through continuing education programs, ensuring firefighters effectively respond to the needs of the public.
In 85% of emergency incidents, the first unit arrived within eight minutes of call receipt. Maintaining fast response times is challenging as the city expands geographically and populations increase. AFD Communications continues to reduce response times by seeking out efficiencies in their processes. In FY 2014-15, AFD established a long-term goal of having its first-in unit arrive within 8 minutes of call receipt in 90% of emergency incidents.
While AFD’s goal is always zero fire deaths, there were six unintentional fire deaths, four occurring in single-family residences and two occurring in vehicle collisions. AFD conducted focused neighborhood canvassing after each fire and installed 2,489 smoke alarms, approximately 8.5% more than FY 2013-14.
84% of structure fires were contained to the room of origin. The number of total structure fires has remained stagnant at 587 total structure fires in FY 2014-15 as compared to 589 structure fires in FY 2013-14. There will be continued focus on reducing response times, increasing training, and adding fire stations to improve the results.
The percent of patients experiencing cardiac arrests due to cardiac cause that arrived at the hospital with a pulse was 32%in FY 2014-15. AFD is participating in widespread efforts to provide CPR training to the public – including the “Take 10” initiative – which will continue to contribute significantly to the number of lives saved.
Rhoda Mae Kerr