Each day our crews must navigate red-light runners in front of our Station 40 located near the intersection of Goodlette-Frank and Pine Ridge Roads.
North Collier Fire is proposing to move this station to a new location 2,950 feet further east on Pine Ridge Road.
One of the factors in the decision making process is the traffic issues we face at the current location. This clip documents six red light runners at our emergency signal.
The new location offers a full stoplight at which motorists are accustomed to stopping.
How does fire station location affect you?
Determining station locations within our district requires the balancing of dozens of factors that are crucial in facilitating effective, all hazards emergency response to our community.
In order to deliver efficient emergency response to the broadest reach, numerous factors are vital to the decision making process. Population density, incident quantity, call concurrency, geographical coverage, building use type (ex. high risk occupancies), land availability, traffic patterns, budgetary constraints, interlocal cooperation with other agencies, public expectations, response times and ISO (Insurance Services Office) ratings all play a role.
For instance, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends a four-minute arrival time to a fire or medical emergency for first due personnel and apparatus, and they want us to meet this standard 90% of the time. Our current first due arrival time averages 5 minutes, 12 seconds districtwide. For residential fires, NFPA expands its recommendations to include that within eight-minutes, our District is to have 15 personnel, two engines, one ladder truck and one command officer in place. For commercial fires, recommended personnel jumps to 24, and for high-rise fires to 32. Strategic station location is crucial to compliance with these NFPA guidelines, and directly affects our ability to provide rapid and successful life and property protection to our constituents.
The ISO factor is also crucial in our station location determinations. An ISO rating is a score that determines how well we as a fire district can protect your community and home. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates. Our District’s ISO rating is a 3 (top 3% nationally) for properties located within a five road mile radius of one of our stations. In the eastern portion of our District, ISO rating in some areas that are more than the five road mile radius from one of our stations is a 10. Homeowner insurance rates for these homes are considerably higher. Additional fire stations in these eastern areas would garner improvement of our current ISO ratings, which translates to decreased insurance rates for you.
As detailed in our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, North Collier Fire has identified six locations for future stations. Funding has not been allocated for any, but we know the need is there. Five of the locations are needed to accommodate current and future growth and include Airport-Pulling Rd & Orange Blossom Dr, Oakes Blvd & Vanderbilt Beach Rd, Sun Century Rd (Old US 41 area), 22ndAve NE & Desoto Blvd and Immokalee Rd and Krape Rd.
The sixth location is our current Station 10 located near the intersection of Immokalee Road and Randall Blvd. This station is due for demolition within the next two to three years as Collier County will take control of the property to enable planned road widening at the intersection. For this relocation, the same factors discussed above will play a role in our relocation decision.
Beyond the locations noted in our Strategic Plan, we are also considering a relocation of our oldest Station 40, located near the intersection of Pine Ridge Rd and Goodlette-Frank Rd, to a larger property located further east on Pine Ridge Rd, and owned by the District for many years.
Predictability modeling software is being utilized to validate how response times would be affected by all proposed locations of new and relocated stations.
As policy makers, we understand how changes to resources affect our community, and we try diligently to match risk levels with appropriate assets, including fire stations.
As with all decisions, station location choices pose both pros and cons. Our Board is committed to considering these pros and cons, along with statistical data, for an educated decision process. We will continue to vet our station locations in order to best accommodate the needs of our community while always balancing accompanying factors. We will also continue to encourage insight from our constituents while ensuring that the best interest of the community at large remains priority..
The Board of Fire Commissioners
North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District