How does your Fire Agency compare?

How does your Fire Agency compare? 

Comparing costs of one Fire Agency with another in responding to emergencies is not an exact science.

There are several variables such as geography covered, types and number of residential and commercial buildings, population and its demographics, to name a few.

Fire Agency budgets include Personnel, Benefits, and Operating costs (supplies, fuel, maintenance), plus Capital costs such as refurbishing/building new fire stations, adding/replacing fire trucks, which could add to one year’s budget, but not the next.

The National Fire Incident Reporting System categorizes Fire Agency responses. For calendar year 2017 the 5 local Fire Agencies were dispatched to 54,820 responses.

By percentage these were: Rescue & EMS 63.0%; Good Intention Calls (calls canceled before arrival or controlled burning) 15.2%; False Alarms 8.9%; Service Calls (person in distress or other public service assistance) 8.2%; Hazardous No Fire 2.2%; Actual Fires 1.9%; Overpressure No Fire 0.1%; Severe Weather 0.1%; Special Incident Complaint 0.1%.

Each local agency’s percentage breakdown was similar.

Taking annual Personnel and Operating budget costs (not counting yearly capital related expenses) and dividing this by the responses, you arrive at the average operating cost per response.

Using 2017/2018 fiscal budgets and 2017 calendar year responses, the overall result was $81,929,042/54,820 responses = $1,494.51/response.

Immokalee: $3,868,947/4,349 responses = $889.62

Greater Naples (EastNaples+GoldenGate+IslesCapri+Ochopee+I75): $28,352,756/20,927 responses = $1,354.84

Marco Island: $6,019,938/3,872 responses = $1,554.74

Naples: $9,818,028/6,234 responses = $1,574.92

North Collier (NorthNaples+Corkscrew): $33,869,373/19,438 responses = $1,742.43

To: “Would you support a single combined Fire and Emergency Medical Response Independent Special District in unincorporated Collier County that is governed by an independent elected body, to provide a unified emergency response”?

In March 2016 voter response was 63% “YES”

What is the next step for Fire Agency leadership of the 3 Independent Fire Districts?  

Marvin Easton
Retired IBM Consultant