Fire department reports longer response times, hopes Treece will help
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department reports its response times are the longest they've been in eight years, but fire officials are hopeful the new mayor-elect will help solve the problem.
Asst. Columbia Fire Chief Brad Fraizer said Wednesday he has seen a steady rise since 2008.
"The response times are increasing in step with the population growth," Fraizer said. "As our staffing staying the same, those times continue to trend up."
Fraizer said the department is looking to find solutions with the limited resources available.
Below, is a graph that shows the increase from 2008 to the most recent data available from 2015:
Brian Treece, the new mayor-elect for the City of Columbia, listed public safety as one issue that will be a top priority.
Treece said he believes developments with Geographic Information Systems will be a great help to firefighters.
"I think the advances in GIS can really help identify where calls are likely to occur, when they're going to occur," he said. "We need to make sure we are using all available resources to make wise and efficient use of limited and precious tax payer dollars."
Fraizer and his team said they are hopeful Treece will have a pivotal role in tackling the issue.
"We're confident that mayor-elect Treece will continue to make this a priority because every second does count," Fraizer said.
Treece said he talked to current Mayor Bob McDavid and MU Chancellor Hank Foley about safety issues Wednesday morning.
"We had a good conversation about how to bring our various resources to bear to support our community," he said.
Treece also said he expects to reach the goal of bringing additional fire stations to the city, although he said it might not happen within his first year.