Fire Department Deals With Growth | VideoRetha Colclasure | 10/2/2012
Any time the Bismarck Fire Department gets a call, there`s a good chance station number 5 will be responding.
"Over the last three years our demand for service, number of emergency calls has increased by about 25 percent. Up in this part of the community, the north part, north of the interstate, we`ve seen a 41 percent jump," said Chief Joel Boespflug.
The Lockport Fire Station is the newest. It opened in 2010 and it`s quickly becoming one of the busiest.
"It`s a bit of a challenge," said Captain Jeff McConnell.
That`s because this station is in the part of town that`s growing fastest. New buildings are springing up and new roads are being cut in. So the map that existed just a few months ago may be out of date.
"We absolutely do struggle sometimes with what call, if that`s a street we don`t know the name of," McConnell said.
So they`re learning. In addition to just getting out and looking at the new roads to figure out where to go, they also came up with a list of new streets.
"So at 2:00 in the morning when your mind isn`t as fresh as it is at 2:00 in the afternoon, we can refer back to that, get a quick mind read and be able to understand where we`re going," McConnell said.
The department is looking at what challenges they`ll face as these new buildings go up, and the city`s population grows.
"We`ll continue to monitor the demand for service, our performance and the types of risk in each of the community sections. As we do that it becomes more evident where we would need a fire station," Boespflug said.
He says they`re dealing with the growth the best they can, and are staying on top of it.
One other thing that will help the department handle the growth is a few new firefighters. There will be three of them, one per shift, on the north end of town, starting in January.