Since July 1, 2020, the City has successfully established the Placentia Fire and Life Safety Department. We have staffed, equipped, and trained a high-quality fire department, public safety communications center, and state-of-the-art emergency medical services (EMS) program. The Department has also worked collaboratively with the County of Orange to provide fire protection and EMS services to the unincorporated County island located within Placentia known as "Hamer Island."
One of the City’s goals in establishing its own fire department was to reduce critical emergency response times to our community. We are pleased to announce that the Placentia Fire and Life Safety Department has reduced response times by several minutes on medical calls and fire calls. In one month alone, the new Department reduced medical response times by nearly 50% when compared to the City’s prior service provider. These improved response times can be attributed to faster dispatching and using an ambulance instead of a fire engine for medical-related calls. The City has also invested in technology that communicates with traffic signals as emergency vehicles go through major intersections, further reducing response times. Collectively, these changes and improvements are saving lives in Placentia.
The Fire and Life Safety Department's creation has also resulted in handling a significant amount of more calls than our previous service provider. As a result, the Department has substantially reduced auto/mutual aid need from neighboring cities to serve Placentia residents. On average, the City has reduced the need for auto/mutual aid by 80% or more than our prior service provider, which results in faster response times to our residents. Below is a table that outlines the reductions in mutual aid requests from the cities of Fullerton, Brea, Anaheim, and Yorba Linda.
When responding to a medical emergency, every second counts. Our EMS partners at Lynch have played a significant role in our Fire and Life Safety Department's success. Lynch paramedics continue to provide high-quality service and expertise as the City's 911-paramedics. They are providing quick response times to residents while already being credited with saving several lives within our community and we value the partnership we have with Lynch Ambulance.
Collectively, this data demonstrates that the Placentia Fire and Life Safety Department has proven to be resilient and self-sufficient in its first six months as a department. As demonstrated above, our fire department model is very efficient at delivering services and shows that the City of Placentia can provide rapid response services to our community without regularly relying upon auto/mutual aid from surrounding jurisdictions.
Another component of our Fire and Life Safety Department is community outreach. Fire and Lynch personnel enjoy getting out in the community to get to know our residents while also educating them about fire and medical safety in their homes and businesses. The Department is active on social media, frequently posting various community engagements and providing life-saving tips and information. Stay tuned for more information on updates related to the Fire and Life Safety Department and how it is serving our community’s needs.