CAPE CORAL, Fla. - New information tonight showing cuts in staffing are affecting how fast firefighters get to Cape Coral homes in an emergency!
WINK News asked Cape Coral for more information about staffing and response times by the Cape Coral Fire Department.
The department handed over detailed statistics about how fast they are getting to your home.
In 2008, staffing in Cape Coral was at the highest level in ten years with just under 250 people in the Cape Coral Fire Department.
That year, the city cut 24 positions from the department. And in 2009, they cut seven more positions.
Meanwhile, the number of calls went up.
In 2007, Cape Fire received 16,396 calls. The call volume grew to 17,139 calls 2008 and to 17,641 calls in 2009.
Bottom line, here's what it means for your home:
In 2007, firefighters responded in 5 minutes 49 seconds.
When staffing increased in 2008, firefighters cut that to 5 minutes 40 seconds. But when staffing was cut in 2009, it took firefighters 23 seconds longer to get to your home with the average response coming in at 6 minutes 03 seconds.
This doesn't surprise the firefighters union President Mark Muerth. "If we had more personnel on duty, the functions get done quicker and more efficient; Thus saving property and lives so any time that we can improve the staffing it's going to be a plus for the residents," said Muerth.
Over the past ten years, the call volume in cape coral has nearly doubled. The response time has gone up by about a minute.