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REPORT TO:Community & Infrastructure Services Committee <br />DATE OF MEETING:October 4, 2021 <br />SUBMITTED BY:Fire Chief Bob Gilmore, ext. 5501 <br />PREPARED BY:Helena Foulds, Manager, Service Coordination & Improvement, <br /> Community Services Department, ext.7193 <br />WARD(S) INVOLVED:All Wards <br />DATE OF REPORT:September 24, 2021 <br />REPORT NO.:CSD-2021-17 <br />SUBJECT:Fire Department Suppression Response Time & Staffing Review <br />RECOMMENDATIONS: <br />That City Councilapprove the plan to increase suppression staff by 20 new <br />firefighters over the next four years andopen a new fire station in 2026, as outlined <br />in CSD-2021-17;and that the financial implications of these additionsbe referred to <br />the City’s annual budget process. <br />That staff be directed to complete a fire station location studyin 2022 to determine <br />the optimal location for a new fire station, and subsequent impacts on the response <br />zones for other Kitchener fire stations. <br />REPORT HIGHLIGHTS: <br />Over the past several years Kitchener has experienced significant growth in its <br />population;and,in the number of tall buildings within the community, especially in the <br />downtown. That growth is projected to continue for many years to come. As a result of <br />this growth, the Kitchener Fire Department (KFD) is finding it difficult to respond to <br />emergency calls within an acceptable time. <br />On average, between 2016 and 2019, the KFD’s response times to medical or fire rescue <br />calls took longerthan the industry standard almost half of the time(43%). <br />An independent review of the KFD, conducted by the Fire UnderwritersSurvey, found <br />that KFD’s current suppression staffing levels could negatively impact fire insurance <br />classifications within the city if not addressed. This has the potential to increase the cost <br />of fire insurance within the community. <br />In 2017, as part of the City’s Fire Master plan,a review conducted by a third-party <br />consultant found that with current suppression staffing levels, there is no area of the city <br />where 24 firefighters can respond to a fire in a high-rise building within theindustry <br />standard response time. <br />*** This information is available in accessible formats upon request. *** <br />Please call 519-741-2345 or TTY 1-866-969-9994 for assistance. <br />