At the Brooklyn Center fire station crews need to be ready in a flash. A call can come at any time, which is why the city is changing hours for its two-person duty crew.
Instead of working from 6 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., the two-person crew will work from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"It's covering calls when we need them the most," said Jeremy Hulke, Brooklyn Center Fire Chief. "We're getting the truck out the door at a good time between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m."
So far the new hours appear to be paying dividends. Last week there was a fire and Brooklyn Center officials believe they saved five minutes of response times getting to the blaze. Crews battled the fire in frigid cold and every minute counted as responders rushed to the scene.
"It allowed for our truck to get out of the station that much sooner to get to the fire to get set up and to see what had happened there," Hulke said.
These new hours began in December, and according to Hulke, reduced man power overnight has had no affect on those calls. However, in the fluid world of emergency response, hours are always subject to change.
"Depending on how the calls work, the response times and such, we may need to move it in any direction," Hulke said. "It's always something that needs to be evaluated and constantly looked at."
Hulke says there is more to firefighting than fighting fires. He estimates that 60 percent of their calls are medical responses, and these new hours should improve that facet of the job.
Eric Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org