Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Ken Prillaman apologized to the city council Monday night for not notifying the city council of recent staffing changes. The Brooklyn Park Fire Department relocated firefighters from the East Station to the North Station, where there is a higher volume of calls.
On Tuesday, Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde had a message for residents that might be concerned about the staffing changes and how it would affect response times. The majority of calls to the city's fire department are medical calls.
"People are getting better service, they're getting professional service, they're getting service that's faster," said Mayor Lunde about the city's average response time of five minutes, which is currently down from nine and a half minutes several years ago.
All Brooklyn Park firefighters are trained EMTs. In December, Brooklyn Fire Chief Ken Prillaman relocated firefighters from the East Station to the North Station, which had previously not been staffed. The move is in response to higher volumes of calls on the city's north side, where there's growing development and also senior living facilities such as St. Therese at Oxbow Lake.
Councilman Mark Mata disagreed with the staffing move and says he would like to see more detail on the severity of the calls.
"I would like to see what is really real, and what calls we're going to that is really something," said Mark Mata. "When I tell somebody that we hit almost 9,000 calls [last year], they either think we have a dying problem community or they think we've got fires all over the place."
Prillaman says each call that comes into the fire department must be treated equally.
The city council will take a comprehensive look at fire department staffing levels and budget constraints at a public work session in March.
Alexandra Renslo firstname.lastname@example.org
January 24, 2017