CSFD expects first companies to reach a scene within eight minutes, 90 percent of the time.
For a structure-fire call, it expects to get two engines and a truck to the scene within 12 minutes, 90 percent of the time.
Zone 1: Downtown is one of the city's highest-performing zones, with firefighters responding within both standards more than 96 percent of the time from 2008 to 2012, except in 2010 when they hit the 12-minute target only 84 percent of the time.
Zone 2: This west side area almost lost Fire Station 3 more than a decade ago, when the city was looking to reduce expenses. But the station survived and has helped this zone achieve the eight-minute standard since 2007. It's missed the 12-minute standard for three of the last seven years.
Zone 3: This northwest sector includes the Waldo Canyon burn area, and crews here have fallen short of standards yearly since 2007. In 2012, they met their 12-minute structure-fire response a dismal 70.8 percent of the time. Fire Chief Chris Riley says the slower response times are due to lower population density and "many curving and hilly streets" that slow crews down. But there are currently no plans to improve response times there, he says.
Zone 4: This zone's stations sit on the borders of other zones, but it's registered on-time or better first-company responses consistently since 2007. Structure-fire callouts, though, have lagged behind the target three of the last seven years.
Zone 5:This is home to the city's busiest station — Station 8 at Academy Boulevard and Airport Road — which ran nearly 7,400 calls last year. The south-central area sees first companies arrive late only 2 to 3 percent of the time, typically, and the department exceeds its goals on structure-fire response. Riley says if call volume keeps climbing here, he'll consider adding crews.
Zone 6: The southwest sector, which includes the Broadmoor area, has met or exceeded both standards going back to 2011, but fell short in both areas two of the four years before that. Its Station 4 is one of two wildland fire stations in the city.
Zone 7: This far north zone is the city's trouble spot that officials hope to address by opening Fire Station 22 in less than a year. It already has five stations, more than any other in the city.
Zone 8: This sliver in eastern Colorado Springs shares Station 7 with Zone 4. Still, firefighters have had no response-time problems, meeting or bettering response times without fail dating to 2007.
Zone 9:First companies in this eastern sector, which includes the Powers corridor from Constitution Avenue to Rangewood Drive, have met the eight-minute standard only three out of four times, or less, on average since 2007. Structure-fire response was in the same ballpark until mid-2012, when firefighters hit goal five quarters running; it backslid to 83 percent in the most recent quarter.
All 21 fire stations have an engine, but only seven stations — 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 17 and 19 — also have truck companies. The primary goal for engines, with their 500 gallons of water and hose line, is to extinguish a blaze. Trucks, generally located near areas with high-density buildings, such as multi-story apartment complexes, carry ladders, entry tools, saws and extrication equipment.
"A pretty basic and primary role for a truck company," Riley explains, "is to ventilate the fire, remove all the smoke, heat and gases so firefighters can go in and quickly extinguish the fire, and assist in life rescue efforts."
To get resources where they're needed fast requires planning. "Every fire station, every engine company is strategically located throughout the city," Riley says.
For example, Station 4, in southwest Zone 6, and Station 9 in northwest Zone 3, house the city's wildland firefighting equipment and personnel, because they're close to the wildland-urban interface.
— Compiled by Pam Zubeck; data from the Colorado Springs Fire Department