City Council receives response time data; affirms “dual station” model to provide better response times to more residents
At its January 20, 2015 meeting, following a presentation from Fire Chief Kevin Nalder on the impacts of a new north end fire station on response times and firefighter staffing levels, the Kirkland City Council affirmed its support of a “dual station” model. The “dual station” model emerged from the Standards of Coverage & Deployment Plan, which recommends that Fire Station #25 remain at its current location and that a new fire station be built in Juanita to better serve the Finn Hill and Juanita Neighborhoods. In his presentation, Chief Nalder reviewed current call volumes and response times from Fire Station #27 and potential changes to the call volumes and response times with a new fire station located in the Juanita Neighborhood. A series of maps, showing different scenarios based on data from the Standards of Coverage & Deployment Plan, were presented. The scenarios described how calls could be redistributed between Fire Stations #27 (Totem Lake), #26 (Rose Hill), #25 (Holmes Point) and #21 (Forbes Creek) and the new station. The redistribution evens out the allocation of calls among the fire stations and, as a result, improved coverage over a wider area. To watch Chief Nalder’s presentation, go to www.kirklandwa.gov, search “On-Demand” and select the January 20, 2015 City Council meeting.
In recent weeks, the Kirkland Firefighters’ Union, IAFF 2545, has expressed concerns that the new fire station would increase Fire Station #27 staff workload and reduce service to the Kingsgate area. The data and strategies presented address these concerns. These and other issues will be worked through before any final decision about siting or staffing is made.
The City will be hosting public meetings about the fire station project in the coming months. Contact the City Manager’s Office at 425-587-3001 to schedule a presentation for your neighborhood association or business network.