Looking around Patterson it is hard to ignore the growth that is going on in this community. As we grow it is important to keep up on schools, police, and fire. The current general plan has a goal of one firefighter for every 1,000 residents. With a current population of 23,000 redidents, we currently have 18 budgeted positions, there should be 23 budgeted positions. Of the 18 budgeted positions, there are currently 17 positions filled, more on that in Part 8.
The City of Patterson is currently in talks about building a Station 3 located in the area of Olive and Sycamore Avenues. The site for this station has not been finalized, so opening this station is a ways out. When this station does open it will require 9 additional positions to staff the three shifts at that station.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) did research and found that four person crews could perform 22 essential firefighting and rescue tasks 30% faster than 2-person crews and 25% faster than 3-person crews (1). Patterson currently operates with 3 people on each fire apparatus.
NIST also conducted research that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) used to formulate guidelines for Structure Firefighting Response in Career Departments (NFPA 1710) and found that for a low-hazard, 2,000 square foot structure fire three fire engines (staffed with 4 personnel each), one truck (staffed with 4 personnel), and one Battallion Chief represented the best model for response (2). That is a total of 17 personnel on scene. In the City of Patterson, we respond with two fire appartus and one Division Chief to a structure fire for a total of 7 personnel. We supplement our city staffing by calling for automatic aid from CAL-Fire (when available and staffed), West Stan Station 50, Newman Engine 55, and Westley Rescue 53 which can provide unknown response times and unknown staffing.
At two recent struture fires (10/4/2023 & 10/7/2023) the Patterson Volunteers did not respond any apparatus to the fire scene. To better provide service to the citizens of Patterson we need to look at ways to increase career staffing for firefighter safety and the safety of the community members.