Standard of Cover

Standard of Cover

The EMS and fire service are a time dependent business. In the most acute medical emergency, where someone’s heart is no longer beating or they are not breathing, the chance for a successful outcome is extremely low after about ten minutes. Fire doubles in size about every minute, and around three minutes a house fire can be inescapable for the occupants. Both of these events occur about every third day in the District. Getting EMS and fire resources to an emergency in a timely manner is critical for a successful outcome- to save lives and property. This must be balanced with safety, effectiveness, and cost to ensure the best services are delivered to the community.

The District completed a Community Risk Assessment (CRA) in 2018 . The purpose of the assessment was to determine and evaluate the greatest risk to life, health, and critical infrastructure in the community we serve. After completion of the CRA the District then moved to the next foundational step in a data driven decision making process which was to complete a more thorough Standard of Cover Analysis for the community. The Standard of Cover (SOC) is the District’s written plan that establishes the logical and rational distribution and concentration of fixed (stations & facilities) and mobile resources (fire engines, ambulances, and support vehicles) based on analysis of the available data in the community. In 2019 the District engaged the services of Michael Rainey and Associates for an SOC analysis for the District. Below are the results of that analysis and are based on the following variables:
     • The District’s stated goals for response coverage are 6.5 minutes for Urban, 7.5 minutes for Suburban, and 12.5 minutes for Rural population categories. The definitions for each population category follow the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) standards for density: Urban (> 2,000 persons per square mile), Suburban (> 1,000 persons per square mile), and Rural (< 1,000 persons per square mile).
     • Although the analysis finds the District does not currently meet its intended goals in the current four-station configuration, the District will be able to significantly enhance its capability with respect to the stated goals with the addition of Station 5 & 6 and enhanced use of squad vehicles for augmentation.


Click on the blue arrows next to the numbers 1 thru 15 on the left to update the map and description of the related analysis.