Fire Hall Location Study – Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley

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Colour Legend

Green: 4 minute Response Time (EMS)

Blue: 8 minute Response Time (EMS)

Yellow: 9 minute Response Time (Fire – Urban Standard)

Orange: 10 minute Response Time (Fire – Suburban Standard)

Red: 14 minute Response Time (Fire – Rural Standard)

Standard Response Times based on NFPA 1720

 

Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley – Fire Hall Location Study

A GIS Based analysis on existing and proposed locations.

Executive Summary

A fire hall location study was commissioned by the Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley (the Township) to determine if Fire Hall #3 currently located in Frankville should be relocated to Toledo or another location. Data provided by the Township include historical dispatch data from 2013 to 2018. This data was supplemented with CanVec GIS layers supplied by the Government of Canada and included political boundaries and road networks used in the analysis.

The software used for the GIS based analysis was QGIS, an open source GIS software. The response times were determined using the CanVec road layers and posted speed limits and compared to the NFPA 1720 standards. As a predominantly rural population a response time of 14 minutes is required by the NFPA 1720 standard. Another requirement was determining the effect of moving the station on the insurance discounts offered to residents residing within 8km of a fire hall due to the superior tanker shuttle service accreditation.

Response times, historical data and insurance mapping were presented in multiple ways within this report. Data was organized by the existing condition with fire halls in Lyn, New Dublin and Frankville and the proposed condition with fire halls in Lyn, New Dublin and Toledo. It was determined that both configurations complied with the NFPA 1720 standard. This was because regions that lay outside of 12.8 km (8 miles) are considered remote and can have any response time as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

To optimize the location of Fire Hall #3 a response time of 14 minutes was maintained and a region mapped out for the ideal location of the fire hall. The proposed location of the fire hall in Toledo is within this region. The final location of the fire hall may be determined by other factors such as property parcel size and land use planning. Moving the fire hall will also allow the fire hall in Frankville to continue operation while the new station is being constructed.

Introduction

The Township has indicated that the fire hall located in Frankville needs to be replaced. A fire hall location study was commissioned to determine if the Frankville fire hall is located correctly to ensure response times match the NFPA 1720 standard.

Inputted Data

Historical Dispatch Data 2013 to 2018

Data provided from the Township included historical dispatch data from 2013 to 2018. The dispatch data included the following information:

  • Dispatch Date and Time,
  • Incident Street Address,
  • Municipality,
  • Incident Number and Type,
  • Call Source, and
  • UTM coordinates (longitude and latitude).

CanVec Data

The data from the Township was supplemented by open source data provided by the Government of Canada called CanVec. The CanVec layers used for this project were:

  • Upper Tier and Lower Tier Municipal Boundaries,
  • Road Networks, and
  • Water Bodies.

The CanVec GIS includes multiple other layers that were not used in the analysis.

Data Not Provided

Some GIS data was not available for this study. Ontario land parcel data is not readily available by the Township. Therefore determining a specific property for a third option for the fire hall was not determined. Detailed population density was not available for the Township. It was assumed that the Township is predominantly a rural area with the main villages and hamlets being a suburban population density.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

The data was analyzed using QGIS, an open source GIS software. The data is presented using the coordinate reference system (CRS) of UTM Zone 18N (NAD83) EPSG 26918. All data was transformed to this datum.

Geographic Area

The limits of this study are for the three existing fire halls located in the Township and one proposed location in Toledo. The mapping includes all of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. The extended analysis area was to demonstrate potential for service agreements with neighbouring townships.

Fire Halls

The three fire halls within the Township and one proposed location were analyzed. The fire halls include:

  • Fire Station #1 – Lyn.
  • Fire Station #2 – New Dublin.
  • Fire Station #3 – Frankville.
  • Proposed Fire Station – Toledo.

Analysis

The analysis for the determination of the location of the fire hall includes the following parameters:

  1. GIS network analysis of roads for calculated response times.
  2. Point data on historical dispatches from 2013 to 2018.
  3. 8km radius from fire halls for insurance coverage.

Fire hall locations were analyzed in the following configurations:

  1. All fire halls simultaneously;
    1. Existing fire halls locations in Lyn, New Dublin and Frankville,
    2. Proposed fire hall locations in Lyn, New Dublin and Toledo.
  2. Individual fire halls;
    1. Lyn,
    2. New Dublin,
    3. Frankville,
    4. Toledo (Proposed).

Response Times

The standard used for this study was NFPA 1720: Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments. Although this document has no legal standing in Ontario it is widely known as the industry standard. EMS response times were based on  NFPA 1710: National Standard.

Standard Fire Response Times

NFPA 1720 standard response times for fire departments are summarized in T4.3.2 of the standard and reproduced below.

 

Table 4.3.2 Staffing and Response Times

 

Demand Zone Demographics Minimum Staff to Respond Response Time (minutes) Meets Objective (%)
Urban Area >1000 people/sq. mi. 15 9 90
Suburban Area 500-1000 people/sq. mi 10 10 80
Rural Area <500 people/sq. mi. 6 14 80
Remote Area Travel Distance greater than or equal to 8 miles (12.8km) 4 Directly dependent on travel distance 90
Special Risks Determined by AHJ Determined by AHJ based on risk Determined by AHJ 90
  1. A jurisdiction can have more than one demand zone.
  2. Minimum staffing includes members responding from the Authority Having Jurisdiction’s (AHJ) department and automatic aid.
  3. Response time begins upon completion of the dispatch notification and ends at the time interval shown in the table.

 

Graphical Representation of Response Time

Emergency Medical Response Times

NFPA 1710 states that for basic life support the response time should 4 minutes. Advanced life support from paramedics require a response time of 8 minutes. Cardiac arrest causes serious brain damage within 6 minutes. Response times of 4 minutes and 8 minutes were modelled for this study.

Modelled Response Times

The response times were modelled using a time network analysis in QGIS use the QNEAT3 add on module. The response time was modelled using the geometry of the road network as provided by CanVec GIS data. The travel speed used was the posted speed limit of the road. NFPA 1720 does provide a crude formula for determining travel time. The formula is:

 

1.7 x distance + 0.65 = travel time.

 

This formula did not provide units and is therefore indeterminate and unusable. Furthermore it is a linear equation and a more sophisticated calculation can be completed with QGIS. The posted speed limit of the road was determined as a best estimate of equipment travel speed. It is expected that the equipment may travel faster but would have to slow down at corners and intersections, averaging to the posted speed limit. The posted speed limits are also a function of road condition, population density, and geometry. For example sections of County Rd 29 are 80 km/h but within hamlets the speed limit reduces.

The modelled response times are displayed in two ways:

  1. 1 minute contour lines.
  2. Colour coded areas correlating required response times for urban, suburban, rural and remote areas.

 

The colour coded response time areas are presented as rings. Areas within a ring represent a standard response time according to NFPA 1720. As part of NFPA standard areas the lay outside of a travel distance of 12.8km (8 miles) is considered a remote area and it is up to the authority having jurisdiction to determine the response time.

Historical Dispatch Data

Historical dispatch data was provided by the Township for a period from 2013 to 2018. The data was geolocated with UTM coordinates and plotted with QGIS. The dispatch data was also sorted between fire and EMS incidents and plotted separately.

This information is displayed as a point heat map, the darker the area the more points within that region had a incident between 2013 to 2018.

Insurance Radius

The Township has accreditation for Superior Tanker Shuttle Service which offers insurance discounts to residents within 8km radially of a fire hall. Radially buffers of 8km were plotted around the existing and proposed fire hall locations. This is to determine effects of moving the fire hall on insurance rates of residents of the Township.

Other Fire Hazards

Other fire hazards were plotted for discussion reasons. The Township did not identify any areas with a high fire hazard index that may require additional coverage from a fire department. The other fire hazards include vegetation, electrical substations, the natural gas pipelines and the railway.

Results and Findings

All data is presented graphically in this report. Furthermore all digital information is available for export in standard GIS formats such as shapefiles and geopackage files. Request for digital information is available upon request. Finally, a digital map of all data is available online at www.inengineering.ca/ek-fhls. The interactive map presents all data, and is zoomable and scalable.

Comparison of Frankville and Toledo

The following information compares the existing fire hall locations to the proposed fire hall locations. Existing conditions refer to fire halls located in Lyn, New Dublin and Frankville. Proposed refer to fire halls located in Lyn, New Dublin and Toledo.

Modelled Response Times

The following figure shows the existing and proposed response times as colour bands. Green and blue bands correlate to 4 minute and 8 minute response times, respectively, as required for EMS standards. Yellow, orange and red correlate to 9 minute, 10 minute and 14 minute response, respectively, for NFPA 1720 standards.

The existing fire halls are currently achieving a 14 minute response time for the entire Township except for two small areas. These areas are within the Geographic Township of Kitley in the Northwest Corner near Blanchard’s Hill and the Northeast corner in the vicinity of Kitley Line 1 Road. Moving the fire hall to Toledo achieves complete 14 minute coverage of the Township save for a small section in the Northwest corner of the Geographic Township of Kitley. It should be noted that there is no direct road through the Township to this area.

 

Furthermore, according to NFPA 1720 regions that exceed 12.8 km (8 miles) in travel distance from the fire hall are considered remote. The response time for these areas are to be determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

 

Iit is observed that the boundary of the 14 minute response time is greater than the boundary for the 12.8km travel distance. This means that currently the Township is exceeding the standards set in NFPA 1720. It also demonstrates that in order to comply with NFPA 1720 a 14 minute response time is not required throughout the entire Township. The response time for remote regions is to be determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. The areas in the Northwest and Northeast of the Geographic Township of Kitley are remote regions and do not require 14 minute response time coverage from the Frankville station.

 

Historical Dispatch Data

The historical dispatch data was plotted as a heat map and compared to response time contours. The following figure shows the historical dispatch data for existing and proposed fire hall locations, the data is also divided up into EMS and fire dispatches.

Within the Geographic Township of Kitley it can be observed that hamlet of Frankville has received the most fire and EMS calls from 2013 to 2018. Moving the fire hall to Toledo would increase the response time to Frankville by approximately 3 minutes. Frankville would still be covered within the 9 minutes required by NFPA 1720 for fire response time in a suburban area.

Additional graphics are presented with a closer look at the Geographic Township of Kitley in the following figures. From these figures it can be seen that historical fire calls are spread throughout the region and EMS calls are concentrated on Frankville and Toledo. Moving the fire hall from Frankville to Toledo will decrease response times in the region for fire dispatches but increase the response time to the higher concentration of EMS dispatches in Frankville.

Insurance Radius

Moving the Fire Hall will improve the insurance premiums of residents within the Geographic Township of Kitley. This will have minimal effect on residents who are currently covered. The figure below compares moving the fire hall on the 8km radius for decreased insurance rates due to the superior tanker shuttle service accreditation.

Other Fire Hazards

The Geographic Township of Kitley is predominantly rural and wooded with no major industrial areas that would increase the fire hazard index. Due to the uniformity of the fire hazard index of this region, all existing or proposed locations would rate the same in this category and it was not considered in the final decision.

 

Summary

 

Fire Hall Locations Response Time Historical Data Insurance Radius
Existing Condition:

Lyn, New Dublin, Frankville

Services largest community within Kitley the fastest. Services largest density of EMS within Frankville Much of Northern part of Kitley is not within 8km radius.
Proposed Condition:

Lyn, New Dublin, Toledo

Services region of Kitley as a whole better. Services more spread out fire dispatches within Kitley Increased service coverage for region of Kitley.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The following advantages and disadvantages are summarized for moving the fire hall from Frankville to Toledo.

 

Fire Hall #3 Location Advantages Disadvantages
Frankville (Existing) Response times does not change for largest community in the region. Does not cover the region of Kitley completely for 14 minutes.

The region of Kitley is not optimally covered by the 8km insurance radius.

Toledo (Proposed) Increased coverage for the region as a whole. Especially in the Northeast corner.

Region is more adequately covered by the 8km insurance radius.

Increased response times to 5 minutes within Frankville which receives the most EMS dispatches.

Notes.

  1. Although the entire region of Kitley is not covered in the existing configuration of fire halls the region is still to the NFPA 1720 standard due to areas being considered remote. Both existing and proposed configurations comply with NFPA 1720.

Conclusion

The proposed and existing configurations of fire halls both comply with NFPA 1720 standards for response time. Moving the fire hall will decrease the response time for the Northern portions of the Geographic Township of Kitley.

Moving the fire hall to Toledo will decrease insurance costs for residents in the region due to a more centralized location. The only drawback is the response time to Frankville increases to 5 minutes which receives the most EMS dispatches in the area.

An ideal location for the fire hall was determined by back-calculated 14 minute response time contours from the outer extremities of the Geographic Township of Kitley. The ideal area is shown in the figure below and correlates to a 14 minute response time to anywhere within the region. The proposed location for the fire hall in Toledo is within this region. However, both configurations comply with NFPA 1720 and the final decision on whether to move the fire hall from Frankville to Toledo will depend on unanalyzed factors such as property parcel sizes, land use planning, construction staging etc.

 

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