BELLEVUE, Wis. (WFRV) Positive changes have been put in place to make the Village of Bellevue a safer community. As Kris Schuller reports, starting today Bellevue Fire and Rescue will be staffed 24 hours a day.
Inside Fire Station One in the Village of Bellevue, the first day of 24/7 staffing is underway – a significant change designed to dramatically improve emergency response times.
“It’s a dangerous situation when we’re responding to something and the quicker we can get there the better off it is going to be,” said Bellevue Fire Chief Jack Mlnarick.
Previously this station was manned 66 hours a week, Monday through Sunday. When staff was here, emergency response times were around five minutes. But the village administrator says a staffing analysis showed 50 percent of all calls came in after hours and response times averaged about 15 minutes.
“We were significantly higher on those times that we weren’t staffed, because we had to call in troops so to speak and get them deployed out,” said Bellevue Administrator Diane Wessel.
“Due to those delays, it’s increasing our response time and increasing our property loss and all the other things associated with emergency incidents when they happen,” Mlnarik said.
So Chief Mlnarik proposed a plan, shifting existing staffing to a 24/7 model. The village board approved the idea this fall. Quicker response times will make for a safer community and in this growing village.
“We have a bunch of houses popping up. There are going to be some out here on Willow Glen, I believe 155 rooftops are going up there,” said the chief.
And now under this new model, three firefighters will be at the station 24/7, 365 days a year, all ready to respond to the next emergency call.
“At the end of the day any fire chief or fire department will tell you the quicker you can get there, the better the outcome in most cases,” Mlnarik said.
The change was made possible through the gradual reduction of some positions within the department