Fire Department Performance

The Fire Department's mission is to "Assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters or uncontrolled events." This mission should achieve our vision of "a protected, prepared and healthy community".

Department Mission

Assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters or uncontrolled events.

Department Vision

A protected, prepared and healthy community.

Department Goals

The Fire Department's mission is to "Assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters or uncontrolled events." This mission should achieve our vision of "a protected, prepared and healthy community". Our Strategic Plan focuses on four goals to assist us in achieving this mission and vision: Goal 1: Keep our community safe. Goal 2: Invest in our employees & expertise. Goal 3: Maintain appropriate infrastructure. Goal 4: Strengthen our ability to engage effectively with our public.


Metric 1: Structure Fires Confined to Room of origin

This metric reflects a nationally-recognized standard of fire department effectiveness in confining the spread of fire within structures.

How was this calculated?

The data from this metric comes from the designated Fire Records Management System (RMS). Firefighter's must complete a fire incident report in the Fire RMS for each structure fire incident. This report collects and reports to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The metric is calculated by taking the number of structures fires recorded as being confined to the object or room of origin divided by the total number of structure fires.

Data:
Why is this important?

This metric assesses overall Fire Department effectiveness when reacting to a report of fire in a structure. For this percentage to be high, which is the goal, a fire within a structure must be identified early, reported quickly, properly dispatched by the Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) and responded to rapidly and effectively by the Fire Department. A lower percentage would indicate an issue somewhere along this chain of events. For example, a rise in this number could indicate that the fire stations are geographically too far apart, resulting in extended travel times to the incident scene and therefore cannot attack the fire in a timely enough manner to contain the fire effectively. This metric is a nationally recognized standard of a fire department's effectiveness in confining the spread of fire within structures. In 2018 our numbers dropped 7.79% to 77.4% from the previous year value of 85.19%. As the count of incidents that qualify for this metric varies from 100 to 120 a year, this 7.79% swing likely involves only a handful of incidents. 

What are the next steps? 

Evaluation of incidents where fires spread outside the room of origin will shed light on where there are weaknesses in reporting, dispatch and response to fires. If a trend (or trends) of deficiencies is identified, the Department can take steps to mediate those deficiencies. This might include a change in firefighting tactics, discussions with the dispatch center on how to more effectively process this type of 9-1-1 call or, more strategically, consider the staffing of fire stations or placement of fire facilities. Given the trends in our data, we are looking into these incidents to address any potential issues. One factor that we have already started addressing is inconsistency in data reporting. We are currently developing a training program to assure that our data collection and reporting becomes more consistent and therefore more valid. 

Contact Name: Kieron Gillmore

Contact Email: kgillmore@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6954


Metric 2: Cardiac Arrest Survival Rate

This metric measures the rate of survival of patients who experience a cardiac arrest that meets the Utstein Criteria for a survivable arrest.

How was this calculated?

The data for this metric comes from King County Emergency Medical Services (KCEMS) - Seattle Public Health. Patients who experienced a pre-hospital cardiac arrest are evaluated and followed through discharge from the hospital to ensure their survival. Due to the small number of patients in any given year, this number is comprised of a five year rolling average.

Data:
Why is this important?

Although cardiac arrest calls comprise only about 1% of the total EMS call volume, performance and outcome are considered good proxies for the performance of an entire EMS system because of how cardiac arrest resuscitation tests every component of the emergency response. The "Utstein" group provides a closer look at a specific population of cardiac arrest patients for whom each link in the chain of survival has special importance. King County and Bellevue have historically been at the forefront of pre-hospital systems in the world in this metric.

In Bellevue, from 2016 through 2018, cardiac arrest patient's survival to hospital discharge was 56.7% among the Utstein group, which is an achievement realized by only a handful of exceptionally proficient EMS systems from around the world. This translates into 51 Bellevue citizens' (over a 3-year period) lives saved by the EMS system, most of whom returned home to resume their lives with loved ones, friends, and colleagues.

What are the next steps? 

King County and Bellevue consistently set the example internationally for Cardiac arrest survival. The goal remains to simply improve cardiac arrest survivability. Bellevue will continue to strive to improve successful first pass intubation attempts and educate our community members on the use of community access automatic defibrillators to help improve cardiac arrest survival in Bellevue.

Contact Name: Kieron Gillmore

Contact Email: kgillmore@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6954


Metric 3: Percentage of Emergency Medical Incidents that met the total response time goal of 6:00.

This metric reflects the adopted standard used to define the period of time to respond to an emergency medical incident. Total response time is defined as the total amount of time from answering of the 911 call at the fire dispatch center to the arrival of the first fire apparatus at the address location of the incident.

How was this calculated?

The data for this metric comes from the Fire Records Management System (RMS). Dispatch data is downloaded by the firefighter reporting the incident into the RMS. Any adjustments to time fields recorded by the dispatch system are made and the incident record is locked in the system. The fire data analyst provides statistical analysis to determine aggregate total response time performance against the adopted standards for EMS incidents.

Data:
Why is this important?

This metric reflects a Nationally recognized standard, that time of response directly effects a fire department ability to treat and transport patients. The department has established a total response time benchmark for the first arriving unit of 6:00 minutes for Emergency Medical Incidents. Based on the type of incident, the department's baseline ranges from 7:56 to 8:11 minutes. 

What are the next steps? 

We will identify impediments to emergency response by using ESO to track reasons for delays. This will include traffic, weather, wrong address, etc. This will assist in identifying needs that can address deficiencies in the system of response, training, equipment, vehicles or facilities. 

Contact Name: Kieron Gillmore

Contact Email: kgillmore@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6954


Metric 4: Percentage of assigned Fire and Life Safety inspections completed for calendar year.

This metric reflects how well the department inspects and mitigates fire code violations in inspectable properties and businesses.

How was this calculated?

This metric is calculated by evaluating the number of completed fire and life safety inspections completed by both the crews of fire stations and the fire prevention inspectors and dividing by the total number of assigned inspections for the calendar year.

Data:
Why is this important?

This measure reflects Community Risk Reduction (CRR) efforts by the department in regards to enforcement of the fire code, engineering of the structures to protect against fire, education of the public and community about fire dangers and provides economic incentive to gain compliance. Commercial and residential development in Bellevue has greatly increased the size and complexity of buildings that should be inspected by the Fire Department. These inspections ensure that systems and buildings designed to keep people safe are operating properly and reduce the amount of unsafe behaviors occurring in the structures, thereby reducing the risk within the community. 

What are the next steps? 

We will continue to identify impediments to inspection completion and take actions as appropriate or re-assess Community Risk (CRA) to evaluate inspection frequency.

Contact Name: Kieron Gillmore

Contact Email: kgillmore@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6954


Metric 5: Percentage of Emergency Medical Incidents where fire apparatus turnout time met the time goal of 1:00.

This metric represents the amount of time that occurs between the dispatch of an apparatus on an emergency medical incident and the time the vehicle leaves the station or location when the dispatch was received. This interval is called turnout time.

How was this calculated?

The data for this metric comes from the Fire Records Management System (RMS). Dispatch data is downloaded by the firefighter reporting the incident into the RMS. Any adjustments to time fields recorded by the dispatch system are made and the incident record is locked in the system. The fire data analyst provides statistical analysis to determine aggregate turnout time performance against the adopted standards for EMS incidents.

Data:
Why is this important?

Dispatch time is a measure of the 911 centers performance and travel time is reflective of multiple factors outside of firefighter control. However, the time from notification to starting the apparatus and heading towards the location is a factor that we have some measure of control over. The department has established a turnout time benchmark for the first arriving unit of 1:00 minute for Emergency Medical Incidents. The departments baseline is 1:47 minutes. 

What are the next steps? 

The department has investigated and identified policies, procedures, and obstacles that may be impediments to turnout times. The next step will be to share this data, when possible, in real time with the firefighters to assist them in becoming more aware of their own personal turnout times. While this is a goal, it is possible that due to the layout of specific fire stations that the baseline of 1:00 may not be achievable. 

Contact Name: Kieron Gillmore

Contact Email: kgillmore@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6954