Fire station coverage number dated

Story by Chris Graham

Waynesboro Vice Mayor Frank Lucente is citing the figure that a new West End fire department would only improve response times in 18 percent of the city in his argument that it would be wiser for Waynesboro to spend money on pre-emption traffic-signal devices to improve response times citywide.

I checked with the source of the 18 percent number, city fire chief Charlie Scott, and learned that it is in fact dated.

Scott originally calculated the 18 percent number as part of a report to city council on fire-coverage issues in 2006. The number is not an accurate reflection of the additional coverage that a new West End fire station would provide, though, Scott said, because it is a measure of the coverage that would be provided by a new fire station based on the entire square mileage of the City of Waynesboro.

A more accurate measure would compare the coverage provided by the new fire station to already-developed land in Waynesboro, Scott said.

Scott said he has not gone back and recalculated the numbers to get that more accurate reflection of the impact of a new fire station since compiling and presenting his last report. One issue holding him up to that effect is having the means using the city’s current store of data on land uses in the city to differentiate between undeveloped and developed land within the city limits.

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