For a moment, just imagine that it is 4:15 PM, and you walk in to find your child or your spouse unconscious and lying on the ground. You dial Johns Creek 911 and get help on the way.
Do you really care if the first responders to the scene number just 2? Or do you prefer to wait another 90 seconds for three responders?
At Monday Night’s Council meeting were told there’s too much equipment to carry. Do the crews not get informed on what type of medical emergency they should anticipate? Are they not able to carry the most likely equipment with the next arriving crew bringing the rest?
Proposal for a 4th Fire Station in Johns Creek
Several years ago after Chief Hogan pitched the proposal to the City Council during a work session, and I asked a simple question, having reviewed the statistics provided showing a steady downward trend in emergency calls. (The data I reviewed was from the city’s CAFR). Paraphrasing, I asked with the number of calls in Johns Creek on a long-term downward trend, what was the justification for the fourth station? He looked at me and replied that it was the plans for the Central Business District, which had also been discussed during the same session.
Here we are today, and the fourth station is nearing a reality, but the justifications have changed. Most recently it was for coverage of the area of Johns Creek known as the Shark Fin, the northwest corner. Now we are told that it is because of unacceptable response times for first responders.
Looking at the data, for 2017, of the 7 longest response times, only one was in the northwest section of Johns Creek.
In only one case, the new fire station would have improved the response time. The other six would be the same, had the new station already been built.
Improving Emergency Response Times
Council Member Bradberry promoted the idea of a Quick Response Vehicle(QVR). He learned that in Los Angeles they reduced response times by 26% across the City. That’s a very significant improvement.
Apparently, that is not enough to overcome whatever the City of Johns Creek is pursuing. Instead of looking for “across the City improvements”, we are going to focus on the Northwest Corner of Johns Creek, Of course, they are. They once again started with the “solution” and are working backward to justify. Have we not seen this approach enough already?
Here’s the irony: On October 10th, 2018, I wrote a letter of support for the new station because the return on investment would be potentially positive for residents. What we pay for the station would be a return to residents with hopefully reduced insurance premiums. It’s a no-brainer in my eyes.
They should have started with this argument. And to this point, no one has even made it that I am aware of. They have said it was about saving lives.
If that is true, then the QRV is the best possible solution for saving lives across all of Johns Creek. Not just in the Northwest section of the City.
One can only imagine that some are feeling threatened by the possibility of the QRV. We were told this new station was about cutting down response times and saving lives. Public officials have objected to the QRV saying it does not have the necessary staff on board.
Which leads me back to the original question: you find your child or spouse unconscious and lying on the ground. Do you want the two trained professionals who can get to you as quickly as possible, and a backup crew arriving shortly thereafter?
Or do you prefer to wait an additional 1-3 minutes for a crew to arrive with an extra set of hands?
What can we afford & What can we risk?
- Saving lives are of most importance, then we cannot afford to lose the 1-3 minutes
- If it’s not about saving lives, then what exactly is the objective?
- If Johns Creek cannot afford it, then who could?
Smart 911 in Johns Creek
Have you heard of Smart 911? It’s here in Johns Creek. The following is directly from the City’s website. You can use it to make our first responders aware of important and specific information regarding your household and any special or specific information they might need. Please have a look. The service is free!
Smart911 is a free service that provides Johns Creek residents the opportunity to create a Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency.
Examples of information you can provide are:
- Medical conditions / physical Challenges
- Children’s photos
- Your address
- Emergency contacts
- Location of bedrooms and number of people in your house
- Pet information
- Any other information, which you want to make sure police, fire or EMS are aware of.
For example, when a child is missing, if a photograph of that child has been included in the family’s Safety Profile, it can be forwarded immediately to police officers in the field, saving critical minutes.
All information given to Smart 911 is kept private and only shared with emergency operators and responders when you call 9-1-1. Smart 911 provides Johns Creek residents with the ability to enter important information on a 100 percent private and secure website that will help first responders address any future emergency they may have.
Johns Creek residents interested in subscribing to Smart911 can sign up for FREE at smart911.com.
By: EJ Moosa