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2021

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) total time first unit arrival (minutes)

Status Indicators:
Proceeding as Planned
 Monitoring Progress
Reviewing for Improvement
Information Unavailable

Status Indicators: Proceeding as Planned |  Monitoring Progress | Reviewing for Improvement | Information Unavailable

According to the American Heart Association, brain damage starts to occur four to six minutes after cardiac arrest if no CPR or defibrillation occurs. If bystander CPR is not provided, the patient’s chance of survival falls seven to ten percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation. The quick arrival of a minimum of two firefighter/paramedics on the scene of an EMS call increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued response time goals for various stages of responses to an emergency incident. The NFPA standard for EMS calls is 6:00 minutes from the time the Fire Department receives the alarm until arrival on scene. NFPA’s goals are recommended guidelines and not a mandate.




An Effective Response Force (ERF) is defined by NFPA as the minimum number of firefighters and equipment that must reach a specific emergency incident location within a maximum prescribed travel (driving) time. The maximum prescribed travel time is an indicator of resource deployment efficiency. The response time is calculated at the 90th percentile to eliminate outliers. 

Total response time is composed of the following time segments:

Alarm Transfer: The interval from receipt of an emergency alarm at the public service answering point (PSAP) until the alarm is first received at the fire department communication center.

Alarm Answering: The interval that begins when the alarm is received at the fire communication center and ends when the alarm is acknowledged at the fire communication center.

Alarm Processing: The interval from when the alarm is acknowledged at fire communication center until response information begins to be transmitted via voice or electronic means to the emergency-response facilities and emergency-response units.

Turnout Time: The interval from when the emergency response facilities notification process begins by either an audible alarm or visual annunciation at the beginning point of travel time.

Travel time: The interval that begins when a unit is en route to the emergency incident and ends when the unit arrives at the scene.

Initiating Action/Intervention time: The interval from when a unit arrives on the scene to the initiation of emergency mitigation. 

The target was established based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard for EMS call, which is 6:00 minutes from the time the Fire Department receives the alarm until arrival on scene.

The 2021 is a projection based on 2020 data. The actuals for 2021 will be available and updated in mid-January 2022.

The data is obtained through the Fire Department’s Records Management Systems to calculate the time of arrival of two firefighter/paramedics (first unit) 90% of the time. Using the 90th percentile minimizes the influence of outlier response times.

City of Fort Lauderdale
100 North Andrews Avenue | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
www.fortlauderdale.gov

Office of Management and Budget
Division of Structural Innovation
Contact: [email protected]

City of Fort Lauderdale
100 North Andrews Avenue | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
www.fortlauderdale.gov

Office of Management and Budget
Division of Structural Innovation
Contact: [email protected]