Fire response time is measured from the time the 911 dispatcher picks up and says “hello” to the time the firefighter is in front of you and says “hello” (the “hello to hello” time).

Total response time is composed of 3 main components:

  • Alarm handling - the time a call is received at the 911 center to the time of dispatch
  • Turnout time - the time it takes responders to don protective gear and begin responding in their vehicle(s)
  • Travel time - the time it takes from the vehicle rolling to arrival on the scene.

Total response time is the measurement displayed here in the dashboard.

There are several goals for response time:

  • Overall - a total response time of 6 minutes or less, 90 percent of the time for all emergency calls. This target is based on national best practices and the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.
  • Alarm Handing - 2 minutes
  • Turnout - 2 minutes
  • Travel - 4 minutes

Brain death can occur in 6 minutes or less in cardiac arrest incidents and a house fire can create untenable conditions in a home within the same timeframe. Consequently, quicker response times improve the likelihood of better outcomes for patients and fire victims alike.

Currently there is no way for the fire department to measure the time period when a dispatcher picks up the phone to the time the dispatcher begins to enter call information. This is a limitation on the current systems used. The department receives and aggregate time. On this dashboard alarm handling is currently calculated from the time the dispatcher enters the call information into the computer.

Call volume begins to increase in the fall when students arrive back to school, there is also an increased volume on Friday and Saturday nights between Midnight and 2am.

This data is provided by the City of Boulder's Fire Rescue Department. This page will be updated monthly.

For more Boulder Fire Rescue Data Visualizations and Performance Metrics, visit the MySidewalk Dashboard.