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Deadly Delays: The Decline of Fire Response
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Map of Dartmouth fires
THIS MAP shows locations and response times for building fires from 1990-2002
Building fires: Green diamond  1-5 minute response Fire stations: Fire truck icon
Yellow diamond  6 minute response Click here for an interactive map
Red diamond  7-29 minute response

See also: Dartmouth Fire District 2 and Dartmouth Fire District 3

Dartmouth Fire District 1


Community served: Dartmouth, Mass.
Department type: Mostly volunteer firefighters
Fire stations (department)1: 1
Fire stations (town): 5
Square miles (town): 62.3
Square miles per station (town): 12.5 [ See rankings ]
1 Some communities have more than one fire department.
 
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Deadly delays

An exclusive Globe investigation into fire response times.
Read the series

On-time response rates
SUMMARY:
On-time rate, building fires receiving a response within 6 minutes, 1986-2002: 89.1%
[ See rankings ]
   On-time rate, early years, 1986-1998: 92.0%
   On-time rate, recent years, 1999-2002: 81.1%
DETAILS:
1986-1998 1999-2002 1986-2002
Fires with on-time response 92 30 122
Fires with slower response 8 7 15
Total building fires studied 100 37 137

ISO insurance ratings
Insurance companies use ratings from ISO, a New Jersey company, to help determine fire insurance premiums. ISO rates communities on a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (no protection). The ratings are based on the community's fire department, water supply, and dispatch communications. The ratings are not based at all on response times. The same scale of 1 to 10 is applied to the effectiveness of building codes. In a split fire rating, such as 4/9, the second number applies to properties more than 1,000 feet from a hydrant.
ISO fire protection rating, Nov. 2004: 4/9
ISO building code rating, residential, Nov. 2004: 5
ISO building code rating, commercial, Nov. 2004: 5

Municipal spending on fire protection
Fire spending FY 2003 (town only): N/A
Fire spending as percent of total budget, FY 2003 (town only): N/A [ See rankings ]
Fire spending as percent of total budget, FY 1987 (town only): N/A
Fire spending per capita, FY 2003 (town only): N/A [ See rankings ]
Fire spending per capita, FY 1987, in 2003 dollars (town only): $0
Change in fire spending per capita, 1987-2003 (town only): N/A
Change in other municipal spending per capita, 1987-2003, adjusted for inflation (town only): 11.4%
Fire spending per housing unit, FY 2003 (town only): N/A
Fire spending per square mile, FY 2003 (town only): N/A

Community information
County: Bristol
Population, 2004 (estimate): 32,035
Occupied housing units, 2000: 10,555
Median family income, 1999: $60,401
Population growth, 1990-2000: 12.6%
Population growth, 1980-1990: 9.7%
Tax base (assessed value per capita), FY 2004: $124,625
Total assessed value, FY 2004: $3,992,352,878
Single-family tax rate, FY 2004: $8.35

Dartmouth Fire District 2


Community served: Dartmouth, Mass.
Department type: Mostly volunteer firefighters
Fire stations (department)1: 1
Fire stations (town): 5
Square miles (town): 62.3
Square miles per station (town): 12.5 [ See rankings ]
1 Some communities have more than one fire department.

On-time response rates
SUMMARY:
On-time rate, building fires receiving a response within 6 minutes, 1986-2002: 72.4%
[ See rankings ]
   On-time rate, early years, 1986-1998: 73.1%
   On-time rate, recent years, 1999-2002: 66.7%
DETAILS:
1986-1998 1999-2002 1986-2002
Fires with on-time response 19 2 21
Fires with slower response 7 1 8
Total building fires studied 26 3 29

ISO insurance ratings
Insurance companies use ratings from ISO, a New Jersey company, to help determine fire insurance premiums. ISO rates communities on a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (no protection). The ratings are based on the community's fire department, water supply, and dispatch communications. The ratings are not based at all on response times. The same scale of 1 to 10 is applied to the effectiveness of building codes. In a split fire rating, such as 4/9, the second number applies to properties more than 1,000 feet from a hydrant.
ISO fire protection rating, Nov. 2004: 5/9
ISO building code rating, residential, Nov. 2004: 5
ISO building code rating, commercial, Nov. 2004: 5

Dartmouth Fire District 3


Community served: Dartmouth, Mass.
Department type: Mostly volunteer firefighters
Fire stations (department)1: 3
Fire stations (town): 5
Square miles (town): 62.3
Square miles per station (town): 12.5 [ See rankings ]
1 Some communities have more than one fire department.

On-time response rates
SUMMARY:
On-time rate, building fires receiving a response within 6 minutes, 1986-2002: 37.9%
[ See rankings ]
   On-time rate, early years, 1986-1998: 41.7%
   On-time rate, recent years, 1999-2002: 36.6%
DETAILS:
1986-1998 1999-2002 1986-2002
Fires with on-time response 10 26 36
Fires with slower response 14 45 59
Total building fires studied 24 71 95

ISO insurance ratings
Insurance companies use ratings from ISO, a New Jersey company, to help determine fire insurance premiums. ISO rates communities on a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (no protection). The ratings are based on the community's fire department, water supply, and dispatch communications. The ratings are not based at all on response times. The same scale of 1 to 10 is applied to the effectiveness of building codes. In a split fire rating, such as 4/9, the second number applies to properties more than 1,000 feet from a hydrant.
ISO fire protection rating, Nov. 2004: 4/8B
ISO building code rating, residential, Nov. 2004: 5
ISO building code rating, commercial, Nov. 2004: 5

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