Longview Fire Marshal explains how modern response to emergencies has saved lives

Firefighter response time improved

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - When firefighters get called to an emergency, they don't just battle a fire, they battle time. A Longview Fire Marshal said over the past few decades, those response times have dramatically improved, helping to save lives and homes.

Longview Fire Marshal Kevin May says on a call seconds count, like a call to Joan Lane on Tuesday where residents reported smoke coming from a wall.

"We try to meet all the standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, and with changes, it requires us to adjust," said May. "And the faster we get somewhere, the quicker we're able to get a handle on the response."

And they have given it much more thought than just running to the engines or driving fast.

"We try to strategically place our fire stations throughout the city that allow us to have the greatest response times," May explained.

So, they arrived on Joan Lane within minutes which impressed neighbor Debi Kennedy.

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"It's good to know, I mean there's 5 or 6 trucks here so that's good to know that they're on the ball and got here quick, got it out, and kept our neighborhood safe," Kennedy commented.

Judson Metro, West Harrison, and Longview Fire all responded, just in case.

"If we hadn't have gotten there as fast, then the fire would have grown and there would have been more damage caused by the fire," May pointed out.

It helped to have backup and fast notification. There was a bigger fire Tuesday, but the resident was sleeping, so they were notified after the fire got rolling.

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Another cog in the wheel is fire prevention education, which starts in the schools.

"Kids we taught 20 years ago, now they're adults, and so we're teaching their kids as well," May said.

May said on a working fire, they try to have 17 firefighters on scene; the first arrive within four minutes, the rest in eight. May also added that smoke detectors save lives, so check your batteries.

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