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Naha fire chief concedes response time falls short

Date Posted: 2010-12-16

Firefighters in Naha City cannot respond to roughly 24% of the city they serve within the standard amount of time required.

Naha City Assembly members were stunned by the revelation by Satoshi Miyahira, Chief of the Naha City Fire Department firefighting headquarters in response to a question from Assemblyman Tomoyuki Wakugawa. The veteran firefighter explained to the lawmakers that the required response time for a fire crew to be dispatched, arrive at the scene, and begin putting water on the fire is 6 minutes 30 seconds.

Wakugawa says that response times in about nine square kilometers in Naha City, about 24% of the municipal area, cannot be accomplished within “The guideline Servicing of Firefighting”. He told the Assembly that the principal area in which firefighting vehicles cannot arrive on station within the 6 minutes 30 seconds is around the border with Tomishiro City, Oroku’s southern area, around the border with Haebaru and the Mawashi southeast area, and in a part of the Shuri area.

The fire department is appealing for Fiscal 2011 funding for new buildings and a branch offices in South Oroku, Aja, Shikina and Higawa in an effort to place firefighting equipment in locations where rapid response times cannot now be met. At this point, the Assembly has not approved Fiscal Year 2011 funding for fire department operations.

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