Here's the top 10 fastest fire departments in Onondaga Co; How does yours compare?

Time can be a matter of life and death when it comes to fire. The National Fire Protection Association points to research that shows fires burn much faster than decades ago due to the change in the materials of home furnishings and newer construction. Local fire chiefs see the benefits of a quick response. "If we can get there in 3, 4 or 5 minutes the building is in a lot better condition than if we get there in 15 or 20 minutes," said Fayetteville Fire Chief Paul Hildreth.

For more than five years Onondaga County Emergency Management has listed the response times of all of the town, village and fire district departments outside of the City of Syracuse. The response time in the city is much faster due to the 24 hour professional staff and the strategically placed firehouses.

The suburban, small town and rural departments face different challenges including a challenge to recruit volunteers and fully equip stations.

Here are the Top Ten fastest departments in Onondaga County (outside of the City of Syracuse) when it comes to the moment of dispatch to arrival.

  1. Solvay
  2. Fayetteville
  3. Nedrow
  4. Taunton
  5. Onondaga Hill
  6. Dewitt
  7. Mattydale
  8. Fairmount
  9. Lyncourt
  10. Liverpool & Manlius (tied)

Fayetteville is just a few seconds away from being the top ranked department in the county for a fast response. Chief Hildreth acknowledges response time is one of many factors that are part of an effective fire department response. "We pride ourselves on having a good response time with adequate staffing," Hildreth added. "That's key to making sure you have enough people to go out on an apparatus to get to the scene to handle the incident."

Fayetteville's fire station expansion six years ago gave them the space to house firefighters around the clock seven days a week. They utilize a recruiting program where they ask volunteers to give one overnight per week to serve side by side with a staff of career firefighters.

Staffing levels are just one of the factors that can harm or improve the response time of a department. The geographic reach of a fire department plays a part. Coverage areas range from one square mile in Nedrow, it ranks third, to 35 square miles for Lafayette which ranks near the slowest.

Here is the latest full year of response times data available from Onondaga County. All of the departments in the county are listed.

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