The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association says the Fire Department is placing citizens at risk of their lives and property by ignoring accepted standards for how to deploy firefighters and EMS personnel, 1200 WOAI news reprots.


  President chris Steele, who is also a District Fire Chief, says the department is not following what is called the National Fire Protection Association 1710 Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations.


  The NFPA web site says the Standard "contains minimum requirements relating to the organization and deployment of fire suppression operations, emergency medical operations, and special requirements to the public by substantially all career fire departments.'


  It includes guidelines on how to deploy both fire trucks and EMS personnel to address 'such as health and safety, incident management, training communications, and pre-incident planning.'


  "If a community decides not to comply with NFPA 1710, they are deciding to accept the adverse risk situations that come along with having an unprepared emergency response system and by these consequences, I mean loss of life, loss of property, and in some cases a catastrophic loss to the taxpayer," Steele said.


  Steele said some neighborhoods in the city are dangerous without fire and EMS protection and ads 'where you live could determine whether you life."


  Steele says the city is not following American Heart Association guidelines that recommend that 'basic life support' arrive within four minutes of a cardiac arrest.'


  The Fire Department has wrestled with these issues in the past.  In 2002, following a rapid effort to annex upscale portions of northwest Bexar County, a fire truck took twenty minutes to arrive at a fire in the Dominion, because at the time the nearest fire station was at Loop 1604 and Babcock, some miles away.


  Many of those problems have been resolved, and the city has not been aggressively annexing neighborhoods in recent years.