At the same time the committee is working, the City is also conducting what has become an annual process for engaging citizens in the discussion of the City's budget priorities. This year, the online survey portion of that process is also asking about these two public safety projects. I've been reviewing the results as they are compiled, and also looking at the comments. It's apparent to me that many people are still a little fuzzy about why we think it's important to have a fire station within four minutes travel time to as many addresses in the community as possible.
Four minutes is a national standard for urban fire and rescue services, adopted by the National Fire Protection Association and widely used as the benchmark U.S. cities. The standard is worded as a percentile: travel time to life-threatening emergencies of four minutes or less, 90% of the time. In Lincoln, we are at 80% so far this year, and we've been getting a little worse as the years pass--primarily due to geographic growth.
It's important, because the amount of time from the onset of an emergency to the arrival by Lincoln Fire & Rescue equipment and personnel makes a big difference in the outcome. A few minutes delay in the event of a stroke, fire, traumatic injury, cardiac or respiratory arrest can literally be the difference between life and death. Right now, only about 89% of the addresses in Lincoln are within four minutes of a fire station. We'd like to get that up above 95%.
On the map below, you can easily see the areas most at risk for delayed response due to excessive travel time. Green is good, red is bad. The white outline represents the projected future service area of Lincoln in 2040. As you can see, the growth areas in the north, south, and east are going to be increasingly orange and red if we don't do something.