Improving Omaha’s Public Safety
Due to the many and varied responsibilities included in the Public Safety section, any definition of Public Safety capital expenditures must necessarily be broad in scope. Generally, Public Safety capital budget items are those that result in the acquisition of fixed assets of the respective departments that have a lifespan of approx. 15 years or more. Public safety facilities, such as police precinct stations and fire stations, are scheduled in the Public Facilities section of this plan.
The City continues to implement the Omaha Fire Department vehicle replacement plan with the ongoing purchase of medic units, fire engines, and aerial ladder trucks. The new medic units are equipped with advanced EMS technology and are expected to improve response time and reduce the amount of time the medic units are out of service for repair. An aggressive replacement schedule is necessary due to the advanced age and high mileage of the current fleet.
New fire engines are scheduled to be purchased in 2019, 2021, and 2023 to replace existing equipment that is twenty or more years old or has exceeded its mechanical/technological effectiveness. This replacement program has the added benefit of improving the reserve engine fleet by allowing for the surplus of equipment at least 25 or more years old.
Aerial ladder trucks are scheduled to be purchased in 2018 and 2022 in a continuing effort to upgrade the fire and rescue services for the citizens of Omaha. An estimate of three of the City’s 12 aerial ladder trucks will be placed in reserve for use when those on the front line are being serviced or repaired.
The rapidly growing areas in west Omaha will receive better fire coverage as a result of changes implemented in the Fire Department. The department monitors its response times and calls, and inputs that information into a computerized mapping system. This technology enables the department to analyze the fire districts boundaries Citywide and modify that district to ensure that the unit that can respond most quickly is the one that is dispatched. The Fire Department is using this G.I.S. mapping system to assist in the relocation of Fire Station #31-25th and “L” Streets and Station #53-80th and Dodge Streets, which are both CIP projects contained in the Public Facilities chapter of this document.
Additional public safety-related projects, including both Police and Fire projects, are included in the Public Facilities functional area of the CIP. Note that public safety equipment or vehicles not considered to have a lifespan of 15 or more years are not considered capital projects and thus are provided for in the regular operating budget rather than the CIP.