JOPLIN, Mo. — A study focusing on how the Joplin Fire Department operates in 2021 hopes to set the stage for new and improved operations in the years to come.

It’s called a resource allocation study for the Joplin Fire Department. It looks at everything from how fire crews and equipment are deployed… To the best locations for fire stations.

“So how to use, land power, how to use the equipment and structures we’ve got is that the best use of those things,” said Mark Cannon, Joplin Interim Fire Chief.

Just a few of the goals for a recent study focusing on operations at the Joplin Fire Department.

“Gives us a foundation of, hey, this is where we want to be. And then it gives us some goals to set,” said Cannon.

The report offers 17 recommendations, starting with staffing of fire apparatus.

“Those recommendations were to staff all of our big fire trucks with four personnel,” said Cannon.

Something Joplin already does with some vehicles, but not all. The city would have to add 12 new positions to increase that staffing.

The location of fire stations was also a focus, looking at the best response times based on the future construction of station 7 on the southeast side of town.

“They do basically a four and a half minute response radius around that fire station. What was station seven component coming in and encroaches a little bit on to other stations response districts,” said Cannon.

The recommendation is to move existing stations three and five. Funding is a big component of carrying out any of the ideas, something that will be factored in as city leaders set goals for the future.

“What we tried to do with the resource allocation study is build a strategic plan, And that strategic plan is the overall goals for a five year period,” said Cannon.

Other recommendations include establishing a standalone technical rescue and hazardous materials response unit…And re-evaluating fire fighting operations at the Joplin Airport.

These are strictly recommendations at this point, but the strategic plan is expected to go before the city council around the start of the new year.