Houston Fire Department is reportedly rethinking its response time strategy AP Photo/Bob Levey

With an employee base of more than 4,000 people, hundreds of square miles to service and thousands of calls to respond to, the Houston Fire Department is playing a numbers game every day as its fire chief tries to root out alleged inefficiency.

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“Right now, we’ll send you anything to any call,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told “We will send the closest unit, even if it’s not the unit that you need to handle your emergency.”

Since taking the reigns of the Bayou City’s fire department in 2016, Peña is aiming to re-evaluate the organization’s response plan. According to the chief, it all starts with changing the way the department reviews its 911 calls, and changing to a more “granular system” of dispatch.

Peña says his ideas stem from his time running the El Paso Fire Department. He began as a firefighter there in 1995 and was was made chief in 2013.

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Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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