The Dawson Creek Fire Department looks to have responded to the same number of incidents in 2012 as they did in 2011, according to the department’s chief.
“We’ve responded to about the same amount of calls,” said Chief Gordon “Shorty” Smith. “I haven’t tallied the numbers yet, but it’s pretty darn close.”
However, Smith could not give a final number as to how many incidents they responded to, as that number was still being tallied.
He planned to present that information to city council later on.
The Dawson Creek Fire Department has responded to the exact same number of incidents as of November 2012 as they did by the same date in 2011, according to reports given by the department to city council.
The Fire Department regularly gives these reports as to how many inspections and the number of incident responses to council. According to a report prepared by the Fire Department given to council on Dec. 17, they responded to 360 incidents by the end of November. That was the same as 360 incidents in the end of November 2011.
When 2011 wrapped up, that number had been pushed up by 25 more incidents, according to information presented by the department to council last January.
The past year’s most notable event for the department happened last September, when the Alaska Hotel, a local landmark, burned down. That hotel had stood for nearly 70 years, and firefighters worked for hours to quench the blaze.
Despite this massive blaze, the year was a normal one for the fire department, said Smith.
“There’s nothing remarkable, outstanding, that I can come up with right now,” he added.
In 2012, the Department also began building a training yard for its firefighters.
“(With the training yard) we can have some actual hands on training for our firefighters,” said Smith. “That’s about a four to five year project, and 2012 was the first year of that project.”
This training will help them with the variety of incidents the Department responds to.
According to a sampling of nine months over 2012 provided by the Department to city council, false alarms, such as alarms ringing through a system fault or maintenance trips, false alarms done for good intents and criminal intent, made up about a third of the time spent by the Department to respond to incidents.
Approximately 19 per cent of their time is made up of attending to motor vehicle incidents, with the remainder of their time spent attending to fires or carbon monoxide reports.
In all these incidents, no one died or was injured as a result of fire, either in those homes affected or the firefighters themselves.
“Either time one of those happen that’s a plus in my mind,” said Smith.
Another plus that is set to happen in 2013 will be the acquisition by the department of a new fire truck.
That truck will replace the unit’s old fire truck, which was acquired in 1993. Smith said that this replacement is very much needed by his department.
Over 2013, the department will also look to expand its numbers of auxiliary firefighters. There are not as many of these volunteer firefighters as there once were, said Deputy Chief Bob Fulton, and the department is currently looking to recruit more of them.