FREDERICTON - The Fredericton Fire Department has presented its 2011 Annual Report to members of the City of Fredericton’s Public Safety & Environment Committee.
In the presentation, Fire Chief Philip Toole noted that the Department responded to 3,616 calls in 2011, ten less than in 2010. Overall, calls for fires and medical assistance were down from last year, but calls for alarms and matters related to HazMat and public assistance were up from 2010.
“There is no doubt our firefighters play an important role in the safety of our citizens,” said Coun. Eric Megarity, Chair of the Public Safety & Environment Committee. “Their professionalism is to be commended, especially considering the variety of calls they can respond to in a 24 hour period.”
While the total number of calls responded to in 2011 was basically flat – 3,616 calls versus 3,626 in 2010 – the number of calls fluctuated by call type. Calls for medical assistance are the main type of call received by the department. There were 1,901 calls for medical assistance in 2011, down from 1,948 calls in 2010. This is the lowest number in the last four years.
The next most common type of response was to alarms. There were 585 alarm calls in 2011, up from 534 in 2010. The third highest number of calls was for fires. There were 355 such calls in 2011, down from 445 calls in 2010. In 2011, there were 22 structure fires, and various other fire calls related to out buildings, vehicles, garbage, brush, kitchen stoves, electrical, and so on.
The department also responded to 10 explosions, 333 rescues, 111 environmental calls, 24 HazMat situations, 124 public hazards, and 173 calls for public assistance.
The Fire Prevention Division concluded an extremely busy year in 2011. This division is responsible for fire safety inspection, public education and fire investigation. During 2011, 970 inspections were carried out. The division also was involved in 67 fire investigations and conducted 119 public education lectures, reaching a total audience of 7,327.
The Training Division delivered 9109.75 man-hours of training in 2011. Training during the year was comprised of HazMat; auto extrication; First Responder; apparatus inspection and maintenance, personal protective equipment and apparatus operation / pumping / hydraulics.
Some major projects completed during the year included the purchase of 110 new sets of bunker gear at a cost of $181,291.55, including taxes. Work also continued on the Department’s Performance, Development and Evaluation Program. The program supports the development of fire employees and ensures a consistent level of service to the citizens of Fredericton.
Other highlights for the year included the hosting of the 97th Annual Maritime Fire Chiefs Association Conference in Fredericton from July 17-20. Like many other Frederictonians, and residents of Greater Fredericton, the department responded to the challenges of the Princess Margaret Bridge closure. A satellite fire station was set up in Lower St. Mary’s during the closure.
Finally, the Department developed and expanded its presence into social media in 2011. Residents can “Like” the department on their Facebook page (Fredericton – Fire Department) or follow them on Twitter (@CityFredFire). The Department shares public education and fire response information, as responds to question through social media.
“We serve Fredericton from four fire stations, located throughout the City, with a total of 113 firefighters and civilian employees,” said Fire Chief Toole. “We also support eight local service districts and extend mutual aid agreements to other areas of the province.”