Fires only made up 11 per cent of the fire department's 1

Firefighters kept busy in 2014

The Port Alberni Fire Department had a 12 per cent increase in calls in 2014, said fire Chief Tim Pley.

Port Alberni’s firefighters were kept busy in 2014—about 12 per cent busier than 2013, according to the Port Alberni Fire Department’s annual report.

“For reasons I don’t know, 2014 was a busier year,” fire Chief Tim Pley told council at their April 13 meeting.

It was a six-year high, with calls from 2009-2013 not exceeding 1195, while 2014 saw 1272 calls.

The increase was primarily due to medical calls, Pley said.

“Again, I can’t explain that except that there were more ambulance calls in the city than we’ve experienced in previous years.”

Top three times for calls were 3 p.m., 1 p.m. and 11 a.m. while the least busy hours were 4 a.m., 5 a.m. and 2 a.m. respectively.

Half of the calls in 2014 were medical responses, which Pley  has said in the past is about average in a given year. A further 14 per cent of the calls were for fire alarms and 11 per cent were rescues. Structure fires made up only three per cent of calls last year and fires overall only made up 11 per cent.

Last year also showed “a marginal… improvement in turn-out times over 2013,” Pley said.

According to Pley “the standard for medical response is to be rolling within 60 seconds 90 per cent of the time and for fire is to be rolling 90 per cent within 80 seconds.”

The fire department achieves those standards 80 per cent of the time, Pley said.

“It’s a really tough standard to meet and I give credit to our people who are meeting it on a very regular basis.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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