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January 21, 2012

Fires make up 3% of emergency calls in Canadian city

The Brandon Sun

BRANDON, Manitoba — While 2011 saw call volumes increase, Dane said that the average call response time within the city of Brandon has remained constant from 2010.

Calls to car crashes and for ambulances kept Brandon Fire & Emergency Services personnel busy in 2011, according to statistics released earlier today.

A total of 4,735 calls were responded to by its personnel in 2011, which is five per cent higher than 2010. Of this year's total calls, about 72 per cent were ambulance-related and about 10 per cent were motor vehicle collision-related.

A variety of other types of calls made up the rest of 2011's call volume, including alarms (about 9 per cent), investigations (about three-and-a-half per cent), fires (about three per cent), carbon monoxide responses (about one per cent) and other miscellaneous calls (about one per cent).

"With our dedicated and proficient team of paramedic/firefighters, we are able to ensure the citizens of Brandon and the surrounding areas receive timely responses by highly-trained professionals," said fire chief Brent Dane in a press release.

While 2011 saw call volumes increase, Dane said that the average call response time within the city of Brandon has remained constant from 2010.

"Over 80 per cent of the time, a door-to-door response was achieved in less than seven minutes, while a door-to-door response in less than nine minutes was achieved 90 per cent of the time," Dane said. "Our two well-positioned halls provide for an excellent response time to all our Fire/EMS calls."

The average response time (door-to-door) of crews leaving No.1 Fire Hall versus No.2 Fire Hall was virtually identical, at less than seven minutes in approximately four our of five cases.

The Provincial Enhanced 911 Service, housed out of Brandon's No.1 Fire Hall, also recorded a busier year in 2011 than in 2010. The centre provides E-911 dispatch service for nearly half a million Manitobans outside the city of Winnipeg and fulfills a total of 221 service contracts.

In 2011, the centre processed a total of 156,974 calls, approximately seven per cent more than the 145,521 calls seen in 2010. Of the calls processed last year, 107,991 came in from a cell phone.

"We've seen a steady increase in cell phone calls, which come with unique challenges," says Brandon's Director of Emergency Communication Linda Poole. "We strongly encourage people travelling on the highways or in rural areas to be aware of their surroundings, so we can get emergency crews dispatched to them sooner if an accident should happen."

Of the total calls processed last year, 11,931 involved fire dispatches, Poole said. The centre's 24 staff receive an average of 430 calls in a 24-hour period, she added.

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Copyright 2012 The Brandon Sun


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