Township firefighters don’t fight too many fires, report indicates

Medical calls and traffic accidents take up majority of fire crews' time, says report to council

Township firefighters don’t fight too many fires, report indicates

Busy Langley Township firefighters spend most of their time treating people suffering heart attacks and other medical emergencies or extracting people from wrecked cars and trucks.

Actual fires make up less than three per cent of the incidents Township firefighters responded to last year, according to the annual fire department report distributed to council on June 5.

The figures for 2014 “response types and call volumes” show there were 6,325 incidents handled by Township firefighters, a jump of 22 per cent from 2013.

Most were medical calls, 2,446.

The second most common incident calls were motor vehicle accidents, 1,140.

Third were ringing alarms, 745.

There were a total of 164 fire incidents in 2014, 84 of them involving vehicles, 48 residential buildings, 20 commercial and 12 “other” types.

Response times for structure fires were just within the eight-minute target maximum set by the Township, at an average of seven minutes and 56 seconds.

One in four incidents requires Township firefighters to travel more than eight kilometres from the hall to the incident.

The report shows that close to half the buildings inspected by the fire department failed to meet fire safety regulations, or 43 per cent of 4,376 buildings.

The fire department had 112 paid-call (part-time) and 96 career (full-time) firefighters in 2014.