Fire department calls projected to exceed 6,000 in 2018

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Capital City Fire Rescue is well on its way to establishing a new record for fire calls in 2018.

    Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto provided an update on Action Line Thursday.  He said they are about 12 percent above normal.  "So we're anticipating over 6,000 or more calls this year."  That number compares to about 56-hundred year, according to Quinto.

    Quinto remembers when it was 2,000 calls ten years ago.  "At that time Glacier Fire Station Chief Merrill Sanford gave each one of us a pin that said  'Congratulations on 2,000 calls for the department.'"

    Some of the increase has been attributed to Juneau's opioid epidemic which has resulted in some patients being transported multiple times.  Chief Quinto said they had a situation in the downtown area for a person that called us five times for the same problem.

    When asked if those number of calls have slacked off with the opening of the Housing First facility for homeless people Quinto said, "Not really.  We have new people coming into Juneau, so they just got replaced."

    With the cruise ship season starting up at the end of the month, the department will lay on additional basic life support crews to conduct medical transports.  Chief Quinto said those crews will also help out on other calls as needed.  He said they sometimes average between 20 to 25 calls a day during the summer.


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