Fire department calls up 17%

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Capital City Fire Rescue remains on pace for another record year for calls.

    Fire Chief Rich Etheridge said on Action Line Thursday that the calls are up 17 percent over last year at this time.  So he says they are showing no signs of slowing down.

    The chief says they are on pace to exceed 5,000 calls in 2017 after setting records the last two years when the department surpassed 4,000 calls.

    The chief was asked about the impact of the additional calls.  The hard thing he says is having enough resources to go to all of the medical calls.  "Right now fire engines are responding to medical calls because they only have three staffed ambulances in the summer time."  The chief says all of their fire engines carry medical equipment and are usually the first ones to respond to medical calls, although they can break off and go to fire calls as needed.  "When somebody calls 9-1-1, they expect service pretty quickly," the chief says.  "So we send our fire crews who are all emergency medical technicians and paramedics."

    Etheridge says the ambulance calls generate just under $2 Million a year, although this year might see an increase in that figure of a half million dollars.  


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