The Kimberley Fire Department delivered their 2020 statistical report to council on Monday, March 22, 2021.
Assistant Chief Trevor Knight prepared and presented the report, which reported a notable decrease in calls throughout the pandemic year. Calls were down eight per cent from the previous year.
The department responded to 14 ambulance assists and 22 motor vehicle accidents.There was also 28 automatic alarm responses, down ten from last year. There was only one fire categorized as a structural fire.
” With the global Covid 19 pandemic in 2020, the Kimberley Fire Department was unable to complete as many business inspections, as well as hold as many in person practices. Keeping the community and members of the fire department safe during these unprecedented times was our first priority. During the initial wave, with people staying home, the Department saw a noticeable decrease in call volume. (77 less calls compared to the same time in 2019).”
While the pandemic definitely had a hand in the slow down in calls, the report notes that there are other factors as well.
When a community sees a decrease in responses, while experiencing a population increase, it often indicates effective administrative strategies. Examples include:
• higher building construction standards and code enforcement
• increased fire safety code requirements and enforcement
• increased public education
• an effective communications program
• an effective fire inspection program
“I feel good about the year overall, Fire Chief Rick Prasad said, “There weren’t’ a lot of bush fires or backyard fires. With the restrictions possibly easing, we’ll probably see more vehicle extractions and big bush parties, but I hope people have picked up some good habits.”