The Terrace Fire Department responded to over 40 per cent more fire calls in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020.
“The main reason for that was our commercial fire alarms were doubled for the same time period this year, and the false alarms are doubled so that makes up the majority of that increase,” said John Klie, fire chief, in a presentation to Terrace council on July 26, 2020.
The total number of fire calls in the second quarter was 75, compared to 43 in 2020.
According to the fire department’s quarterly report, first responder calls more than doubled from 18 in the second quarter of 2020 to 42 this year.
Klie said that comparing 2021 stats to 2020 could be misleading due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed the way the fire department responded to certain calls.
“In 2021 during COVID, the provincial health organization really clamped down on the calls that first responders were going to just to protect them from unnecessarily being exposed to COVID patients, so moving into this year COVID regulations for first responders were relaxed a little bit so we have been going to more of those calls.”
The fire department still attended calls where they were needed in 2020 — heart attacks for example — but did not attend more casual calls according to Klie.
Similarly, training in 2021 has increased to 1724 hours in the second quarter, significantly more than last year’s 668 training hours during the same time frame.