2017 fire department calls set record in Juneau

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - It was another record year in 2017 for the number of calls handled by Capital City Fire Rescue.

That was revealed by Fire Chief Rich Etheridge on Acton Line Thursday.

The number of calls exceeded 5,000 again, like they did in 2016.    "We ended up with 5,278 calls," according to the chief.  "Out of that 101 of those calls were fire calls.  The bulk of the rest of them were EMS calls and that was about 3,050 calls.  We're up about 16 percent."

The department has commissioned a study that will make recommendations on how to respond to the ever increasing work load.  The chief says they are still working with the contractor, Fitch and Associates.  "They're still going through and analyzing data and just this morning we submitted even more data on budgets and things like that.  So they're really getting into the minutia of what apparatus is responding and how many people, and at what levels of training.  And they're going to get in to real specifics about where fire stations should be located, what types of apparatus, and how many people to meet the needs of the community just based on hard data from over the last five years."

The chief says the study is aimed at providing an objective view to the City Manager and the Assembly about the need for additional fire department funding.  "Having a third party coming in that doesn't have a dog in the fight to say, 'this is what  the true reflection of the community is."



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