Drumheller Fire Department responds to over 300 calls in 2022
January 4, 2023 By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, DrumhellerMail.com
Jan. 4, 2023 Drumheller, Alta. – Members of the Drumheller, East Coulee, and Rosedale Fire halls have had a busy year in 2022, responding to a total of 309 calls as of Thursday, December 29.
Drumheller Fire Chief Derian Rosario says while the number of calls has been slowly increasing over the years, this has been a significant jump from the 193 calls attended in 2021.
“I cannot thank the firefighters of the Drumheller Valley-the East Coulee, Rosedale, and Drumheller halls-enough for coming out (attending fire calls), every single time,” Fire Chief Rosario tells the Mail.
More than half of the calls attended this year-a total of 163 calls-have been for monitored alarms for both commercial and residential properties.
These calls often are due to false alarms, resulting from steam or vapours from hot showers or cooking.
To manage these incidents, Fire Chief Rosario recommends opening a window or using a hood fan while cooking to help ventilate any potential smoke or cooking vapours from triggering an alarm, and also using ventilation fans or opening a window in the bathroom while having a hot bath or shower to reduce steam build-up.
Along with these calls, the department also responded to 61 motor vehicle collisions, which have ranged from minor accidents such as deer strikes, to more serious events, and 43 medical assists, where members have acted as Medical First Responders at the most serious calls to give ambulance personnel support.
There have also been a total of nine structure fires this year, with three of those coming in within the span of a week.
While the cause of these three fires is still under investigation, Fire Chief Rosario says there are some tips to help reduce the risk of fires in your own homes.
Furnace vents and filters should be cleaned regularly as part of annual fall maintenance.
He says one area which can be an area of concern, but is often overlooked, are dryer vents and pipes, and recommends cleaning these regularly.
If the furnace goes out during the winter, Fire Chief Rosario recommends using space heaters with caution, keeping them well away from any potentially flammable materials and ensuring they are plugged in using appropriate cords and plugs. It is also not recommended to use multiple extension cords, as this can increase the risk of fire.
In the event the power goes out, Fire Chief Rosario cautions against using propane heaters indoors as this can pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
He recommends fire alarms and CO2 detectors should be checked at least once a month to ensure they are working properly, and any alarm 10 years or older should be replaced.
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