Fire Chief Roger Hollander says 100 Mile Fire Rescue responded to 561 calls last year.
“That’s the most ever that I am aware of. 365 is what we did last year. When I started in this position with the District of 100 Mile we were at around the mid 300’s, and it has progressively gotten more since then.”
Hollander says those 561 calls are broken down into three categories.
“The fire category includes anything from fire alarms to car fires to structure fires to complaints about smoke and things like that, and then we have our rescue component. The rescue category is anything to do with MVI’s (Motor Vehicle Incidents), and in our case we provide auto extraction for approximately 10,000 square kilometres in the South Cariboo. We have a provincial agreement to provide that service, and of course medicals.”
Hollander says all three categories are up, although medicals increased the most.
He says there were approximately 124 fires in the fire category, 124 for highway rescues as well, and 240 medical calls.
Hollander says they also had some administration calls to bring the total up to 561.
He says not all fire departments provide vehicle extractions, which they do for a vast area.
“North of 100 Mile, it goes up to about 130 Mile or Maze Lake Road. That is the cutoff, so that’s just north of Lac La Hache. Then we’re down south to about 70-Mile House, west to the Fraser River and east to Lac de Roches.”
Hollander says last year’s calls ranked them 5th out of 84 departments in the Fraser-Fort George, Bulkley-Nechako, CRD, Central Kootenay and Kitimat-Stikine areas.
And he says all of those calls came to one fire hall, and from a department that consists of two paid full-time members and 28 paid on-call members, although he says they are down into the low 20’s right now.
Hollander says they will recruiting again in February.
Looking ahead to this year, he says they may get even more calls.
“The province actually held back some of the medicals that we were responding to, all first responder medical fire departments. But as of June or July during 2021 they opened that back up when it was safe to do so, to respond to all the medicals that you were responding to as a department prior to COVID, and so half way through the year we experienced a larger call volume for medicals.”
Hollander says they will likely attend a full year of medical calls in 2022.