The Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department responded to a record number of calls in 2022.
Fire Chief Ron Richert told Quesnel City Council last night that they responded to 724 calls last year, which was up from 643.
Most of the increase was in one area.
“Medical aid calls was our largest increase and we went from 128 to 194 in 2022, so that was a significant increase there.”
Richert says they also responded to more structure fires.
“Structure fire calls, we went from 7 to 14 in 2022. Four of those calls happened in one day and that was December 21st.”
Richert noted that there were other increases as well.
“Burning complaints increased from 56 to 66 calls. Fire alarm calls at commercial buildings, we went from 45 to 71 in 2022. Fire alarms at residential, we went from 40 to 60 calls in 2022. Open air fires, we went from 6 to 14.”
Richert says there was also a minor increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents that they responded to in 2022.
He also talked about response times.
“Within the city it was 7 minutes 3 seconds. An average response time in the CRD was 8 minutes flat, and that is for our first arriving emergency fire department vehicle. And we had a combined average of 7 minutes and 13 seconds.”
The Quesnel Fire Department currently has 4 career staff members and 32 volunteer firefighters.
Richert says they also have 5 new recruits that will be starting within the next week.