The Houston Volunteer Fire Department has seen a significant increase in the number of incidents reported in the first three months of 2018, compared to the same period last year.
While Houston had 47 incidents reported during the first trimester of 2017, this year the fire department dealt with 74 incidents by the end of March.
Medical aid calls accounted for the majority of calls in March (69 per cent), followed by fire related calls (27 per cent) and motor-vehicle accidents (four per cent).
And while the fire department reported 26 incidents in March 2018, only nine incidents were reported in March 2017, and six in March 2016.
In addition to fire suppression service, medical aid and motor-vehicle accident response, the 30 members of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department provide a range of other services including fire prevention, fire investigation, public education, hazardous material response and confined space rescue.
Bylaw complaints and contraventions
Houston’s fire chief and bylaw enforcement officer Jim Daigneault was also busy handling nine different bylaw complaints and contraventions last month.
According to his March report, three of these complaints involved “unacceptable” or “poor” living conditions.
In two of these cases Daigneault spoke with either a building manager or a tenant, but was not able to get into the properties to verify the issues. In the third case he was able to enter the property with a building inspector, who recommended installing an additional joist; a building maintenance worker is expected to complete the repairs.
Three other complaints involved dogs barking; in each case, letters were sent to the owners. And while another complaint involved a dog running loose, that dog was not located.
Another case involved snow clearing piled on a private property’s fence. Daigneault notes he’s spoken with the property owner and will assess the situation again once the snow melts.
The last case involved a vehicle parked in front of a hydrant during a hockey game. The owner of the vehicle was not located.