The Houston Volunteer Fire Department has attended to over 58 per cent more calls since October this year, compared to the same time last year.
According to Fire Chief Jim Daigneault, the crew has attended to 46 calls since October till date, much higher than the 29 calls last year during the same time frame.
”Since October we have had 17 fire related calls, 25 medical type calls and three motor vehicle incidents while last year in this time frame we had 7 fire calls, 18 medical and 4 motor vehicle calls,” he wrote an email to Houston Today.
Till date, the fire department has attended to 167 calls this year which is lower than last year’s 187 calls for the same time period.
Daigneault shared a few tips to be careful over the winter months when number of motor vehicle incidents and house fires increase substantially.
“Most things we see on the highways is people not paying attention to road conditions and traveling too fast for those conditions,” he said, adding that if traveling, people should have an emergency kit in the vehicle as “you never know when you might need it.”
Daigneault also had tips to ensure house fires don’t happen as frequently, especially during the holiday season.
“If you have a wood stove make sure you keep the chimney clean check on a regular bases,” he said.
Over in Burns Lake, the Burns Lake Fire Rescue (BLFR) has seen a 133 per cent rise in calls since October, 20 of which were motor vehicle incidents.
A total of 134 calls were recorded in 2018 however, there are already 151 calls recorded this year, 42 of which were in the Oct. 1 to Nov. 22 period.
Director of Protective Services, Rob Krause said, “We did 42 calls in the 52 day period and our average over the last five years, in that length of time would be just 18 calls and of course we have five more weeks to go and I am pretty sure we will be above 160 calls. And that’s if we do an average December.”
Of the 42 calls, 20 were for motor vehicle incidents, 12 of which were serious and one involved a pedestrian. 9 calls were for fire alarms, one for a structural fire, one, an open air fire and one was a transformer or pole fire. BLFR crew also responded to calls for assistance, carbon monoxide alarm going off, kitchen item fire, medical aid, three hydro lines down and one call for ice rescue.
Just like Daigneault, Krause also warned motorists to be attentive of the road conditions and drive cautiously.
“The message to people would be to slow down and drive to road conditions. Leave extra time to get to where you are going,” he said.