Fire calls down significantly from 2019 but ambulance calls comparable

Fire calls are down significantly and ambulance calls up slightly over the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same time period last year, members of the city’s public safety committee heard at their first meeting in four months Oct. 8.

Thompson Fire & Emergency Services (TFES) Chief Selby Brown said there were 54 fire responses and seven general alarms in September, bringing the totals for the year to 372 calls and 23 general alarms. The overall number of fire calls is down 36.5 per cent from January through September of 2019.

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“A lot of that has to do with the closing of the north tower and some of the mischief alarms that we got there,” Brown said.

Ambulance calls are up a little over five per cent compared to the same time period last year, to 5,313 from 5,043 over the first nine months of 2019.

Brown said the number of ambulance calls dipped early in the COVID-19 pandemic due but recovered as restrictions were eased.

“When the pandemic first kicked in we were down probably 100 calls a month, average,: he said. "As soon as some of the restrictions were lifted and summer came and people were coming to town that’s when our numbers started to come back up. They spike in summertime anyways. Pandemic years or not.”

Deputy mayor Les Ellsworth asked if there were any significant changes to the number of ambulance calls in the downtown area.

“I’m pretty sure it’s parity with respect to last year as well,” said TFES Deputy Chief Steve Molloy. “Our calls have not diminished in any way with respect to the downtown area. They’re pretty well on par so there’s nothing significantly increased.”

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