Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services had slightly fewer fire-related calls but more medical-related calls in 2022.
Fire Chief Scott Driver said that despite the numbers, crews are kept busy with the severity of individual calls.
“The downstream impacts on the residents who are experiencing those incidents is increasing and certainly the suffering of those individuals is increasing,” said Driver.
Driver said the Knights Hall fire was an example of what has been keeping emergency staff busy.
“That’s one fire, but that took basically six weeks of my time to try and sort through, so I was very very busy for that time,” said Driver.
Cranbrook firefighters responded to 567 fire-related calls in 2022, down a bit from the 571 calls they actioned in 2021.
Meanwhile, medical calls went up significantly, from 875 in 2021 to 1,072 in 2022.
Driver said this rise comes after a drop in medical calls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had very significant reductions in use of the hospital system because of COVID, and people were told they had no capacity and people just stopped calling,” explained Driver.
While most calls to service were up, overdose responses were down by about 16 per cent, from 142 in 2021 to 122 in 2022.
This presentation comes after budget meetings where Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services were seeking funding to hire two more staff members.