By CHARLES TWEED
The fire department presented its annual report to town council Jan. 12.
In total, the number of calls received by the fire department was down slightly — 174 calls, down from 187 the year previous. Chief Ted Dillon believes the reduction was due to the fact the area had a lot of rain this past summer.
“The two years before (’08 and ’09) were drier years, therefore we didn’t have the grass fires this year from previous years,” he said.
One area that saw a huge drop off was the total number of man-hours worked. In 2010 man-hours totalled 2,563, a sharp decline from ’09, when 3,116 hours were claimed and down even further from ’08, when more than 3,300 hours were worked. A big part of that decline may be due to fire prevention education and awareness.
“Anything you can learn will be a benefit, and if we can save one life – if we can get to one child that gets to their parent, that’s what we’re after. It could possibly save a life or prevent and injury,” said Dillon.
The report also compiled a comprehensive list of the type of call made to the department and the hour of the day, which it occurred. Vehicle accidents registered the highest number of calls, 66, trailed considerably by alarms, where there was no fire present, 32. Interesting to note the greatest volume of calls occurred between 6 and 7 p.m., while the greatest number of motor vehicle accidents took place during four intervals — 1, 4, 5, and 8 p.m.
The chief also had high praise for his volunteer firefighters, who range in occupation from insurance agents to mechanics, and hospital employees to town workers.
“They’re outstanding. They do an excellent job because they drop everything and run, no matter what they do.”