Why we do what we do
In July 2020, Engine 5 was dispatched to a building fire. Four people, including a child, were inside the home at the time. According to one of the residents, smoke alarms initially alerted the adults to the fire. It was determined that Fire Department personnel installed those smoke alarms in December 2016. One month later, January 2017, this household also received a free fire extinguisher handed out by the department. This fire extinguisher was used over three years later by the resident to douse the flames prior to Engine 5 arriving on scene.
A look back on 2020
The year 2020 presented unique challenges and needs within our community with the Fire Department implementing innovative ways to continue to provide exemplary emergency services and for the development of a fire safe community.
We continued to provide fire and life safety education and information to our neighbors through newly developed video and virtual formats, while the Community Risk Reduction Division launched the Occupancy Assessment Project for the development of a risk-based model for understanding the safety inspection, fire protection, and fire suppression needs of our city.
While 2020 was challenging in many ways, it was also a period of growth and opportunity for the department. The addition of leadership positions and the reorganization of the department provided opportunity to build foundations for the future while enhancing systems to provide excellence in professional development and emergency preparedness of our Officers and Firefighters.
Planning and design for the addition of new Fire Station 13 was completed, which will expand our ability to provide timely emergency response. In addition to responding to over 12,400 incidents in 2020, the department worked with partner agencies in the community to respond to and address the rise in opioid related incidents, the prevalence and challenges of vacant structures, and the demands presented by COVID-19.