FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
According to Springfield Fire Chief David Pennington in the Springfield Fire Department’s 2017 Annual Report, 2017 was a year of leadership transition and positive community activity.
Pennington was named fire chief in May, having served as interim fire chief since David Hall retired from the department in February.
Calls for service to the Springfield Fire Department reached a high in 2017. The department responded to 17,592 calls in 2017, up from 16,301 in 2016.
“I am thankful for the support of our community with the continuation of the Level Property Tax, which will provide for the needs for sustainment of fire apparatus and equipment, and for growth of the Fire Department into underserved areas of our community,” Pennington said. “I look forward to all that we will accomplish in 2018.”
Also highlighted in the report was the $654,505 federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, which provides the increase in staffing required for the addition of a new fire station in west central Springfield.
A fire engine was added to the first alarm fire response for house and building fires, which provides more resources on scene to save lives, control damage, improve responder safety and better meet the needs of citizens.
Firefighters visited 6,567 homes, tested 2,121 smoke alarms and installed 1,091 free smoke alarms in 2017 during Project RED (Reduce, Educate, Deliver) Zone canvasses of Zone 1 neighborhoods, including West Central, Grant Beach and Robberson. Crews will continue canvassing throughout 2018, starting with Heart of the Westside.
Project RED Zone is an aggressive community risk reduction campaign aimed at reducing home fires. The campaign contributed directly to at least three lives saved in 2017 – in two separate incidents, three occupants were notified of fires in their homes by the smoke alarms installed by SFD crews during Project RED Zone canvasses.
Project RED Zone has contributed to other positive metrics as well. In 2017, there were 218 residential fires in Springfield, down from 220 in 2016 and from the all-time high of 288 in 2008. There were 12 fire-related injuries, compared to the all-time high of 20 in 2009. In 2017, there were zero deaths attributed to residential fires, down from five in 2016.
For more information, please contact Fire Chief David Pennington at 417-874-2310 or [email protected], or Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or [email protected]