County Fire Chief Trevor Grant recently delivered his 2016 annual report to County Council.
One thing that was a major positive last year was a 57 per cent increase in fire permits being issued, which shows more people are following the rules.
“I know that our Fire Marshal and our fire prevention division were working quite well. We were out at all of the open houses, as well as trade shows. Fire permits was kind of a focus of our education program last year, so I think that was a huge benefit,” said Grant.
There were 4,131 fire permits issued in 2016.
Fire inspections and investigations were also down from the previous year, despite there being a 91-call increase in service calls at 1,347. Of those calls, 634 were for medical co-responses.
“The new Medical First Response Program, that Alberta Health Services rolled out in January, made for a lot more efficient processing of the calls for our fire services to be able to attend those medical calls. They’re getting more efficient at getting those calls to us to get us out and respond,” Grant said.
The Regional Fire Service also deployed to a handful of larger fires outside of the area to assist. This includes the Fort McMurray wildfires and the Norbord fire near High Level.
Grant adds that 274 kindergarten students from 10 different schools took part in their Learn Not to Burn program.