Unprecedented year for Fire Dept.

·1 min read

ADELAIDE METCALFE - 2020 was a year like no other for the fire department in Adelaide Metcalfe. It saw less call volume for a good portion of the year while fewer cars were on the roads, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fire Chief Arend Noordhof gave a year-end report during the township council’s Monday, 1 February 2021 meeting.

Total call volume was down about 25%, from 81 calls in 2019 to 60 in 2020. As for the types of calls, vehicle collisions still led the pack with 15 incidents. Actual fire calls typically make up about 15% of total calls, and last year there were nine fire calls. Average response time was 11 minutes and 38 seconds.

As far as training went, Noordhof says those numbers were low. On average, firefighters got 32 hours of in-house training each. Usually that would be at least 48 hours. Two firefighters completed their NFPA Fire Instructor Level 1 course (20 hours each), and one completed their Designated Fire Officers course (8 hours) in 2020.

Seven fire inspections took place; two routine, two as a result of complaints, and three at request. Noordhof says this number would usually be much higher. Until recently, the fire department did not have a certified inspector and those inspections that did take place were completed by the chief and former Chief Building Official, Shannon Black.

The regular 72-Hour Emergency Preparedness presentations at Adelaide-W.G. MacDonald School was completed by the teachers. The fire chief provided the powerpoint slides and speaking points for school staff to refer to. A lot of the other typical outreach was unable to take place.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner