The Mount Gilead Fire Department has released a report of its activity in 2012. Fire Chief Keith Byrd told us firefighters have been seeing a growing number of calls over the past few years, with a total number in the triple digits.
Byrd said, “We had a total of 134 calls. That call volume has increased. Our call volume for 2011 had increased by probably 15% from the previous year. For 2012, it increased that much, if not a little bit more. I guess you could say we’re going in the wrong direction.”
The calls covered a wide range of emergency situations. According to Byrd, “18 of those were residential structural calls, and there were 20 wrecks. We had multiple false alarms and mutual aid calls with other departments. There were several (calls) with our businesses and industries here in town.”
Of the 134 calls last year, Chief Byrd says the total fire risk was more than $19,000,000, while actual damages were limited to just over $450,000.
Byrd says the department’s ladder truck, acquired less than a year ago, has been a valuable asset in a number of situations, and has also kept the town’s insurance rating in good standing.