Milton Fire Department calls spiked during the first half of 2018.
By how much?
Firefighters responded to 926 calls for service in the first half of 2018, up by 87 incidents from a year prior.
The increase is largely due to false fire calls, motor vehicle collisions and other calls for public assistance, the MFD reported to council on Aug. 27.
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The department received 240 false fire calls, which amounts to 26 per cent of all service calls received in the first half of 2018.
“Responding to false alarms can be costly to the Town, especially if they could have been prevented,” said Milton Fire Chief Dave Pratt.
Each time the fire department attends an incident in Milton, details are reported to the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM).
OFMEM maintains a historical database containing reports filled by fire departments for every call they attend in Ontario.
Based on the data the Milton Fire Department provided to the OFMEM, there’s an upward trend of false alarms.
“With the growing number of new homes and businesses in the past 10 years, there has been a very large increase in the number of false alarm investigations, which prevent our crews from responding to events where emergency help is truly needed,” said Pratt.
Depending on the location of the alarm, the department could respond with two to six fire vehicles and eight to 20 firefighters.
The number of false alarms needs to decrease, say officials, adding fewer alarms reduce the risk to businesses, citizens and firefighters by lessening the number of responding vehicles on the road and improving available response for other emergency calls.
Click here to learn more about how to prevent false alarms.
Photo courtesy of Milton Fire Department