JAMESTOWN – The number of medical calls continues to rise highlighting the need for first responders in the City of Jamestown.
Like many in the field, the Jamestown Fire Department saw a significant increase in service over the past year, according to Fire Chief Matthew Coon.
“We responded to a total of 7,775 calls for service which is another record for us,” explained Chief Coon. “We had a ten percent increase in call volume above where we were in 2020.”
The total number of fires that the department fought did not change much, with around 100 fires reported last year.
The department was slated to hire four additional firefighters, however the union agreement between the Mayor’s Office and Department Union was struck down by local lawmakers.
The reason, council members say, goes back to budgetary issues.
“I am all for public safety and the firefighters getting a contract they deserve, but it has to be fiscally responsible for the city,” explained Councilman Andrew Faulkner in a previous interview with WNY News Now. “We can’t do something that’s not gonna work out down the road, we have to look long-term here.”
Nevertheless, crews are busy. However, Chief Coon doesn’t want that to stop anyone from seeking help in the event of an emergency.
“Call 911 for that, that not only enables us to respond quickly,” explained Chief Coon. “Using the 911 system will allow the 911 dispatchers to pinpoint the exact location of where the call is originating.”
To help prevent future incidents, Chief Coon suggests checking your smoke alarms and make sure they are properly working.
“Please ensure that you have a working smoke detector,” explained Chief Coon. “I can never stress that enough. As a Chief Officer we respond to many fires that don’t have working smoke detectors.”
Moving forward Chief Coon believes that the trend will continue and the call rate will rise.