Emergency calls up 5 percent | PostIndependent.com
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Emergency calls up 5 percent

For the second straight year, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department saw 5 percent annual growth in calls, chief Mike Piper says.The continuing growth comes as the city is trying to figure out how to increase staffing to improve its emergency response. And no slowdown in that growth is in sight, according to Piper’s annual report.”The fire alarms and the medical assignments that were generated by the opening of the Glenwood Meadows predict that we will see a dramatic increase in calls again in 2006,” Piper wrote.Stores at Glenwood Meadows began opening in October. Eventually, the development is expected to include more than 400,000 square feet of commercial space.The staffing discussions were prompted by the threat of higher property insurance premiums if the department doesn’t respond to structure fires with at least four personnel. However, most of the department’s time is spent on non-fire calls. Last year, it received 1,349 calls, only 5 percent of which were for fires.Emergency medical service calls made up 61 percent of the total, up 10 percent over the previous year, and up from 57 percent of the total calls in 2004.”As the population and infrastructure of the city and the district increases, it is very clear that the Glenwood Springs Fire Department has become the all-risk emergency response agency that the public relies on to respond to their emergencies,” Piper wrote.The department responded to five building fires last year, compared to eight the previous year.By contrast, it answered 669 EMS calls, excluding vehicle accidents with injuries, which totaled 94. Those categories saw growth of 16 and 19 percent, respectively, last year. The department took 30 more vehicle accident calls in which there were no injuries. That’s twice as many as in 2004.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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