Yearly Report: Busiest Year Ever in Fire Department

2011 was the second consecutive year in which the West Bloomfield Fire Department had a record number of responses.

The 2011 annual reports for all West Bloomfield Township departments were released last week for approval at Monday's . These reports contain narrative explanations of highlights within the departments as well as charts of raw data explaining how the departments spent the year. 

Annual calls increase in part due to age

The 14,877 annual responses marked a 4.99 percent increase over 2010's total. That's a record for the second consecutive year, wrote Fire Chief Jay Wiseman. The previous record of 14,134 had grown from 13,091 in 2009. 

, Wiseman asserted that the growth to that point largely stems from West Bloomfield's senior living centers.

"We have, every single day, an automatic fire alarm tripped in one of our senior complexes, and people will say those are false alarms — but they’re not. They’re usually a small incident which could’ve turned into a fire, but the staff are quick to respond," he at the time.

The total number of calls from July-September 2011 and October-December 2011 decreased slightly, from 1,786 to 1,713.  (on Maple Road, east of Halsted Road) remained the busiest of the six stations during the recent quarterly period, accounting for 29.85 percent of all responses.

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The growth was largely found in the number of the number of service calls, which increased by 14.98 percent, as well as in emergency medical service (EMS)/rescue calls, which increased by 5.47 percent. Wiseman noted in the report that the increases can be directly attributed to many of the 18 on-the-job injuries that the department dealt with in the calendar year.

"Specifically, lifting during patient care and when crews assist an invalid who has fallen and cannot get up," Wiseman explained as the cause of many of the injuries to the crew. 

Wiseman added that staffing reductions overall have had a weakening effect in the department's ability to readily accommodate surges in injury or illness levels without a direct increase to overtime cost. To keep available overtime funding from becoming prematurely depleted, Wiseman suggested that it may become necessary for the department to reduce its minimum staffing level.


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