The Bracebridge Fire Department responded to fewer fire calls in 2021 than they have in several years, but false alarms were up significantly.
Fire Chief Murray Medley was on hand virtually during the latest Bracebridge general committee meeting to present the department’s statistics round-up for the previous year.
The stats indicate instances of the Fire Department responding to actual fire calls were down significantly – from just over 40 in 2020 to just under 20 in 2021. Fires include structure, vehicle, and wildland fires.
However, the report also indicated that calls for false alarms, which include equipment malfunction, maliciously pulled alarms and false CO alarms, increased from roughly 100 in 2020 to nearly 150 in 2021.
Murray said false alarms are an ongoing and increasing problem in Bracebridge. He attributed the spike primarily to alarm systems being installed in new residential units which the homeowners are often unsure of how to use.
“Sometimes we roll up to the house and they can’t understand why we’re there,” said Medley.
The Fire Chief said Bracebridge is not the only community dealing with this problem and there was no quick and easy fix.
Medley was also asked about the recent closure of the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst and the implications that was having on the Bracebridge Fire Department. He confirmed that it was costing the department more money, as they now have to travel further afield to get training but he also advised council that the department is currently working on cost savings solutions for training options.
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