County of Wetaskiwin fire services call volumes saw an increase last year over 2015.
Mike Zajac, director of emergency services says while the increase is not “huge,” and some numbers are up while others decrease, as a whole call volumes are going up. “Over 2015 we’re up about 13 per cent.”
In 2015 the Buck Lake/Alder Flats area had 22 calls, which increased to 43 in 2016; Millet rural was down was four calls to 64 in 2016; Mulhurst Bay increased to 49 from 28; South Pigeon Lake call volumes jumped from 81 in 2015 to 125; Wetaskiwin rural decreased to 80 from 98; and Winfield fell from 31 to 18.
Across all communities, 2015 had a total of 328 fire service calls while 2016 experienced 377.
Zajac spoke about alarms and false alarms, of which there were: two in Buck Lake/Alder Flats, four in the Millet rural area, 17 at Mulhurst Bay, 36 in South Pigeon Lake, four in rural Wetaskiwin and none for Winfield.
Zajac says 9.9 times out of 10 the an alarm ringing was a false alarm; and increases seem to come in waves after people in communities — especially the summer communities surrounding Pigeon Lake — install alarms without realizing how sensitive the system is.
County council accepted Zajac’s report as information during its Feb. 7 meeting.