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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fire department calls rise 43 percent in 2012

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shelbyville Fire Chief Ricky McConnell told Shelbyville City Council that his department had a busy and productive year, with 943 calls -- an increase of 43 percent from 2012.

Those calls were broken down into 63 different types of incidents. For example, 456 calls were for medical assistance, helping an EMS crew, or other emergency medical calls.

A total of 26 structure fires were responded to, as well as 25 cooking fires termed "minor incidents" such as pots left on stoves, with little to no damage.

But the city also had two civilian fire deaths in 2012, as well as eight minor civilian injuries and one minor fire service injury.

The last previous fire fatality was in May 2005, McConnell said.

The department is working with the state fire marshal's office to get smoke detectors into every residence.

Training continues

Some good news was a reported 36 percent drop last year in the estimated property loss in the city due to fire -- $427,500, compared to a loss of $671,230 in 2011.

The chief says his department takes extra care and time to save as much of a homeowner's property as possible. In all, the department was able to save $6,030,700 on property and homes' contents.

Training is an ongoing activity for firefighters. Each receives a minimum of 20 hours in-house training a month for a total of 8,880 yearly hours.

During the recent Insurance Services Office (ISO) review of records, the department could only show that 61 percent had received the training, McConnell said, but a change in procedures will result in 100 percent of the department getting credit.

Firefighters also completed 1,053 hours of training at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy near Deason. Specialized training was also done for hazardous material, radiological training, medical responder and volunteer training.

Teaching

Fire prevention is a big part of the department's job, and they held 104 separate activities including 47 fire safety classes for school and day cares, and 17 fire extinguisher/safety classes held for local industries and organizations.

A total of 11 public safety events were held, 11 fire hall tours, seven color guard details, six fire safety classes for civic groups and five career day services. McConnell estimated that his department has educated approximately 3,800 children and 600 adults in fire safety.

The department is also working on grants to help with getting fire extinguishers refilled for citizens, as well as an energy conservation grant.