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Fire Chief Greg Klaiber released the Evanston Fire and Life-Safety Services annual report to City Council and the public on Feb. 24 at the regular City Council meeting. Per the report, the Department responded to 9,373 calls in 2013, eclipsing the record of 9,330 set just last year.
The number of emergency medical support calls, which historically make up more than 60 percent of calls, decreased slightly from 5,824 in 2012 to 5,735 in 2013. All other calls, lumped in the report under “fire” calls, jumped from 3,506 in 2012 to 3,638 in 2013.
“Fire” calls are broken down in detail in the incident summary report attached to the Annual Report. They include items such as “hazardous conditions (no fire),” “service call” and false alarms. They are broken down even further within the full report, which will be available shortly on the City’s website, under the “departments, Fire and Life Safety” tab.
Response time on the 9,373 calls averaged just, three minutes and five seconds, well under the industry standard of four minutes set by the National Fire Prevention Association. Response time continues to be outstanding despite the fact that the number of calls has increased by about 61 percent over the last 27 years.
As for actual fires, Chief Klaiber said there were 129 in the City in 2013, resulting in an estimated loss of about $2.8 million in property. That number does not tell the whole story, said Chief Klaiber, because the Fire Department’s suppression efforts saved “97 percent of the properties involved in structure fires, for a total of about $107.8 million.”
By far the busiest section of town was Census Tract 8094, which runs between Dempster and Clark-Emerson east of Ridge, and the City’s largest beaches. The Department responded to 1,436 calls in Tract 8094, 911 EMS calls and 525 fire calls. Next busiest was Census Tract 8092, east of McCormick, north of Church and west of Green Bay, with 839 calls.
Census Tract 8099 provided the fewest calls with just 199. Tract 8099 is south of Dempster, north of Main, east of Ridge.
All indications show that 2014 stands a good chance of setting another record. Chief Klaiber told the RoundTable earlier that record low temperatures led to a significant increase in calls in January, and another polar vortex hit the City just last week. Experts are predicting record high temperatures over the summer, which may lead to another spike in calls.
For additional information, see the complete report on the City’s website