Chesterton Tribune



CFD calls spike last year with jumps in EMS and Indiana 49 crashes

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The Chesterton Fire Department responded to 12 percent more calls in 2016 than it did in 2015: 1,532 versus 1,363.

That represents an average daily response rate in 2016 of 4.2 calls or slightly more than one every six hours (3.7 calls per day in 2015).

Last year’s 12-percent spike in total calls is attributable to a corresponding spike in the “Rescue and EMS Incident” category. There were 1,099 such calls in 2016, compared to 908 in 2015, an increase of 21 percent.

What’s behind that increase? “That’s hard to say,” Deputy Fire Chief Nate Williams told the Chesterton Tribune. “Call numbers have always fluctuated over the years. Sometimes they go up. Sometimes they go down. It’s just based on how many 911 calls we get.”

The vast majority of the calls in the “Rescue and EMS Incident” category were medical assists: 984 in 2016, versus 803 in 2015, an increase of 23 percent.

Most of the rest of the calls in the Rescue and EMS Incident category were motor vehicle accidents with injuries: there were 100 of them in 2016, compared to only 80 in 2015, an increase of 25 percent. Of those 100 MVAs last year, fully 26 were on Ind. 49, compared to only 14 in 2015, an increase of 86 percent. This particular spike isn’t surprising at all, given the rash of rear-end crashes on Ind. 49 during INDOT’s interminable re-paving project.


Fires of all kinds accounted for 2.22 percent of calls in 2016, compared to 2.35 percent in 2015:

* Building fires: two (six in 2015). The first was an assist to the Porter FD for a house fire in the 1100 block of Berg Street; the second was a house fire in Chesterton, in the 300 block of Locust Street.

* Cooking fires: seven (six).

* Vehicle fires: 10 (four).

* Brush and grass fires: five (one).

* Dumpster fires: six (two).

Other Calls

In most other categories, 2016 numbers were mostly comparable to 2015.

* Missing-person searches: two (one).

* Water searches and rescues: two (one).

* Flammable-liquid spills: four (five).

* Natural-gas leaks: 17 (14).

* Carbon-monoxide: 10 (11).

* Downed power lines: seven (six).

* Unauthorized burns: 24 (26).

* Smoke scares: six (six).

Fully 93 calls--or 6 percent of all calls last year--were for false, malfunctioning, or unintended alarms, compared to 71 in 2015. That’s a 31 percent increase.

Another 146 calls--or 13 percent of all calls--were in the “Good Intent” category, compared to 183 in 2015. That’s a 20-percent decrease. The “Good Intent” category includes, for instance, 60 assists to a police or other government agency (69); 13 assists to the “public” (10); three assists to an invalid (4); and one animal rescue (zero).

On 114 occasions in 2016--7 percent of all calls--the CFD was disregarded while still en route, compared 146 times in 2015.

And on 19 occasions last year, the CFD found nothing on its arrival at a scene, compared to 20 times in 2015.


Posted 1/27/2017





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