Fire department reviews 2006

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The most dangerous time of day for drivers to negotiate Craig's city streets is at 5 p.m. The safest time is 3 a.m.

Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Chris Nichols released those figures during his year-end report to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors on Thursday evening.

The figures indicate the number of calls for service by the department and responses to incidents in the district.

Nichols' report shows the fire department responded to 309 calls for service in 2006.

Haz-Mat teams were called in for incidents six times during the year, with fire responses taking 131 calls and Emergency Medical Services accounting for 178 calls.

Also in the year-end report, as of Jan. 1, 2007, the district has 21 firefighters with one on a leave of absence.

Three candidates from the nine original applicants in 2006 successfully completed training to become firefighters. Five rookie recruits have applied for training in 2007.

They include Al Landa, Gina Straus, Charlie Gottschall, Heather Hampton and Ryan Hampton.

The report also listed goals for the department in 2007, with the priority being keeping firefighters injury-free.

The department also is looking into implementing a wellness program for firefighters, as cardiovascular incidents are the number one killer of firefighters nationwide.

Purchase of an aerial truck to replace Engine 2 in the first quarter of 2007 is a priority already underway, with studies by the department and a civilian committee making recommendations to the board.

The board and the department also will be looking at minimum staffing guidelines in 2007 to determine at what level the department will find it necessary to hire full-time firefighters to fully complement trucks deployed to fires.

Department officials told the board that while trucks will always respond to fire calls, the ability of firefighters to aggressively attack a fire depends on the number of personnel on scene.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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