The Castlegar Fire Department responded to 665 calls between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 of this year, up slightly from the same time last year. File photo

The Castlegar Fire Department responded to 665 calls between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 of this year, up slightly from the same time last year. File photo

Castlegar Fire Department sees increased call volume in 2019

New command vehicle needed for Castlegar Fire Department

The Castlegar Fire Department has been having a busy year and the department’s call volume totals reflect the growing demand for their services.

As of the end of October, the department had been out on 665 calls — 32 more then the same time period last year.

“The city is busier, it is growing a little bit, there is more traffic on the roads,” explained fire chief Sam Lattanzio.

Beyond attending fires, the department acts as first responders for medical calls, provides rescue services, attends motor vehicle accidents, hazardous materials incidents and false alarms. They also conduct fire inspections throughout the city and attend numerous public service events including fire education in local schools.

One category that has increased is motor vehicle accidents, but Lattanzio says that is more due to 2018 being a good year for accidents, instead of 2019 being a bad year.

“Construction on Columbia Avenue in 2018 actually reduced the number of accidents we normally see on that stretch of road,” he explained.

One set of statistics has left Lattanzio very thankful — there haven’t been any aircraft-related calls to the West Kootenay Regional Airport in years.

“We have been very lucky in that category,” said Lattanzio.

PREVIOUS: Castlegar Fire Department home to new flammable-liquids response trailer

All of those calls have added up to a lot of wear and tear on the department’s command vehicle. The truck is used to respond to all emergency scenes and for conducting fire inspections. The 2003 Dodge Durango has been making a lot of visits to the mechanic’s shop lately and had to be towed recently after a major component failed. Its electrical system is also showing signs of failure.

City council is moving forward with an early budget approval of a replacement ahead of the city’s 2020 budget being finalized in order for the new vehicle to be ordered as soon as possible.

Lattanzio says the required vehicle is specialized to meet the demands of emergency services and will take about four months from order to delivery. Along with better braking and a heavy duty suspension, the vehicle needs to meet national fire protection standards and have lights, radios and decals installed.

The city has budgeted $60,000 for the vehicle.

The fire department is also waiting for delivery on a 2020 Rosenbauer all-wheel drive pumper rescue vehicle they ordered in January 2019. It is expected to arrive in April.

RELATED: Castlegar orders new fire truck to replace engine, rescue vehicle

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in the Kootenays. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Highest weekly number of new COVID-19 cases in 2021 for Nelson

The Nelson local health area had 13 new cases in early April

ANKORS held a small demonstration outside Nelson City Hall and the courthouse Wednesday to mark the five-year anniversary of the province declaring the toxic drug supply crisis. Photo: Tyler Harper
‘We’re all supposed to take care of each other’: 5 years of toxic drug supply crisis marked in Nelson

Over 7,000 people have died in B.C. since the crisis was announced in 2016

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

School District 8 says a COVID-19 exposure has occurred at Nelson’s Rosemont Elementary. Photo: School District 8
Class at Nelson’s Rosemont Elementary in isolation after COVID-19 exposure

It’s not clear if any students or teachers were infected

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read