Clanton Fire Dept. sees busiest year everBy Stephen Dawkins Published 4:06pm Friday, January 4, 2013
The Clanton Fire Department saw its busiest year ever in 2012, so the construction of a third station in the city seems to be occurring at the perfect time.
CFD received 1,715 calls for service last year, outpacing the total from 2011 (1,495), and the previous record set in 2005 (1,656), according to information provided by Chief David Driver.
Driver said the increase could be attributed to population growth.
“Naturally, with a population increase of a particular area, the potential for accidents and incidents increases as well,” he said.
Driver said business expansion, such as Johnson Controls Inc. adding a large number of employees, can contribute to an increased workload for the fire department.
Most of the department’s calls are for emergency medical service, such as general medical response, wrecks or traumatic injury. That category once again made up about 73 percent of the total number of calls.
“We’re called the fire department, but if you look at the stats, we don’t really go on that many fires,” Driver said.
In addition to the calls for service, Driver said CFD tested 895 fire hydrants, performed 1,220 pre-fire inspections and had a total of 14,256 man hours in 2012.
“It has been a busy year for the Clanton Fire Department,” Driver said. “Between answering calls for service and performing the day-to-day operations of the fire department, it has required many hours from our dedicated personnel. Our goal is to continue to ensure the safety of the citizens of the city of Clanton and to make improvements within the department that will lower the city’s ISO rating. This will, in turn, lower the insurance rates for the citizens we proudly serve.”
CFD’s personnel includes 23 people, including Driver, who is the department’s only full-time employee. The department has three fire engines, a ladder truck and two rescue units.
“The number boils down to about five calls a day, so we do have some overlapping calls, where you have two or three calls going on at one time,” Driver said. “When you get to that point, it’s going to spread you a little thin, but so far, we’ve been fortunate and had the personnel to go on all the calls we had.”
The construction of the city’s third fire station, at Interstate 65 Exit 212, should provide an immediate benefit to the department and residents. Work is about halfway done, Driver said, and is scheduled to be completed in April.
Driver said all of the department’s calls are mapped, and since the beginning of the year, he’s broken the city down into three districts to get an idea of what kind of workload can be expected for the new station once it opens.
Driver said CFD has handled about 20 calls through the first four days of the new year, and several have been in what will be Station 3′s district.
“I feel like all the stars are aligned so that our response time is going to be a lot quicker,” he said.