Rescue calls down for ’09

Published 11:08 am Thursday, January 7, 2010

Local fire and rescue departments answered 5,634 calls in 2009, nearly 250 less than in the previous year.

The Clanton Fire Department answered the most calls at 1,462, followed by Jemison (669) and North Chilton (385). For the most part, units responded to a comparable number of calls in 2008.

Chilton County E-911 entered 64,874 calls into its CAD system, which was a significant decrease from 2008. During that year, more than 70,000 entries were made. The E-911 statistic includes fire and rescue calls, law enforcement calls, administrative calls and others.

E-911 Director Helen Smith said the decrease may be partially due to advances in communication equipment.

“A lot of officers are starting to use the MDT’s (mobile data terminals) now, and they do their own calling,” Smith said.

Also, in 2008, E-911 handled a high volume of dispatcher training and test calls, which would have been included in the statistic for last year’s calls.

“The volume has well increased in the past decade,” Smith said. “Ten years ago, we were barely using computers.”

Enterprise Fire Department saw an increase of more than 30 calls from 2008 to 2009. District Chief Raymond Hudman said new trailer parks in the area have increased the number of residents served.

Hudman said several new volunteers have come on board in the past year.

“We’ve had a good year personnel wise. We appreciate these young people coming on. A lot of them are in training now,” Hudman said.

The following is a listing of each fire department’s total calls for 2009:

Clanton: 1,462

Thorsby: 301

Jemison: 669

Maplesville: 176

Union Grove: 315

Fairview: 217

East Chilton: 247

Collins Chapel: 288

West Chilton: 362

Enterprise: 321

South Chilton: 143

Isabella: 116

Verbena: 275

Gap of the Mountain: 273

North Chilton: 385

Cedar Grove (recently formed): 62

Plantersville (calls inside Chilton County): 22.