Purdy Fire responds to record number of calls in 2015

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

District obtains 3 new vehicles, puts Station 2 into service

Along with responding to nearly 350 calls in 2015, the Purdy Fire Protection District in the past year has added multiple vehicles and are also working out of two stations, instead of just one.

The district responded to a record number of calls for service last year, completing 349. This is up from a total of 276 calls in the year 2014.

Medical-rescue responses garnered the most attention, totaling 249 for a total of 71 percent of calls, including 21 calls related to motor vehicle accidents. This was the largest increase from 193 medical runs in 2014.

Medical responses were up considerably compared to prior years, almost equaling the total number of calls in the category compared to the total number of calls in previous years.

"The district was able to have licensed medical responders on 87 percent of the medical calls," said Nick Mercer, Purdy chief. "Fifty-one percent of the time, there was a Paramedic/RN or higher level provider on scene; 36 percent of the calls had an EMT-Basic as the highest level of licensed responder; and 13 percent of the medical responses only had First Responder medical training."

The District is a licensed Emergency Medical Response Agency with the state, which allows the department to utilize a heart monitor to manually interpret heart rhythms while looking for heart attacks, start IV's and administer medications prior to the arrival of the responding ambulance.

"The district is continuously looking to improve the quick response and access to emergency medical care," Mercer said.

Fire-related responses accounted for a total of 38 calls for service, with fires accounting for 11 percent of the total yearly numbers.

"We had a wet summer where the grounds did not dry out like we have seen in the past few years," Mercer said. "This helped to keep the number of grass and brush fires to a minimal amount."

The District responded to 14 grass or brush fires, 13 structure fires, 6 vehicle fires, and one fire classified as other.

General service calls totaled 62 for the year, or 18 percent of the yearly total. General service includes landing zones for aircraft, investigations for smoke and electrical, false alarms, calls where responders were cancelled en route, and other potential accidents.

Landing zones were by far the highest request out of the general service calls, totaling 26. There were also five weather related incidents and five false alarms in the category.

During the year, the District also began using Station 2, which was finished in 2015. "We hope that with Station 2 being open, the ISO rating for the East Purdy and McDowell regions will be reclassified to a lower rating," Mercer said.

Station 2, which is located at the intersection of State Highway C and Farm Road 1120, will house one engine with a 1,000-gallon tank and capability to pump 1,500 gallons per minute. The station will also house one 6,0000-gallon tanker for water support, and two brush trucks. The tanker and brush trucks were acquired from the Missouri Department of Conservation and U.S. Forestry Departments Firefighter Property Program.

Three new vehicles were added to the fleet in 2015. The first purchase was for a 1992 E-One Hush Engine. The new engine is designated as Engine 11 and carries 1,000 gallons of water with a 1,500 gallon per minute pump. The vehicle cost $27,500 and was purchased from the Montgomery Twp. Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2, located in Somerset County, NJ.

The second vehicle added to the fleet was a 2003 F-550 Flatbed. The truck was purchased to replace an existing brush truck. The brush unit from the prior truck was mounted on the F-550. The brush unit also has CAFS capabilities. The truck, designated Squad 19, will also be used to respond to medical emergencies and carries the departments Advanced Life Support equipment.

The last vehicle was gained from the Missouri Department of Conservation and U.S. Forestry Departments Firefighter Property Program. The truck is a Stewart Stevenson Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, which is a 2.5-ton cargo truck the district received in early December 2015. The truck will have a brush unit placed on bed. The unit will also be able to be removed to convert the truck back to a covered cargo truck for transportation and other rescue needs, as it was used for in the December 2015 flooding event. The truck will be painted red to match the other department vehicles and should be in service in the first half of 2016.

Training in 2015 for the department totaled 2,058 hours of education. Those hours include the department sending three firefighters to EMT-Basic at Crowder College in Cassville, two firefighters to be sent to Firefighter 1 and 2 at Crowder College in Cassville and one Firefighter to Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield for Firefighter 1 and 2. This total also includes the department training events that were held throughout the year.

The Purdy Fire Protection District Board of Directors meets at Fire Station 1, located at 102 W. Washington in Purdy, at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. The meetings are open to the public.

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