Call volumes double for fire department as heat wave looms
Castlegar fire chief Gerry Rempel said he’s not particularly concerned about a forecasted heat wave overloading his crews despite dramatically higher call volumes than usual this month.
“We’ve had 97 calls already this month –it has been a brutal month so far,” he said. “Normally, we’re averaging 50 calls in an entire month, and we’ve already doubled that in just 24 days.”
He said he doesn’t know to what he should attribute the spike, as they’re not seeing more of any one particular kind of call.
“It’s just an increase in everything – accidents, fire alarms, medical calls. Everything,” he said.
He added that the work load has not been overly burdensome for his crews.
“Oh no, they’re good,” he said. “They like to stay busy.”
As for concerns about a heatwave expected to hit the region in the next day or two, Rempel said he has reason to believe locals will exercise due diligence.
“If there are warnings to be careful with fires, the people of Castlegar are very good,” he said.
The area is already experiencing unseasonably dry conditions, with the Southeast Fire Centre reporting a snowpack of 11-per-cent that of what we’d normally see this time of year in the West Kootenay region.