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Fire Department Highlights 2017 Achievements, New Year Goals

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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The City of Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Fire Department held a joint news conference Tuesday to tout achievements in 2017, as well as goals for the New Year.

Last year, the FWFD responded to 20,000 calls for service, 9,000 of which were related to EMS. 60 percent more building inspections were completed as the result of an increase in staffing in the code enforcement division, and their public outreach program led to the installations of 600 more smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in city homes.

Fire chief Eric Lahey says the millions of dollars in investment to the fire department by the city is what allows them to help Fort Wayne stay as safe as possible, particularly with purchases of new trucks.

“We’re able to make that investment and ensure our firefighters a safe and reliable means of transportation to get to the scene, and not only get there but use the equipment given to them to save more lives,” Lahey said.

One of the department’s goals for 2018 is to have advanced life-saving personnel assigned to each of the city’s fire engines daily. Currently only six engines have ALS staff assigned, but a 2016 agreement with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority allows for the additional personnel.

Data and highlights from 2017:

  • More than 20,000 calls for service (9,000 associated with EMS)
  • Over 90,000 hours of training
  • More than 7,000 inspections and re-inspections were completed. This was a 60 percent increase as a result of increased staffing in the FWFD’s code enforcement division.
  • Over 600 smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors were installed in homes throughout Fort Wayne. The public outreach program will continue this year.
  • The FWFD’s energy savings plan continued with the purchase of two hybrid vehicles
  • The City of Fort Wayne’s ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating was enhanced to a 2 from the previous 3 rating

Plans for 2018:

  • The FWFD’s 90th recruit class will begin in March with 21 recruits
  • The FWFD will work toward having every fire engine in the City of Fort Wayne manned with advanced life-saving (ALS) personnel daily. Currently, six fire engines are ALS engines with either an advanced emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic. 
  • Six fire stations will be converted to LED lighting. This will save the FWFD nearly 7 percent in annual electricity costs.
  • The FWFD will purchase a special operations vehicle for the technical rescue team
Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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