In the first eight months of 2023, the Drumheller Fire Department has responded to 265 calls-this is, on average, just over one call per day.
Drumheller Fire Chief Derian Rosario says the department, which includes the Drumheller, East Coulee, and Rosedale halls, could see over 400 calls by the end of the year if the trend continues as it has.
“Our greatest increase is in monitored alarm calls and EMS assist (medical first responder) calls,” Chief Rosario tells the Mail.
The Mail reported in January 2023 the department had responded to a total of 309 calls in 2022; this was an increase from 2021 when the department responded to 193 calls, and it appears the trend of increased call volume is continuing.
Although members of the three halls have responded to a variety of calls, ranging from structure fires and motor vehicle collisions, many of the calls they attend are for alarms from monitored alarm companies. It is unclear what, if any, financial impact these types of calls have; the Mail reached out to Chief Rosario as to whether there is an associated cost to the municipality for department members to attend a false alarm or monitored alarm call, but had not received any figures as of press time.
A close second are EMS assist and other Medical First Responder calls, in which the department is called to provide care when an ambulance is either unavailable or not in the immediate vicinity, or when assistance is needed by EMS personnel on scene.
Chief Rosario notes, while firefighters are qualified to act in the capacity as Medical First Responders, they are not allowed to transport patients.