Calls for the Berwick and District Volunteer Fire Department were down slightly from the previous year, reported fire chief Laurie Saunders at the May 27 meeting of Berwick town council.
In his year-end wrap-up to council, Saunders said firefighters responded to a total of 105 alarms in 2013/14, which represents 20 fewer calls than the year previous.
‚ÄúThe annual average is between 103 and 110, so we are holding the line steady on calls,‚ÄĚ he pointed out.
The call breakdown for the year includes 21 responses to fire alarm soundings; 21 motor vehicle crashes; 17 medical assists and 17 calls for mutual aid to neighbouring departments. There were eight calls for downed power lines or poles; six for wood or grass fires; three to structure fires and two to flooded basements. Single calls to a propane leak, rubbish fire, dryer fire and car fire were also received.
June 2013 was recorded as the busiest month for the department, with 15 alarms and a total of 45 hours spent working these alarms. The following month was the slowest, with firefighters receiving three alarm calls that took nine hours of response time.
Of the total calls for service, 33 were answered within Berwick‚Äôs town limits, with the remaining 72 coming from the outside fire district served by the department.
Saunders reported the department recently took possession of its new tanker truck. The $286,000 cost for the department‚Äôs newest piece of rolling stock, built locally by Lantz Truck Body Limited of Port Williams, was shared between the town, fire commission and fire department.
The new truck, which replaces a tanker that has been in service since 1988, has not been put into service yet, as members are still being trained on it and there is still ‚Äúsome tweaking‚ÄĚ to be done, added Saunders.