In terms of calls handled, the city Fire Department fielded a higher call volume in 2022 than it did the previous year. The department saw an increase in call volume of about 11.6%, Fire Chief Joshua Graham reported Friday.
The total number of alarms this past year was 2,669. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) make up 1,940 of those calls and fire/carbon monoxide alarm activations were the second highest at 308.
The other types of calls contributing to the 2,669 total included: good intent calls, 126; service calls, 111; hazardous conditions, 80; fires, 59; motor vehicle accidents, 51; mutual given, 23; mutual received, 15; overpressure, rupture, explosion, overheating, 15; pedestrian struck, 14; special incident type 11; elevator rescue, four; and extrication (vehicle, machinery, building), ice/swift water rescue and severe weather, two each.
Graham, who officially started as fire chief Oct. 31, said that as 2022 drew to a close, the department evaluated the services and programs it provided throughout the year.
“The annual evaluation of calls for service metrics, training and citizen outreach is part of the department’s continuous quality improvement process,” Graham said.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people around the world, City Fire operations have been able to roll back COVID-19 protocols and operate in a Post Pandemic “normal status”.
“I am honored to lead the City of Batavia Fire Department. In my first few months of employment I have been working to bring the department to full staffing, analyzing the condition of the fleet, and meeting with command staff and fire fighters to listen to their ideas and concerns,” Graham said Friday. “The No. 1 priority of the department is life safety, followed closely by protecting property and the environment. The professionals that make up this department will continue to train and serve to the highest of standards.”
There were 158 car seat installations/inspections, 31 fire prevention programs, with 2,124 child and 104 adult points of contact. Programs included station tours, fire drills and school visits. There were 19 fire extinguisher training events and 691 points of contact. There were 29 smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm installations, 21 smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm battery replacements and two juvenile fire setter interventions.
Fire inspection/code enforcement data was broken down as follows: commercial building inspection, 334; special events inspections, 80; and multi-family dwelling inspections 38.
The department’s busiest month was December, with 234 calls. The busiest day of the week was Tuesday, with 375 calls. From 10-10:59 a.m., the busiest day of the week, the department got 160 calls.
On the other hand, the slowest month was January, with 150 calls. On Sunday, the slowest day, 280 calls came in. From 4-4:59 a.m., 38 calls were received, marking the slowest time of day.
When city fire personnel were dispatched to a scene, they arrived in 10 minutes or less 99% of the time; eight minutes or less 97% of the time; and six minutes or less 90% of the time. Firefighters received two or more calls for service simultaneously 519 times.
“I accepted this position after being impressed with my research on the department as well as the city and neither has let me down,” Graham said. “The individuals that make up the City of Batavia Fire Department continue to be some of the most professional and competent people I’ve had the pleasure of serving with. In addition to this group, I’d like to say thank you to the other city of Batavia departments, leadership, Genesee County partners, dispatchers, city of Batavia business owners, residents and local media outlets for all of their support and dedication.”