By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - An annual report for 2013 was presented to the Williamson City Council during its meeting Thursday by Williamson Firefighter Michael Mounts, who is certified as a National Fire Incident Reporting System program coordinator.
NRIRS compiles data that is reported from paid fire departments and assists them in compiling that information, which then becomes a yearly report that breaks down the department’s activities list, as well as other areas of interest.
According to the information provided during the meeting, the National Fire Protection Association standard for response time to an emergency is four minutes and the average response time for the Williamson Fire Department is 3.14 minutes.
WFD personnel provided a total of 2,159.58 manhours during 2013 to the citizens of Williamson and to Mingo County. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are the three busiest days of the week for the fire department. More than one-half of all incidents the WFD responded to occurred between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
During the busy months of summer, when the accident rate seems to rise, the data states that the WFD responded to 241 incidents in the months of June, July and August.
In 2013, firefighters responded to 17 structure fires, five vehicle fires and 12 fires of other origin. The firefighters were dispatched to a total of 543 rescue calls, 26 hazardous condition calls, 137 service calls, 60 good intentions calls and 70 false reports, for a total of 871 calls. The total fire dollar loss in Williamson totaled $269,200. There were no fire-related deaths in 2013 but two were non-fire-related, as well as two injuries.
Chief Jerry Mounts pointed out the importance of having a paid department, explaining that with most fires and emergencies occurring during the day, the response time would be a much slower if residents had to depend on volunteers arriving from their homes or workplaces. Residents in the city limits would also see an increase in their fire and homeowner’s insurance policies should the department go from paid, full-time employees to a volunteer station.
“The services we provide are vital for the safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Williamson,” Mounts said. “We arrive on scene within a matter of minutes and already have lines laid and water on the fire before most volunteer departments are even on scene.”