The Southern Pines Fire Department responded to 1,884 calls last year which is an average of five calls a day, according to the department’s annual report. The 1,884 dispatched calls were slightly down from 1,974 in 2016.
The average time it took firefighters to get to those calls within the town’s limit was 4 minutes and 55 seconds. It took firefighters an average of 7 minutes and 9 seconds to respond to calls that were in the district but outside of the town.
The department had 414 overlapping call which consists of 22% of the total call volume, the report said. An overlapping call is when the firefighters are on a call while another call comes in. In such cases, the overlapping call is handled by Southern Pines Fire Department’s volunteers, another fire department, or a Southern Pines off-duty call back.
Over half of 2017 calls were for motor vehicle accidents, chemical hazards, and medical emergencies.
When the firefighters weren’t on calls, they were busy with training. They received over 9,900 hours of hands-on and classroom training last year. In addition, the firefighters had countless hours of computer-based and off-duty instruction.
In the report, Chief Michael Cameron said, “As the town continues to grow, the need for our services increases.”
The town purchased land on the corner of Highway 22 and Waynor for a second fire station that will serve the northern end of the town limits. The second station will serve Caropines, Forest Creek, Sandhills Community College, The O’Neal School, Tyler’s Ridge, Blue Farm, Pine Grove, and the newly approved Ravenswood Development.
The second station will reduce response times and help lower insurance premiums to many of the residents in this area. The construction is scheduled to take place in May.
Feature photo: Southern Pines firefighters conducting a training burn in downtown on Pennsylvania Avenue.