False alarms trouble county fire chief

Richard Froese

For the Lakeside Leader

False alarms are rising at an alarming rate in the western part of Big Lakes County.

Council heard about it from fire chief Trevor Cisaroski at its April 24 meeting, as part of his 2022 year-end report. He said alarms are up in the county, probably because more places are installing them.

In other 2022 fire department news, the service responded to more structure fires in 2022 than in 2021. This had a positive impact on revenues, Cisaroski said.

One major fire was at the Tolko mill west of High Prairie on May 20, which involved a lot of firefighters and equipment for several hours.

Firefighters responded to fewer calls to motor vehicle collisions last year.

“Maybe people are driving safer,” Cisaroski speculated, “and that’s a good thing.”

Requests for assistance on medical calls increased in 2022, council heard.

Overall, calls were up in 2022. Firefighters logged 1,040 hours for responses in the county in 2022 and 363 in High Prairie. Cisaroski said the average in the county over the past five years has been around 1,000 hours.

The average response time on calls in the county was 19 minutes; in town it was six-and-a-half minutes.

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