Emergency medical calls dominate fire department monthly report

Almost 60 percent of the calls that Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel responded to in March were emergency medical calls, according to the department’s monthly report.

The report from Capt. Harold Clark was presented during a meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Monday. It showed 372 total calls for the month, with 222 of them emergency medical calls.

By comparison, the department answered 404 calls in March 2012, 223 of those emergency medical calls.

In the report, Clark said there were 10 structure fires: two in Ward 1, five in Ward 2, one in Ward 3, and two in Ward 4.

Eleven vehicle fires were reported, and 19 brush/grass/rubbish fires.

During the meeting, Chief Shauwn Howell said requests for burn permits were up last month, and he expects that trend to continue as the weather warms up.

The department responded to 24 fire alarms in March, and for the first quarter of the year, there have been 76 alarm calls.

Of those, 12 were false alarms, including four last month.

On another subject, Howell said dirt work is progressing on the site of the new Fire Station 3 at 32nd Avenue and Beech Street. When it is completed, the station will replace the current station at 30th Avenue and Ash Street.

“Everything has continued to go smoothly,” Howell said. “There have been no major hiccups.”

The report also indicated that department personnel conducted 106 fire inspections in March, installed 28 smoke alarms, conducted two home surveys and issued 23 burn permits.