MT. VERNON — The total number of calls increased, but the number of fire calls decreased in 2013 for the Mt. Vernon Fire Department.
The department responded to 25 structure fires this past year, including 18 residential fires. The department responded to 40 structure fires in 2012 and 31 in 2011.
There was one fatality in 2013, occurring on Feb. 26. Donna Romano was killed in a family dwelling in the 2000 block of College Street. The department had two fatalities in 2012.
“We’re happy to see those numbers go down,” said Assistant Chief Kevin Sargent, who added property losses were $300,000 less than a year ago. The total property damage from residential fires was $230,500, from structure fires $397,500 for a total of $442,560 for the year. The department had $733,000 in
property damage in 2012.
The department reported two injuries this past year, compared to four a year ago. Sargent said there were no fire department personnel “on scene” injuries. The department responded to 68 traffic accidents with injuries, compared to 67 a year ago.
“That makes us really happy there were no injuries on fire scenes,” he said. “All in all, we’re happy with fires being down in numbers, and our goal is to shoot for zero civilian injuries or deaths due to fires.”
Sargent said the construction on Interstate 57 did not have a significant impact on the number of calls resulting from accidents, although the department was involved in one fatality this past year when a motorcyclist was killed in the construction zone. The number of extrications (two) remained unchanged from a year ago.
MVFD responded to a total of 2,939 calls this past year, which included 2,241 rescue/emergency medical calls. There were 2,737 calls a year ago. The number of false alarms were higher at 159, compared to 143 a year ago. Sargent attributed that increase due to ongoing construction remodels, including Times Square Mall and Crossroads Community Hospital.