Oyster River Fire Department was kept busy through February, averaging about one call per day for the month.
The department responded to 12 medical calls, four duty officer calls, three motor vehicle incidents, two structure fires, two gas leaks, two hydro line issues, one chimney fire, one carbon monoxide alarm and one call for mutual aid to another department. The 28 responses bring the total for the year so far to 56.
“That’s a big month,” said chief Bruce Green. “We usually get between 250 and 300 calls a year, so I think last year we were at 19 or 20 calls. A call a day is unheard of. One weekend I think we had 12 calls.”
“I think with COVID and people being home, people are busier and stuff happens right? Stress and that brings on medical calls, and we had quite a few of those,” he added.
Despite being a rough year for the fire crews, Green said the team has been resilient in the face of the pandemic and have been adapting well to all of the changing protocols coming from the province.
“It’s been tough on the crew, but they’re being resilient and adapting to all the changes. That’s the thing for us, as health orders change, we have to change to adapt to them. They have to do all the health checks before they come to calls,” he said. “It’s been a strain, but crews have been dedicated and are still making it happen.”
Even though the crew is busy, Green does not want people to think they’re too busy to come help.
“Don’t be afraid to call even though we’re busy. I don’t want people to think that we’re too busy to come. No we definitely want to come,” he said. “Just stay safe, that’s the biggest thing.”