WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 08, 2014, 06:07 PM

Number of calls the Fargo Fire Department in 2013 increases compared to 2012

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's tradition for people to make resolutions heading into a new year.

By: Drew Trafton, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's tradition for people to make resolutions heading into a new year.

And after taking stock of the previous year, city departments do the same thing.

The Fargo Fire Department responded to 6,971 calls for service in 2013.

That's exactly 709 more service calls than they responded to in 2012.

Nearly half of those calls were for emergency medical service.

A number Chief Steve Dirksen says not only grew, but will likely keep growing in coming years.

Steve Dirksen/Fargo Fire Department Chief: “As the city continues to add more miles, more people, more things interact with each other, we anticipate a growth in the number of calls. And, as the community ages there tend to be more calls for service that way as well."

In the most dire of all categories, two lives were lost.

However, in other key areas such as fires and hazardous material cleanups, the Fargo Fire Department saw a significant drop, nearly 100 less than the previous year.

Chief Dirksen says he attributes the lower numbers to fire prevention...

Dirksen: "We had a couple of fires that happened in buildings, and the fire was held in check by sprinkler systems within the building."

And although his ultimate goal may be unattainable,

"Ultimately, we would like to never be called."

He's proud of his department whenever a siren sounds.

Looking ahead in 2014, the department will increase efforts and drills surrounding oil spills and train fires, in partnership with BNSF, in light of the derailment in Casselton.