Have you Heard About Casper Fire-EMS’s Safe Room?
At a Casper city council meeting on Sept. 6, someone came up to the council to say that she wished fire stations had cameras on the exterior and that more people knew about the safe room at the station.
Councilmember Kyle Gamroth said at the meeting that despite being informed about things going on in the community, he was unaware that such a room existed.
The safe room, an area at the entrance to Fire Station 3 which allows someone to lock the door behind them, was installed with the building in 2011.
While there isn't any hard data on how often it has been used, Dane Andersen, a firefighter with Casper-Fire EMS, and fire chief Jacob Black said that they aren't aware of the room being used in the past 11 years.
Andersen said he hopes the safe room hasn't been used because of the lack of domestic violence but thinks that the prevalence of cell phones has had an impact.
"I don't really have an answer as to why it would not be used in that capacity," Andersen said. "One can only hope it's because there's not a need for it...we also have to take into consideration the modern era of cell phones and with the prevalence of cell phones allowing people to call for help a little bit easier than possibly it was back in 2011."
While Andersen said they have no plans to install safe rooms at any other fire stations, they are looking to get a quote for the cost of installing security cameras at fire stations 2, 6, and 5, though the Casper city council for the fire department could ask for one to be installed.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 33.9% of women and 30.5% of men in Wyoming experience either intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
In 2019, there were 2,037 incidents of domestic violence reported to law enforcement, and over 55% of those resulted in an arrest, compared to 2,023 incidents reported in 2021, of which 90% had no injury or an "apparent minor injury" and 42% resulted in an arrest.
When it comes to homicide, incest, statutory rape, and intimidation, those types of domestic violence reported by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Uniform Crime Report, don't have an injury type reported, which accounts for 80 incidents.