In 2021, Natrona Fire District Fielded Lowest Number of Dispatches in 5 Years
According to the Natrona County Fire Protection District, in 2021 they had the lowest number of runs in the past five years, totaling 1749, compared to 1802 in 2020, 2094 in 2019, and 2082 in 2018.
The biggest decrease compared to previous years was from medical incidents, which went from 1379 in 2016, up to 1448 in 2018, and down to 1058 in 2021.
The fire district was also dispatched to 20 "off district" calls in 2021, which include wildland fires, COVID-19 support, and severity roles that required firefighters to be dispatched to other counties or states.
Leighton Burgen, a firefighter for the fire district, said the COVID-19 support involved sending five firefighters to New York and Tennessee to help administer vaccines in those states in January and February.
Severity roles meanwhile included sending firefighters from the Natrona County Fire District to help with two fires, one near Rapid City South Dakota, and another near Laramie, to assist crews there that needed extra manpower.
From 2020 to 2021 there was an increase in vehicle accidents from 227 to 267, which Burgen said may have been caused by more people getting outside after staying in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burgen said they are glad to have gotten fewer calls this year and don't think there will be any changes in how they handle calls going forward.
"We just want citizens to know we're here, we're still taking calls all the time, and we'll continue to do that into 2022," Burgen said. "I don't foresee any changes, but's completely out of my hands. You never know what the future holds...We don't necessarily like going on a ton of calls, it means more people are either in danger or having emergency situations so I guess we'll take it as a positive, especially with COVID and everything else going on. We'll take the lower call numbers as a blessing in disguise."