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Vernon Fire Department Sets Record For Busiest Year.

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

If you were asked which year was the busiest for the Vernon fire department you might answer 2021, the year British Columbia suffered one of the hottest fire seasons on record.

With the 2021 fire seasons "perfect storm" of "Heat Domes" and very dry weather or other factors, like wildfires burning to the North and the East of the city, or the devastating White Rock fire just across Okanagan lake, dumping ash on Vernonites through smoke-filled skies, it makes perfect sense.

If you said 2021 you would be wrong.

2022 was the busiest year on record for the Vernon fire department

Last year Vernon Fire Department attended an additional 569 calls, almost 14% busier than the previous year, 2021.

Total Calls for 2022 - 4373

Total Calls for 2021 - 3804

(stats courtesy IAFF Local 1517)

It's not just about fighting fires

As first responders the Vernon Fire Department's list of duties is long, including all time-critical calls:

- calls involving burns, hazmat, or a motor vehicle accident. - any mid-level acuity call (serious but not as time-critical) where BCEHS is likely to take more than 10 minutes to arrive at a scene. - any call with a clinical or operational need for first responder expertise, such as an environmental or safety risk, or in the case where a paramedic crew request first responder backup. (BCEHS info)

If there's a shortage of ambulances in Vernon, it's the fire department that provides basic life-saving aid like CPR or naloxone.

Vernon is growing. According to the 2021 census, from 2016 to 2021 Vernon's population grew from 48,425 to 51,896. That's 3,471 more people, almost a 7% increase.

The population is also a bit older than in other areas of Canada. The average age in Vernon is 45.4. Maybe needing emergency help a bit more often?

Who are you gonna call?


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