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Fire calls rise

Department praised for quality of service
Coun. Michael Shouldice asks fire chief Mark Wyatt about where the pressure points are in his department’s services. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

“Our call volume with both bylaw and fire is up significantly this year,” said Rankin Inlet Fire Department Chief Mark Wyatt.

He was providing a report to hamlet council about the work of the protective services division so far in 2022, at the municipality’s meeting Monday, June 27.

There had been 404 calls to fire and ambulance in Rankin Inlet as of June 23. In 2021 up to the same date, there were 324.

The breakdown for 2022 as of June 23 is as follows: 334 ambulance calls; six fire calls; 13 alarm calls; one Code Orange emergency landing; 27 human remains; four medical assists, one suicide; one suicide cleanup; and one possible aircraft fire, which was a false alarm; and more.

“Medevac calls represent probably 70 to 75 per cent of our medical calls,” said Wyatt, responding to a question from Coun. Michael Shouldice about the pressure points for the department.

Wyatt said that number was comparable to Iqaluit.

Nineteen members are active in the fire department along with Wyatt, 11 of whom are women. Two summer students are working rotating day and night shifts with bylaw.

On the bylaw side of the protective services division, there had been 304 calls to date as of June 23.

That included 112 reports of loose dogs, 86 of which were caught; 88 dogs vaccinated; 12 surrendered dogs; 46 dogs sent out; six dog bites reported and dealt with; nine injured or sick dogs; two dogs run over; four dead dogs picked up; and one mistreatment of a dog.

For the human bylaw interactions in that time period, there had been two intoxicated drivers; nine underage driver incidents; six no-helmet incidents; nine medical assists; two motor vehicle accidents; 13 traffic tickets written; and seven miscellaneous issues including domestic abuse and vehicle issues. Other calls include funerals, dog examinations, residential property infractions and more.

Coun. Daniel Kowmuk praised Wyatt’s department and said the good work has been noticeable.

“What I’ve noticed from the fire department over the years, I’m really happy,” said Kowmuk. “Your response time is really, really fast now.”