(Beaver Dam) Emergency calls continue to increase in the City of Beaver Dam. The fire department received 2,901 calls in 2016, up 131 from the year prior. Chief Alan Mannel says calls have nearly tripled in the past 20 years. In 2016, there were 2,137 EMS calls, 357 fire/service related issues, 260 inter-facility transports, and 147 intercepts. Mannel says the increased amount of calls is in line with the national trend, which he believes is partially due to a large number of baby boomers turning 65 years old each year. He says older adults often utilize EMS more frequently than younger folks. Mannel says his department had to administer Narcan, which is the drug that counteracts the effects of an opiate overdose, 72 times in 2016, up from 51 the year prior and 20 in 2010. Looking ahead to 2017, Mannel says the department is working with the Watertown Fire Department and Dodge County officials to implement a ‘rescue task force,’ which would aim to reduce life loss in active shooter situations as EMS would no longer wait for law enforcement to clear a building before entering to aid people inside. Mannel says the task force idea came from the documented disconnect between officers and EMS personnel during the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. In recent years, Mannel says the city has purchased ballistic vests and helmets for its responders. Those are stored in each departmental vehicle and were used as precautionary measures five times in 2016. Mannel says the department plans to buy additional safety equipment in the coming years and hopes to expand the proposed task force to include other municipal fire departments in Dodge County.
2 weeks ago