EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville Fire Department is always on the move. EFD responded to 10,199 calls in 2019 and those calls are not always fire-related.
“Anything from water rescue, hazardous materials, confined space, collapse, extractions, just such a variety of different things,” said Division Chief Mike Larson.
Larson says they responded to 1,860 fire-related incidents last year. More than half of their total runs for the year were to assist with EMS.
Those runs tallied up to 5,175 and Larson says many of those were drug-related.
“Unfortunately with opioids and some of the addictions that are out there, it creates a lot of EMS runs for us in first response and it’s no secret across the country that, that’s a big deal," said Larson.
Due to the various nature of their runs, Evansville firefighters have to be ready to improvise at a moment’s notice.
In 2019, a firefighter cut the seat off of a swing set to help rescue a small child who fell in a deep well. Larson says he hopes by releasing their run numbers, the public will have a better understanding of what fire crews here can do to help.
“Not everything that we do every day is a trainable kind of thing that’s in a book," said Larson. “Sometimes you’ve got to kind of make it up on the fly and be creative in your mind of how can I make this situation better. You show up in the big red truck, they’re really looking at you hard to make things better and that is just ultimately our goal. To make things better.”