Kraus presents annual fire report

During 2011, the Crystal Fire Department responded to 276 incidents, an increase of 14 from the previous year, according to Bill Kraus, fire chief, during a recent City Council meeting where he presented the organization's annual fire report. "Out of the 277 calls, we only had seven fires," Kraus said. "When people are in trouble, they call the guys in the big red trucks. We don't have a problem with those calls."In 2011, there were 114 general alarms, 60 public service calls, 40 investigations, 39 rescue calls and 23 training events. Of the general alarms, 48 were false alarms, 30 were water-related calls, 16 were carbon monoxide investigations and eight were odor investigations.The fire loss for 2011 includes three vehicle fires, with one being a total loss. Building and contents lost totaled $308,800 and vehicle loss was $5,000. With a total fire loss in 2011 of $313,800, this is a decrease from 2010, which saw fire losses totaling $347,811.Total building and contents savings for 2011 was $19 million. This resulted in 97 percent of buildings saved and 3 percent building loss. Content saved was 98 percent, with a content loss of only two percent.Kraus said some of the fires were in industrial buildings, which he attributed to the high cost."Our average response time is six minutes and four seconds from page activation to when the first unit arrives on-scene," Kraus said.CFD also responded to 21 mutual aid calls. Eleven of the calls were in assistance to other departments, with three in Johnsonburg and two each in Fox Township, Ridgway, Jay Township and Emporium. Twenty-one calls were in assisting local agencies, including one with the St. Marys Area Ambulance Service, six with the City of St. Marys Police Department and three with Elkland Search and Rescue.CFD received mutual aid four times in 2011.