Local firefighters participate in a past live fire training at the Susanville Fire Department. Photo by Makenzie Davis

Fire chief shares department stats, incident numbers

Susanville Fire Chief James Moore shared an update on the department’s statistics between May 1 and Nov. 2 during the Wednesday, Dec. 2 Susanville City Council meeting.
“One item of note: For the majority of my career, our department ran about 680 calls a year,” he told the board. “Our call volumes with COVID, which I expected to plateau, have spiked. We are cranking out the calls, my folks are running six to eight calls a day, which is unheard of. Four used to be a big day. That’s an increase that’s really taxing our performance on the floor. But we’re handling calls and that’s what we’re there for.”

According to the report shared with the council, from May 1 through Nov. 2, “The fire department responded to 898 incidents, for a total of 811.14 labor hours. Of those 898 incidents, nine building fires, nine vegetation/brush/grass fires, six rubbish/trash/dumpster fires, three passenger vehicle fires, one chimney/flue fire, one explosion, 614 medical assists, 14 motor vehicle accidents with injuries, five motor vehicle accidents with no injuries, two vehicle extrications, 27 gas leaks (natural gas or propane) and four power lines down. The remaining incidents were public service assistance, service calls, assist police, good intent, smoke detector or alarm system activation, etc.”

He added medical assists are usually the largest amount of calls made.

Moore also shared the Susanville Fire Department staffing levels, which has eight paid staff (fire chief, assistant chief, one captain, one engineer (one engineer is on military leave), three firefighters and an administrative assistant). The volunteer organization currently has 25 volunteer members (one assistant chief, one captain, 23 volunteer firefighters), and three prospective volunteers.

Moore also shared about the local OES team, which he said COVID was making difficult, various grants, facility improvements — like the replacement of an engine bay garage door and roofing — and training hours.

For training, there were about 1,481 training hours, including wildland fire safety training, live fire training, fire behavior and extinguishment theory, ropes, knots and hitches, wildland preparedness skills and exercise, in addition to other areas.

Look through the update attached below to see the list of fire responses and out of area fire responses.

Susanville Fire Department update