Iowa City firefighters see increased service calls for 2019

Published: Jan. 5, 2020 at 6:34 PM CST
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2019 was another busy year for firefighters in Iowa City.

Unofficial numbers show they saw a 7% increase in service calls from 2018, and a more than 80 percent increase compared to a decade ago.

Fire Chief John Grier says this year they saw 7,522 calls for service - most were medical-related, followed false alarms, EMS, and rescue calls. Calls for responding to fires stayed steady.

He says with the growing population in Iowa City, he expects those annual call numbers will only grow and says keeping up with these increases is not only a challenge their department staff faces, but it's a trend in departments across the country.

"It certainly does push us to the limits of what our staff have to do, so we’re looking at ways we can improve service. For example, false alarm calls, if we can figure out how to reduce false alarm calls, that helps us go on less incidents," said Grier.

Another thing they are continuing to look at is emergency medical dispatching as a solution.

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