The Fire Department here has responded to a total of 314 fires in 2010,127 more than it recorded in 2009.
Bush fires topped the number of fires recorded in 2010 – occurrences that fire officials say may have been the result of hot temperatures; 213 bush fires were recorded in 2010, while 103 took place in 2009.
Motor vehicle fires were the second most frequent fire events in 2010, with the fire department responding to 49 of them last year and 34 in the previous year.
Fires considered false and malicious were also recorded in 2010. That number increased slightly to five in 2010, from four in 2009.
“We also had about 31 structural fires… In total, we had a response to emergencies of the fire department of more than 7, 100 emergency calls. I think this goes a long way in indicating the sort of work that we are doing here at the fire department,” Chief Fire Officer Josiah Dupuis told a press conference Thursday.
Dupuis said the fire department went through “a lot” in 2010, and he admitted to deficiencies in the department’s ability to investigate fires.
“There are certain aspects of investigations that you cannot master it just from experience; you need training, current training in terms of new developments so that you could secure scenes or items that may be suspicious in nature,” Dupuis emphasized.
“I am hopeful that in due course …we can have a few fire officers get training in this particular area,” he added.
Meantime Philsbert Samuel, a leading fire officer, has been awarded Fire Officer of the Year 2010 for exemplary efforts, according to Dupuis.
“He is truly what I refer to as an all-rounder … I think if there is a young aspiring officer that others should certainly try to emulate I think leading fireman Philsbert Samuel is one very good example,” he noted.