Chief Fire Officer, Josiah Dupuis, has reported a spike in bush fires in 2015 as compared to 2014.
At a press conference on Wednesday, he described 2015 as truly unique in terms of the bush fires, attributing it primarily to a “very short, but very intense” dry spell experienced by the island in May.
“In May, in particular, there was a sharp spike in bush fire calls in particular. In Roseau, at Headquarters, for example, we responded to a total of 97 bush fire—just Headquarters—within a thirty-day period… The same pattern was observed at some of our other stations,” he said. “So, that dramatic increase is mainly due…to the dry spell which we had in May.”
There was also an increase in fire calls to the department in 2015.
“In terms of fires, we saw in 2015, a total of 398 fire calls,” Dupuis noted. “In 2014, there was a total of 199 fire calls.”
He pointed out that there was a decrease in ambulance calls on the island in 2015 as compared to 2014.
Overall, a total of 7,042 fire and ambulance calls were received in 2015, in contrast to the recorded 8,635 in the year before.
Additionally, a total of 2, 294 persons were trained in 2015—a decrease from the 2,650 trained in 2014.
He revealed that a total of 70 plans from the Physical Planning Division were reviewed by the fire department for the period 2015, and 83 were reviewed in 2014.
Also, more safety inspections were performed in 2015, as compared to the previous year, Dupuis pointed out.
“We also conducted inspections—safety inspections—and for the period 2015, we did 293 inspections, compared to the last period (2014), 234.”
Dupuis went on to commend the hard work of his staff.
“The staff of the division, in my estimation, did a phenomenal job in 2015,” he said. “For the most part, our mission was executed with routine precision.”