It’s been a busy few months for members of the Dryden Fire Service, who have been working to protect the community with nearly 60 emergency calls and over 1,200 hours of training, while still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief of the Dryden Fire Service, Rob Grimwood, virtually-presented the service’s second quarter report for 2020 to city councillors earlier this week, during a virtual Committee of the Whole meeting.

The report notes that the Dryden Fire Service has close to their target number of available firefighters, with 41 personnel between staff and volunteers. The DFS is just 2 firefighters short of their targets for volunteers and Hall #2 staff, and are 4 overall staff short of their goal.

Each one of those 41 firefighters have been putting extensive training hours in for the community, with an overall 1,294 hours committed by local firefighters. A number of new training programs have been held under Chief Rob Grimwood, and 16 firefighters also completed their NFPA 1001 Firefighter Level 1 Certifications.

“We took firefighters and put them through a firefighter survival and rescue course, which is the first time that training has been offered in Dryden. All of last year through 12 months, firefighters did 1,500 hours of training. This year through 6 months, they’ve done more than 2,100 hours,” noted Grimwood.

“The training has all kinds of benefits. It improves morale, it improves engagement. We’ve noticed our attendance numbers up. Our firefighters are safer and we’re performing better. We had a fire on Saturday and it was like clockwork. It was a demonstration of teamwork that you only get through training,” added the Chief.

Firefighters also spent their time in the pandemic wishing happy birthdays to youth in the community. Deputy Chief Kent Readman implemented a birthday drive-by program for children who could not host a normal birthday celebration. Over 110 visits were made between April and May.

The DFS’ second quarter 2020 report shows that the service responded to a total of 56 emergency calls in the area, which is the exact amount of calls the DFS responded to in 2020’s first quarter of the year.

56 calls is only a slight drop from 59 calls in the same time period in 2019. But overall, the DFS have responded to 17 less calls in 2020, when compared to the same 6-month time frame in 2019.

2020’s second quarter calls for service are broken down as:

- 14 fire alarm activations,
- 9 motor vehicle accidents,
- 9 open air burning complaints,
- 8 structure fires,
- 5 public assistance calls,
- 4 grass/brush fires,
- 2 carbon monoxide investigations,
- 1 emergency medical assistance call,
- 1 elevator rescue,
- 1 natural gas emergency,
- 1 arcing hydro wires,
- 1 garbage container fire.

In 2020, the DFS says they hope to replace Pumper 31, will implement a residential smoke and carbon monoxide alarm inspection program, hire a Fire Prevention Officer, and will continue to work on developing community partnerships to enhance the fire safety public education program.

For more information:
Firefighters contain Bedworth Road blaze
56 fire calls to start 2020