MCDOUGALL TWP - If your house is burning in McDougall, you can expect the fire department to be on scene in about 10 minutes.
A report on the emergency services in the municipality of McDougall was presented to council last week.
The report provided an extensive breakdown of emergency services in 2012 and compared the numbers to those from 2011.
One notable change between the two years was an increase in the average dispatch time.
In 2011, vehicles were dispatched in an average of 59 seconds while in 2012 it took an average of 79 seconds.
Brian Leduc, fire chief of McDougall Township, explained the increase as being a result of personnel changes.
“There’s a fair number of new dispatchers being hired and trained in the organization and that is probably the reason for the increase in dispatch time. It’s not overwhelming at all. Seventy-nine seconds from 59 seconds, so its not a huge bump over all of 2012,” said Leduc.
In total, there were 193 emergency calls in 2012 - an increase from 171 in 2011. The busiest month for emergency calls is July with 29.
The next busiest month was December with 23.
There were slight increases in the average amount of time it took for the first truck to arrive on scene and the time it took for the first truck to get outside the building.
“Our average dispatch time for the municipal response increased slightly,” said Leduc. “Some of that can be just due to weather conditions at the time of different emergencies just depending on the time of day, things like that.”
Because the numbers we’re talking about are not huge, 193 emergency runs, sometimes small bumps can make big percentage changes.”
Individual incidents can go a long way to increasing a years average dispatch time when there are so few emergencies over the course of the year. For example, Leduc said one particular wild fire in a remote area over the summer represented a significant bump to their stats.
“We had to walk out to it from the nearest road and that one particular case we had to go to a central staging area, launch a boat across a lake, get out, then walk to the smoke where we thought the fire would be. It took more than an hour,” Leduc said.