It’s a record the Guthrie Fire Department is not proud of, but the department responded to more calls in 2017 then any other year.
In total, the department, which runs fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls for the entire Guthrie school district, were dispatched to 3,002 calls.
“We are doing more with less manpower and it’s putting a strain on our personnel and the overtime budget,” Fire Chief Eric Harlow said.
Majority of the calls were medical calls that did not involve vehicle accidents with 2,433, or a total of 81 percent of the calls.
While serving their district, Guthrie Fire-EMS goes outside their boundary lines (such as Langston and Coyle) to cover medical calls despite not receiving a three mil ad valorem tax for EMS service.
“We are hopeful that further discussions with the Logan County Commissioners and other town governments within Logan County will lead to further funding for EMS,” Harlow said.
The next highest amount of calls were motor vehicle accident with injuries with 73, but that does not include vehicle accident with no injuries (58) and vehicle/pedestrian accident (10).
Approximately 149 calls (4.9 percent of total calls) were dispatched regarding fire, including 19 building fires and 74 grass fires.
Along with firefighter promotions and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician certifications (achieved by Dane Lausen, Drew Hymer and Daniel Morton) within the department, one of the highlights of the year was the approval and future addition of a $934,225 ladder truck, which is funded by the Capital Improvement Projects sales tax.
“We are encouraged by recent sales tax receipts to the city and are optimistic that the trend continues,” Harlow said.
Just a few days into 2018 has been busy for GFD with multiple structure fires and medical calls. The department is hopeful the numbers will decline, but will continue to be on standby for when they are needed.
City Manager Leroy Alsup shared his sentiments for the department by saying, “We really appreciate our Guthrie Fire-EMS personnel.”