Dylan Frittelli wins 2019 John Deere Classic

Rock Island Fire Department responds to record number of calls

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - Leaders at the Rock Island Fire Department say 2018 was a record-setting year for crews.

It was the first time in history that firefighters and paramedics had to respond to more than 7,000 calls in one year.

In total -- crews responded to 7,088 calls, according to Fire Marshal Greg Marty.

The increase in call volume comes as population in Rock Island is declining.

Marty tells News 8 the overall response to actual structure fires has remained fairly steady.

He said most of the calls are for medic response.

The Fire Marshal said that as baby boomers continue to age, their need for emergency medical assistance increases.

He also said a growing number of low-income families means more residents in Rock Island are without primary care doctors.

"Sometimes a call to 911 and the ambulance becomes that primary healthcare." said Marty.

In Rock Island there are just two ALS ambulances. Still, leaders say about 86% of the calls they receive are for an ambulance.

On average, the department responds to about 20 calls per day.

Fire Marshal Marty said there are great mutual-aid agreements between different departments in the Quad Cities making sure all of the calls are covered.

Marty said that in the future, leaders will most likely look into "adding additional manpower or resources" to the Rock Island Fire Department.

Even with increased call volume though, Marty said 90% of calls are responded to in 4 minutes or less.

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