South Burlington Fire Dept. sees more calls in 2021

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 8:10 AM EST
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Local first responders ask you to be COVID cautious as firefighters work overtime to answer hundreds more calls.

South Burlington Fire and Rescue Chief Terry Francis says they had 300 additional calls last year, or a 9% increase. Not all were for COVID symptoms, but there are extra things they have to do when someone is sick.

Francis says they had more than 400 calls for someone “under investigation,” a technical term for people who may have COVID.

That’s roughly an extra 400 hours they need to spend cleaning.

Francis says that’s part of the job, but he asks that people get vaccinated and wear a mask to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We don’t want to have a contaminated situation, we don’t want anyone coming into that, that’s our due diligence to make sure they are coming into a situation that’s sterile,” the chief said.

Francis says the challenge is while they are cleaning and sterilizing the ambulance, that’s time they can’t take it back out to respond to a new call.

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