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Bend firefighters have busy, varied days: A look back at department’s 2022 accomplishments and challenges

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend Fire)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend Fire & Rescue recently released numbers giving a look at how many and what type of calls they responded to in 2022. The department received 13,353 calls for service, up 6.6 percent from the previous year.

There were 1,200 calls in December alone. Hood offered some details of a very busy month.

"A little abnormal for us -- the first time in history to be running that many calls," Battalion Chief Andy Hood said Friday. "I don't specifically know what happened then. Our community is growing, so every month, it has the potential to certainly increase our call volume." 

Hood explained, "Firefighters work 48-hour schedules. They come to work for two days, then they have four days off. It just repeats itself throughout the year." 

"It varies every day," Hood said. "You can get an acute medical call, heart attacks, respiratory issues -- any kind of severe medical issue."

In total, about 83% of Bend Fire's calls are medical-related. 

"I believe about half -- 50 or 49% that is advanced life support, and then the remainder of that is BLS (basic life support) care," Hood said. 

 Basic life support issues often involve people who fall and need to be transported. 

While winter brings weather challenges, with snow and ice, Hood told us it's not the busiest season for crews. 

"I think summer is definitely busier. We get a higher influx of tourists," he said. "Summer really is a busier time of year for us and has a higher potential for wildfire risk in the summer as well."

With more than 13,000 calls a year, it can be a challenge for staffing. 

"Currently, there are at least 25 people on duty, and it's not uncommon to be right on the verge of being out of resources," Hood said.

Hood said the East and West stations are the busier ones. They each have an engine and a medic crew.

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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