The week of Dec. 28 to Jan. 3 was a little quieter than most for the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Snowy weather caused several slide-offs and car crashes, but there were no major fires during the week.
Though the week might have been uneventful, the SVFD had a busy year in 2020, responding to 18,789 calls for service during the year. That works out to an average of just over 51 calls per day.
In a typical year, calls for emergency medical services account for at least 80% of the total calls received and 2020 was no different. The department responded to 15,021 EMS calls, which is 80% of the calls received.
The department also responded to 1,317 reports of fires, including everything from home to brush to vehicle fires, and 1,073 car crashes. Other calls included cats in trees, small children and dogs accidentally locked inside vehicles, unusual odors, false alarms and the occasional dumpster fire.
Other calls, Dec. 28 to Jan. 3
Dec. 28: An apartment resident accidentally set off a smoke detector while cooking in an apartment complex in the 13300 block of East Mission Avenue at 6:58 p.m. A possible illegal fire was reported in the 12500 block of East Broadway Avenue at 9:31 p.m. Crews found several wooden crates burning in a makeshift fire ring. The person found at the fire was informed it was illegal and agreed to put it out.
Dec. 29: An apartment resident in the 3000 block of South Pines Road reported at 3:54 a.m. she had been smelling a sulfur smell for several days. Nothing was found. She was advised to contact the apartment manager. An illegal camp fire was reported under the Trent overpass near Woodruff Road at 12:37 p.m. When crews arrived, they found someone pouring beer on the fire to put it out. A vehicle versus pedestrian accident was reported in the 9100 block of East Trent Avenue at 5:57 p.m. with the vehicle leaving the scene.
Dec. 30: A car was reported to be facing the wrong way in the freeway median near the Evergreen exit at 1:49 a.m. No driver was present when crews arrived and the car was towed. Numerous other slide-offs and accidents were reported, including one in the 8200 block of East Liberty Avenue at 12:16 p.m. A Chevy truck slid off the road sideways, shearing off a utility pole and damaging a vinyl fence before hitting a parked car. A carbon monoxide alarm brought crews to a home in the 11300 block of East Alki at 2:13 p.m. Equipment showed CO levels of 25 ppm inside the home. The landlord said there had been a gas leak two months before, but the faulty furnace that caused the leak had been replaced. Crews responded to cut a driver out of a vehicle involved in a serious accident on I-90 near Evergreen Road at 2:47 p.m. The driver had minor injuries even though the car was heavily damaged.
Dec. 31: A vehicle accident on I-90 near Pines Road at 9:21 p.m. resulted in firefighters cutting through the roof of the car to free the driver. The driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Jan. 1: A caller reported a downed power line arcing and sparking over a house in the 1600 block of North Flora Road at 12:36 p.m. Avista responded to the scene to make repairs.
Jan. 2: An employee at a restaurant in the 12200 block of East Mission Avenue called at 8:57 a.m. to report being locked out with food on the stove. The employee was able to get back inside before a fire broke out.
By the numbers: Crews responded to 372 calls the week of Dec. 28 to Jan. 3, including 305 calls for emergency medical services. Other responses included 17 car crashes, numerous false alarms and Christmas lights that started a bush on fire after an overloaded extension cord shorted out.
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