EATON — Eaton Fire Chief Brian Smith provided council an update on the division’s 2021 activities during Eaton City Council’s Monday, Jan. 17, regular meeting.
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, it was a pretty low-key year for us. Not a whole lot going on.”
Overall, across a four-year span, call numbers were down, according to Smith, who said the calls were up from 2020 but down from 2018 and 2019. Typically, the division is busier in the daytime hours than nighttime, he said.
“We still we still took 530 calls between 10 p.m. and six in the morning across the course of the year,” Smith sad. “So, by no means were we slow overnight. It’s just a lot slower than the daytime hours.”
Smith said there were 48 total fires for the year. “Eighty-two percent of our calls are wrapped up in rescue and EMS, which isn’t any different than any other fire and EMS agency in America really,” he said. “But for a community of 8,000 people, 48 fires in a year is pretty significant.”
Smith also reported on community activities, and maintenance projects the division completed at Fire Station #2 during the year.
Eaton Fire and EMS is currently hiring. Smith noted the difficulty all fire and EMS divisions are having in finding candidates for open positions.
In other business:
• Council adopted a resolution authorizing a Job Creation Tax Credit for Bullen Ultrasonics. According to City Manager Brad Collins, Bullen is considering additional investment in the community, and as a result, could bring on additional full-time employees. “This is of course contingent upon their decision to move forward,” Collins said. “This authorization would just allow the city to move forward with them in a timely manner, if they so choose.”
• Collins reported Whispering Christmas had another great year, with over 20,400 vehicles coming through Fort St. Clair for the drive-through Christmas lights display. “We say around two and a half or so people per vehicle — that’s over 50,000 visitors again this year,” he said.
• Collins reported two new businesses had opened downtown, including Lisaann’s Boutique Photography and The Speckled Deer Mercantile.