Busy year for OFD: Department reports over 2,600 emergency calls in 2021

Published 9:55 am Friday, February 18, 2022

Oxford Fire Chief Joey Gardner presented the Oxford Fire Department’s annual report for 2021, noting a significant increase in emergency calls from 2020 to 2021.

The OFD logged in a total of 2,624 calls during 2021, an increase by 863— or 49%— from 2020’s 1,761 logged calls.

One area saw calls almost doubling in number from the year before and making up almost half of the total calls.

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“The main increase was in medical calls,” said Gardner. “We had 1,022 medical calls [in 2021] to where in 2020, we had 606. That was the main difference there.” It was specified in the OFD report the medical calls excluded vehicle accidents with no injuries.

Gardner also broke down the numbers even further to analyze when the fire department was the busiest during the year. 

OFD received the most calls during October with 262 calls logged and the least amount during January with 144 calls. 

“I would’ve never dreamed after all the calls we had in February with the ice last year that we’d be busier in October,” the fire chief said.

The most calls received during the week fell on Thursday with a reported 395 and the least amount on Monday with 360 calls. Data also shows the majority of calls were placed from 12 to 4 PM. Out of 2,594 calls, 571 were placed during this period of time. The city fire department receives the least amount of calls from 4 to 8 AM with 213 logged calls.

According to Gardner, the fire department’s force is bouncing back and was able to conduct 1,728 total building inspections in 2021 to make sure local structures are up to code.

Gardner concluded his report by mentioning the department’s efforts to educate children on fire safety and emergency response.

“In 2020, with everything happening with COVID and us not being able to get into schools, we [reached] 1,015 children with fire prevention,” he said. “In 2021, that went up to 4,601. That was a big increase for us.”

To see the full version of the Oxford Fire Department’s annual report, visit The Oxford Eagle website at www.oxfordeagle.com.