Palm Beach County Fire Rescue responded to 3,495 emergency calls in Royal Palm Beach from Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012, down slightly from the 3,695 call the agency responded to a year earlier during the same time period, according to Battalion Chief Michael Arena.
Speaking to the village council at last week’s meeting, Arena also reported that the response times to emergency calls remained about the same, increasing only five seconds to five minutes and 48 seconds from five minutes and 43 seconds.
Seventy-four percent of the calls, Arena said, were medical calls. Other calls included vehicle/boating accidents (10 percent); alarms (8 percent); assists/investigations (5 percent) and fires (3 percent). Total response time is determined by three factors — call handling time, turnout time and travel time.
Of the 2,590 medical calls handled, 2,126 resulted in the transport of patients to local hospitals, Arena said. Fire Rescue responded to 322 vehicle accidents, which Arena said was low.
“That’s about one per day, which is pretty good for the population and the amount of traffic going through here,” he said.
Arena said Tropical Storm Isaac, which dropped as much as 18 inches of rain in Palm Beach County, caught Fire Rescue, like most residents, by surprise.
“Seems like the more challenging incidents have been the ones where we let our guard down a little bit,” he said. “This was something we had never done before. We had floods in Jupiter in ‘97 or ‘98 but nowhere near the magnitude (of Isaac).”