Medina FD calls were down 10% in 2020, mainly due to Covid

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 February 2021 at 11:20 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: In this photo from April 9, 2020, Donato Rosario of the Medina Fire Department removes some of the metal roofing from a cottage in Yates, which was damaged in a chimney fire.

MEDINA – The Fire Department responded to fewer calls in 2020, mainly due to the impact of Covid-19, especially early in the pandemic in March, April and May.

Medina firefighters responded to 2,437 total calls in 2020, which was down by 10.3 percent from 2019. The restrictions early in the pandemic closed schools and many businesses, and many people avoided non-essential travel. People were also nervous to seek medical treatment out of fear of being exposed to the coronavirus.

Medina firefighters handled 87 calls last year involving people who contracted Covid, according to the annual report compiled by Fire Chief Matt Jackson.

He said 2020 brought many personnel and operational changes. Former Chief Tom Lupo retired and Jackson was appointed to lead the department on Jan. 13. There were three promotions in the department and other new firefighters were hired to fill vacancies.

The Medina FD also needed to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic with added cleaning and safeguards to protect staff and the public.

“Our department has willingly accepted the ever-changing demands that this pandemic sprang on us,” Jackson said in his annual report. “I continue to be impressed by the passion that the personnel of the Medina Fire Department bring to the job and their ability to adapt and overcome in this dynamic environment.”

Medina had six of its 22 full-time staff test positive for Covid in December.

The calls by month include: January, 248; February, 179; March, 161; April, 138; May, 178; June, 217; July, 312; August, 196; September, 217; October, 204; November, 208; and December, 179.

July was the busiest month with 312 calls, partly due to rain storm on July 27 when 7 inches of rain fell in one day and many basements needed to be pumped.

The department averaged 203 calls a month, but the first three months of the pandemic were well below that, with April the slowest month with 138 calls.

The fire chief’s report shows that 5 p.m. is the busiest hour of the day while 4 a.m. is the slowest. Mondays are also the busiest day of the week with Sundays the fewest calls.

The average response time was less than 2 minutes throughout the year, Jackson said.

He also reported that firefighters completed 2,638 total training hours, including 2,409 training hours for fire service and 229 hours for EMS training. Firefighters also taught CPR training to 75 students.

Some other highlights of the report include there were 2,140 emergency medical calls, 572 non-emergency medical transfers from Medina Memorial Hospital, and 297 fire calls, including three house fires in the village.

The calls were nearly split between day and night shifts: 1,268 (52%) for night shift and 1,169 (48%) for day shift.

Medina promoted leaders in the Fire Department. This trio is pictured on Jan. 13, 2020 inside the fire hall after taking their oaths of office. From left include Captain Michael Young, Fire Chief Matt Jackson and Lt. Jacob Crooks.