The Salem Fire Protection District handled 226 fire and rescue alarms in 2019.
Salem Fire Chief Dave Duncan says estimated losses to fire amounted to $291,850. Most of the loss, $262,000, came in structure fires. The majority of the fire loss balance involved motor vehicles and farm machinery which totaled $29,850.
Duncan reports there were 17 building fire calls. Salem provided mutual or automatic aid 25 times and received aid from other districts four times. The number of vehicle extrication’s continued a five year upward trend, with four additional incidents in the past year over 2018.
Duncan says the firefighters are mandated to participate in scheduled weekly training as well as frequent weekend training exercises. 4,958 training hours were logged in 2019 or an average of 134 hours per man with many firefighters significantly exceeding that number.
Duncan reported the fire department had a substantial number of fire prevention programs and tours during 2019. A children’s fire prevention education program is presented annually to the third-grade classes of all schools within the district. Adult education programs available to businesses and service clubs include fire prevention, home fire safety and fire extinguisher training. That training is available to all residents of the fire district at no cost.
In addition, the Salem Fire Protection District initiated a smoke detector replacement program through the resources of the American Red Cross. In this program, a residential property owner is eligible to receive up to two new smoke detectors for their home installed by a firefighter who will survey the
home to find the best locations.
Anyone with questions about the district can contact District Fire Marshall Bill Fulton of Chief Duncan at 548-1800.