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Fire statistics are misleading: Mann

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Alnwick/Haldimand Township Fire Chief Al Mann compares the huge differences in fire statistics between last year and this year.
VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today

Alnwick/Haldimand Township Fire Chief Al Mann compares the huge differences in fire statistics between last year and this year. VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today

ALNWICK/HALDIMAND - 

There were twice as many fires in Alnwick/Haldimand Township to the end of October of this year compared to all of 2015, according to statistics.

There were also significantly fewer heart attacks this year – but those two sets of numbers are misleading according to Fire Chief Al Mann.

While there were 25 fires until Oct. 31 compared to only 13 for all of 2015, this is because the way they were recorded, he said in an interview Tuesday.

Sometimes a call comes in as a structure fire when it is reported initially, but then it turns out to be more of a medical nature and that initial recording is not changed, Mann said.

So when you look at the 25 fires this year to the 13 last year, and compare it to the increased number of heart attacks recorded last year to this (34 compared to 15), it is apparent that the medical reason for the calls are being recorded correctly now – once all of the information is known.

Chief Mann also noted that increased firefighter training means better identification of chest pains and the use of defibrillators is enabling them to make better diagnoses and so the recording is more accurate.

That is also borne out in the category on the statistical report identifying “other medical/resuscitator calls” which records 30 of these to the end of this October, compared to zero for all of last year.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/NT_vmacdonald



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