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In 2017 the Altona Fire Department responded to 70 calls, compared to 59 the year prior.

Altona Fire Chief Greg Zimmerman said activity has stayed relatively the same.

In 2017, thirty-one call were to the RM of Rhineland, and thirty-seven calls were within Altona's town limits. There were 2 mutual aid calls, which are requests to help in other community. A total of 95.5 hours were spent on scene.

In 2016, the Altona Fire Department responded to nineteen calls in the RM, and 38 within the town. Again, there were 2 mutual aid requests to an outside RM or community. The department spent about 79 hours on scene that year.

Zimmerman also likes to keep track of carbon monoxide calls, which are increasing as houses become better insulated.

"Last year I had several carbon monoxide calls and we like to try and figure out why," he said. "A lot of reasons are when the weather changes and you have air inversions, and with a lot of the new houses being more sealed up, you get a lot more carbon monoxide inside."

He also noted some new residents to Canada had let their vehicles warm up inside their attached garage, which added to their number of carbon monoxide related calls.

"They were trying to avoid the cold... but the carbon monoxide drifts into the house," he explained.

Zimmerman also explained the reason of higher rescue and safety calls in 2016. He said that year the department dealt with wind storms which affected power lines.

As for new purchases, the department now has a new 3,500 gallon portable water tank, a couple of new rapid intervention kits, a circular saw and new fire hose.

"The major purchase of the year was the fire chief's truck... which was the old police truck," Zimmerman added.

The breakdown of the 2017 and 2016 fire calls are categorized below:

2017
2 Mutual Aid
2 Medical Assist
5 CO detector
6 Fire Alarm Calls
8 Rescue & Safety
14 False Alarms
16 MVAs (motor vehicle accidents)
17 Fire Calls, 7 of which were buildings

2016
2 Mutual Aid
4 Medical Assist
12 Fire Alarm Calls
12 Rescue & Safety
5 False Alarms
13 MVAs
9 Fire Calls (building, grass or field)
2 others

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