Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District had its busiest year on record in 2012 with personnel responding to 743 emergencies.

Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District had its busiest year on record in 2012 with personnel responding to 743 emergencies.

The next highest year was 2011 which saw 711 emergency responses total.

From 601 responses in 2005, the SBFPD jumped up to a then-record 703 in 2006. The number of responses then steadily declined to 602 in 2008 and hovered around that mark until an increase of 93 responses from 2010 to 2011.

Month-to-month totals were also of significance in 2012, Sunrise Beach Fire Chief Dennis Reilly said.

Outside of a dip to 35 in October, which Reilly called an "outlier," the district had at least 50 calls every month. While the peak of 86 in July was still in the summer tourist season, there seems to be a higher base level of incidents, according to Reilly.

With 743 incident responses in 2012, the average number of calls per month is about 62 and an average of more than 2 calls per day.

"Our activity level is growing and the district is working very hard to make sure that we can meet the expectations and demands of our citizens," Reilly said. "I am very confident in our abilities to deliver quality services that are based on the actual needs of the district."

The SBFPD is a 58-square-mile district with a combination of career and volunteer personnel.

The district currently has nine firefighters on staff divided into three platoons. In addition to the firefighters and chief, the department employs an assistant chief, fire marshal, dock inspector and administrative assistant.

In spring 2013, the district has plans to staff a relief position. The new staff member will not be assigned to a particular platoon or shift, but will be utilized to fill a slot in one of the platoons if one of the other personnel is off. If nobody is off, the firefighter will work during the week a regular 10 hour day.

Five fire stations are placed strategically around the district with the paid duty crew housed at Station 2 on Route TT and administrative headquarters on Hwy. 5. Operations are mainly supported by property tax and building code permit fees.

Total 2012 Incidents

58 January

50 February

57 March

61 April

63 May

66 June

86 July

74 August

66 September

35 October

67 November

60 December