DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Fire Department is breaking records this year with more calls than they have ever seen before.

Brad French with the Dayton Fire Department said he expects 2022 to hit well over 40,000 incidents, beating the former top year by more than 2,000.

“The second busiest year we ever had was back in 2017,” French said, “and that was really attributed a lot to the opioid epidemic that was going on at that time and a pretty significant rise in EMS call volume.”

But this year, there isn’t a distinct cause for the rise in incidents. According to French, calls have been rising for both Fire and EMS runs, and even the fires have come with a spectrum of causes.

In the month of September alone, the department responded to 798 fires and 2,693 medical calls. And September isn’t the only month to be hitting new heights. Six of the nine months so far have been the busiest of that month the department has ever seen.

But the department is well-equipped to handle these challenges.

“We’ve continued to operate as we traditionally do. We train all the time; we’re prepared to take care of the needs of the citizens of Dayton as efficiently as we possibly can,” French said. “That certainly leads to some busy days for our folks, but they always rise to the occasion and get all of those emergencies handled.”

And they aren’t alone. The Dayton Fire Department is often supported by both neighboring jurisdictions and DFD programs in the community. Some programs, such as the Community Paramedicine Program and Get Recovery Options Working (GROW), serve to help those with medical needs that may not require an emergency response.

Still, French says, there will always be a need for EMS and the fire department.

This year, the high volume of medical and fire calls has strained department workers and equipment. Many calls means many miles on the engines and equipment, as well as more logistics to be worked out. But French says the personnel always rise to the occasion.

“It’s sometimes difficult for crews to have a lot of downtime,” French said. “They’re moving from one incident to the next, to the next, in some cases, particularly on some of our busier units. But that’s why we’re here. We’re here to serve the citizens of the city of Dayton and we’re going to do that 24/7.”

October is Fire Prevention Month. To see tips on how to keep you and your family safe, check out the DFD facebook here.