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Farmington fire calls up in 2012

If your house catches fire, there's a good chance you'll have firefighters there within 10 minutes - more like six minutes, on the average - to help put it out. That's just one of the figures released by the Farmington Fire Department during its annual banquet Jan. 11.

As assistant fire chief, Troy Corrigan tracks the activity for the Farmington Fire Department, and rescue assistant chief Todd Kindseth logs activity for his squad. Both officers report that Wednesdays are the days when the fire and rescue trucks are most often called out. September is the month when they got the most calls in 2012.

Wednesday afternoons seem to be the time when more people need help from the Farmington fire/rescue squads. Whereas the fire department is most often called out between the hours of noon and 8 p.m., the rescue squad logged most of its calls during the hours of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fire calls

During the period from Dec. 16, 2011 to Dec. 15, 2012, the Farmington Fire Department responded to a total of 254 calls, which is up from the 227 of the previous year. While the number of calls was up, the calls within Farmington city limits was down 6 percent from last year, Corrigan said. There were 191 fire calls within the city limits, while the number of calls to the surrounding townships increased. Empire Township had 31 calls and Castle Rock and Eureka each accounted for 15 calls. Additionally, the Farmington Fire Department responded on one mutual aid call to Rosemount, and one mutual aid call to Hampton.

The average response time to a fire call was six minutes, according to Corrigan. That is the time from the initial page to the arrival of the first unit on the scene. A total of 142 calls were put out to the full fire department for response, the rest were broken between fire station 1 and station 2 and officer calls.

Overall, the fire department logged 7,172 personnel hours in 2012. Of those, 4,926 were responding to incidents, the remaining 2,246 were training hours.

"All of your hard work is showing," Corrigan said. "We had a really good year. We had a few major incidents this year and your effort is showing."

In 2012, firefighters responded to 24 structure fires, which accounts for fires both inside a building and fire to the exterior of a structure. They also responded to 19 calls on gas leaks, five power line calls, five combustible spills and 11 electrical problems.

Rescue squad

Two new members were added to the rescue squad in 2012, bringing the number of members to 22. The additional members were added at station 2.

The rescue squad provides support to the primary provider at emergency medical incidents, provides basic life support until a primary provider arrives on the scene and provides extrication and water or ice rescue, Kindseth said. Last year, the rescue squad responded to 290 calls, which is an increase of 16 over 2011.

Of those, 113 calls were general medical assistance. Another 26 calls were for motor vehicle accidents with injury, 31 were for respiratory issues and 22 were for treating someone who was unconscious.


Farmington fire chief Tim Pietsch recognized the retirements of Dan Meyer, who retired after 21 years of service, and Kevin Kuehn, who retired after 20 years of service.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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