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Escalon Fire Season Sees New July Record

On the whole, 2018 wasn’t the busiest year for the Escalon Fire Department but they did have one particularly hectic month.

July saw a record 132 calls for the month, said Chief Rick Mello.

“It wasn’t the busiest year but it was still certainly busy,” the chief added of the overall calendar year. “July was really hard, we did run a record number of calls for that month.”

In July, the department responded to 87 medical aid calls, eight motor vehicle accidents, 16 fires and 21 miscellaneous calls.

The lowest month for incidents was February, which saw 74 calls for the department. Of that total, 49 were medical, six were motor vehicle accidents, five fires and 14 miscellaneous calls.

“Our percentage of medical aids was 62.5 percent,” Mello noted in the incident breakdown.

Busiest month for fires was July, with 16, while that was also the busiest month for medical aid calls, with 87. The busiest month for motor vehicle accident responses was October, which saw the department respond to 13 accidents.

Total incidents for the year numbered 1,107. That compared to the record number of calls – 1, 124 – responded to by the department in 2017.

Monthly totals for the department included: January, 89; February, 74; March, 76; April, 83; May, 100; June, 93; July, 132; August, 100; September, 84; October, 92; November, 98; and December, 86.

The department responded to a total of 692 medical aid calls during the year, 94 motor vehicle accidents, 94 fires and 227 miscellaneous calls.

“I am hoping that the rainy weather will last well into fire season, keep that calmness for us,” Mello said.

On the flip side, he admitted, the rain now could also lead to a tremendous amount of growth that will see an increase in dry grass and brush around the region this summer.

The department is currently waiting for word on a grant they submitted, a $33,000 grant proposal for personal protection equipment.

“We submitted it in October and sometimes it can take up to a year to hear,” Mello said.

They also are welcoming a new administrative assistant to the department, as Katy House has just taken over the position vacated by Catherine Johns due to her retirement.

And Mello said as far as the staffing, it remains at status quo, with Battalion Chief Chris Jonson and firefighter Moe Silva on the A shift, Battalion Chief Terry Pinheiro and firefighter Cassidy Bohannon on B shift; and Battalion Chief Joe Pelot working the C shift with firefighter Ryan Burr.