Mendocino Fire volunteers responded to 353 calls last year — the highest volume of calls in the department’s history. The vast majority of the calls were rescue and medical calls, with hazardous conditions (such as power lines down or smell of gas) a distant second. There were 18 dispatches to structure fires and vegetation fires for the year.
Mendocino Fire Chief Ed O’Brien sees this trend continuing in the future. “We have an increasing population of elderly people who require medical care and assistance. We are first responders to 911 calls for emergency medical service and general assistance such as lifting patients that have fallen or have mobility concerns. There are also more people recreating in local parks and campgrounds, so we have seen an increase in dispatches for falls and bicycle accidents,” explains O’Brien.