North Dakota News

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hoping to curb false alarms, Fargo fire chief cites ’Homeless Jesus’ calls as a prime example

The city's head firefighter invoked a downtown statue known as "Homeless Jesus" in an appeal to reduce the number of emergency calls that turn out to be false alarms. In his 2017 Fargo Fire Department annual report to city commissioners, Fire Chief Steve Dirksen said dispatchers still get 911 calls from people who think the statue is a real person curled up on a bench who may need help. Those calls are more frequent during cold winter months. "One time, we went two or three times in one day," Dirksen said Monday, referring to crews that were sent to the scene. The bronze statue rests near the main entrance to First Lutheran Church at 619 Broadway N. It's been in place since June 2016. The Rev. Laurie Neill of First Lutheran said placement of the statue outside the church was deliberate, so that parishioners and others would ask themselves whether "Homeless Jesus" would be welcome in a beautiful brick sanctuary.
West Fargo Pioneer

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Grand Forks Fire Department responds to south-end apartment fire

VIDEO: The Grand Forks Fire Department, Police Department and Altru ambulance were dispatched to 4340 Pioneer Drive around 5:17 p.m. Monday to respond to reports of smoke coming from a first-floor apartment. Upon arriving, first responders reported that the building had been partially evacuated and smoke was visible. Inside the apartment, firefighters traced the fire to the stove and deployed a fire extinguisher. No one was home at the time and there were no injuries, but two dogs were evacuated from the apartment. Water and smoke damage were found in the unit and surrounding apartments. The fire is currently under investigation.
Grand Forks Herald

Fargo firefighters see record breaking calls to service

VIDEO: Fargo firefighters broke the record for calls to service in 2017. They responded to more than 10,700 calls last year, which was up from about 10,400 in 2016. Data shows many of those calls are coming from the Downtown and West Acres neighborhoods. Despite the high numbers they're say they only had 81 building fires last year. They say at least 1,000 of those calls turned out to be false alarms. Commissioner Tony Gehrig told the Chief worries the neighborhood by Davies might be too far away from fire stations.

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