It was a stressful and exhausting 72-hour period for the first responders at Marion County Fire District #1 (MCFD1) and Keizer Fire District (KFD) during what was one of the worst ice storms in state history last weekend.
Over a 72-hour period (Feb. 12-14) MCFD1 responded to 234 emergency calls, a 350% increase in their daily average call volume — 79 calls were for emergency medical services (EMS) and 155 calls were for downed trees or power lines.
Due to the number of high priority calls, limited on-duty staffing and a low number of volunteers, dozens of lower priority calls went unanswered — fortunately no personnel injuries were reported. “It was absolute craziness, almost controlled chaos. It was an overwhelming number of calls, one after the other. There was no break,” MCFD1 fire chief Kyle McMann said. “There were instances of wives bringing dinners to their husbands on scene because they hadn’t stopped working for 24 hours. But that’s what we are trained to do. You just have to keep going.”