Beloit Fire Department firefighters and medical staff are working harder than ever, with call volumes increasing annually from 2015 to 2017. The increases are in line with the national trend of more responses for fire and medical staff across the country, and Beloit's totals represent changes in how society views the role of first responders, Beloit Fire Chief Brad Liggett said. "There's a public expectation that we fulfill a broader role in solving problems in everyday life," Liggett said. The chief said Beloit and departments across the country had seen a rise in patients using the emergency room as a primary care physician, something that stresses department, city and taxpayer resources. Liggett also pointed to the aging population, but stressed there were multiple factors for increased call logs, most notably the accessibility to adequate, preventative health care.