From time to time, we point out that declining populations throughout our area seem to suggest that ever-increasing government budgets could be trimmed.
Apparently that is not a factor where the Wheeling Fire Department is concerned. Though the city’s population is far less than once was the case, the fire department set a new record for the number of calls answered last year — 6,885.
Actual calls to fight fires have declined. But calls for medical emergencies are up. Fire Chief Larry Helms attributes much of that to our city’s aging population and the drug abuse epidemic.
Fire department personnel answered an average of more than 12 medical calls a day last year. We join Helms in praising the dedication and professionalism of those on his staff. And, no doubt like them, we hope for a day when the department’s business is not so brisk.