Midland and Odessa firefighters busy responding to firework related calls on Fourth of July
MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - In the midst of the celebrations, the Midland Fire Department and Odessa Fire Rescue were hard at work responding to fires started by fireworks.
Midland firefighters responded to 122 calls, 90% of the fires were due to fireworks.
Odessa firefighters responded to 66 Fire and EMS calls. Odessa Police responded to 376 calls, 213 of which were firework related calls.
“We had five structure fires in that time frame, 14 grass fires which is certainly higher than normal, the structure fire is certainly higher than normal and 40 total fires within that time frame which is higher than normal,” said MFD Assistant Chief Brian McGary.
Firefighters were out all night.
“The crews here at Central Station, I don’t think they got back to the station until about 3 o’clock this morning and thats pretty normal throughout the entire city from about six or seven o’clock last night till about two or three in the morning, we were extremely busy,” said McGary.
McGary says they do prepare their crews for the holiday.
“We make sure all of our guys are hydrated. We carry drinking water in all of the trucks but we also hire extra guys, and have extra firefighters on the brush fire rigs so that those trucks are staffed for 12 to 24 hours,” said McGary.
Midland County Fire Marshals responded to 31 fire calls from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. McGary says this year was more active than in years past. Their first priority is their safety and the citizens.
“Beyond that we try to contain the fire to whatever is burning and make sure it doesn’t go anywhere else. So a grass fire there’s not much destruction in terms of money loss with a grass fire but we want to make sure that those fires don’t extend to vehicles or houses or other structures,” said McGary.
MFD wants to remind people to be safe lighting fireworks to hopefully avoid any kind of tragedy.
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