TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Fire and Rescue Crews have been quite busy. In a 48-hour time span, they responded to 334 incidents.
In the past 48 hours, the sounds of sirens has been frequent. In fact, in less than an hour, three calls came through at station five in downtown Toledo alone. They suited up and were off within seconds, but that's typical.
"You'll be backing into the station and the tones go off before you even get out of the rig,” Jill Hoffman, a Toledo firefighter, said. “It can be exhausting that time you're just trying to grab food whenever you can and take it with you."
Leaders with Toledo Fire Rescue Department said they have seen an uptick in the number of incidents this time of year like responding to seven working fires in two days. They said while these high numbers aren’t always the norm, they do see more calls in the summer especially around the Fourth of July.
"(You’re) always just like kind of playing through in your head," Hoffman said.
But run after run can get taxing not only on the firefighters, but the equipment too. TFRD said their equipment can be fatigued when used often and in the heat.
Additionally, with this many calls, their communication department must react to relocate rigs and crews for service where needed.
"It taxes our resources somewhat,” TFRD Public Information Officer, Sterling Rahe, said. “It's kind of a chess game when it comes to moving resources around to different areas of the city that maybe a little bit open."
TFRD ended up responding to 283 EMS calls and 51 fire calls. They also worked 7 fires and a train fire. Their total of 334 incidents weren't all emergencies, which can too drain their crews.
"We are really looking hard at the non-emergent 911 calls,” Rahe said. “There is a committee that's in place that we're looking at that trying to figure out how we can get the services that are needed for our citizens that are not necessarily 911 emergent calls. "
Some firefighters have picked up extra hours or worked at other stations to accommodate the call volume.
In August, a new TFRD fire class will graduate which will help their workload and reduce some of the overtime.
Call after call crews continue to step up to the plate despite it all. Firefighters like Jill Hoffman said that regardless of the pressures, temperatures outside and other circumstances they will be there whenever they are needed.
"We have to be able to filter that and then also just know every call is someone's family that you have to care about," Hoffman said.
TFRD officials said Toledo is a busy town to work in. The city is known to have some of the busiest fire stations and busiest rigs in the county. Still, firefighters said they love what they do and nothing will keep them from protecting the community.