EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Easthampton Fire Department received more fire calls last year than any of the last five years. In total, the department received 2,855 calls in 2016; 101 more than the year before. Not all were for fire emergencies, however.
There were 55 calls for fires, but for every fire call, there were more than 41 calls for rescue and emergency medical services, which became the biggest reason people were calling. This also includes drug overdoses.
212 calls were for false alarms, while 114 were to report something wrong. Dan Ogrydziak of Easthampton told 22News that the drug crisis may have to do with why the call volume for medical help has been so large.
“The response of trying to restrict prescription opioids has produced a counter-response of people choosing to use heroin, which is cheaper, more available, and you don’t need a prescription,” Ogrydziak said.
Fire Chief David Mottor was not available to speak on-camera Thursday about these specific calls, but 22News plans to follow-up with him on Thursday about how the department has been handling the increased call volume.