More than a dozen times on a typical day, the La Crosse fire department will get a rescue or emergency medical call.
According to the department’s annual report for 2018, nearly 5,000 such calls were received during the past calendar year — making up three-fourths of all the 6,000-plus incidents handled by city firemen.
There were only 140 actual fires reported to the department and all but 5 percent of the fires were contained to a single room.
Out of those rescue or emergency calls received, a majority were for ambulance calls that did not involve traffic accidents, but nearly 400 accidents were reported.
The fire report also lists a handful of searches, water and ice rescues, as well as the occasional rescue of somebody in a stalled elevator.
Fire staffers count 439 false alarms or prank calls during the year and 300 other calls that were cancelled but the caller was found to have good intentions.