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Fire & Rescue

La Crosse fire department handled over 6,000 incidents in 2018

Brad Williams

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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.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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