The Waco Fire Department saw a significant increase in the number of calls in 2017 compared to 2016.
According to the City of Waco annual report, there have been 5,203 more medical calls last year.
Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations Robby Bergerson said last year the department started responding to more types of medical calls than in the past. In addition, he said dispatchers are now using a new system that allows them to view information given to ambulance services in real time.
"The benefit for the end user, citizens get a more rapid response. Again we can respond anywhere in the city in a short time frame with a quick notification. Seconds count with an emergency," said Waco Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations, Robby Bergerson.
The 205 Waco firefighters have not only been busy providing medical assistance, but also responding to more fires. For example, in 2017 the number of structure fire calls increased by 39 from the previous year.
"There are nights when we go all night long running calls, that can definitely wear you down," said Waco firefighter Butch Fuessel.
Bergerson said the additional structure fire calls may be related to weather.
"In part that's due with an unseasonably cold winter and the increase in population, we see it with the tourist industry exploding," Bergerson said.
Bergerson and Fuessel plan to continue keeping the community safe, arriving at the scene within six minutes of a call being placed.
"That's our job to serve the community. It's great to be able to make those calls, that's what we're here for," said Fuessel
The call volume continues to be higher than normal in 2018. Crews have already responded to 116 structure fire calls this year.