• City of St. Augustine growing number of calls to fire department

    By: Beth Rousseau , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    The city of St. Augustine is growing and so are the number of calls for service to their fire department.

    Signs of growth are everywhere in St. Augustine.

    Chuck Lambeth has lived in the city for 17 years.

    He described, “St. Augustine is in all the magazines now all the travel magazines, the top 10 lists, and it’s just a lot of people want to move here.”

    St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles said Wednesday, those are the same reasons their calls for service are steadily increasing.

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    He told Action News Jax, “The trend over the past 10 years is an increase of approximately 30% while the population has remained relatively unchanged at just under 10%.”

    According to the department’s annual report they received 4,200 calls in 2018, up from 32,000 in 2010.

    Aviles said, “We’re busier per capita based on population and land area, but we’re able to maintain a very high level of service with the staffing we have now.”

    County agencies are also noticing the growth.

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    Monday, the St.Johns County Sheriff’s Office posted a tweet saying they responded to 3,600 calls the previous week with traffic incident being higher than normal.

    Neighbors said they hope the departments are planning ahead.

    “If you don’t figure that into the plan then what have you got? You’ve got a ton of people and nobody to watch over them,” explained Lambeth.

    Aviles said they assess the department’s staffing needs every year. 
     


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