KFD reports no fire-related deaths in 2020 | Local News


By MATTHEW LANE

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Fire Department saw a 9% decrease in calls for service last year, most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were fewer medical calls, fewer structure fires and vehicle fires, and no fire-related deaths.

When looking at the numbers, Kingsport Fire Chief Scott Boyd thinks the drop in calls — some 800 when compared to 2019 — was a result of people simply staying home during the pandemic.



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A Kingsport firefighter in the process of rescuing a stranded boater near Wilcox Drive.


“Folks were just not being out and the potential for accidents wasn’t there. People were home more and there’s not quite as much chance of catching diseases too,” Boyd said.

However, with so many people staying home, you would think the number of structure fires would have increased.

But that was not the case.

“You’d think folks being at home there would be more, but they may end up catching hazards before they become a larger fire,” Boyd said. “And there were no fire deaths (last year). We were absolutely lucky with that.”

Boyd recently issued his department’s annual report, which gives a breakdown of the types and number of incidents firefighters responded to last year and how those numbers changed since 2019. It also gives a brief history of the department, the highlights and major accomplishments of 2020, along with the KFD’s short-term and long-term goals.



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Firefighter Eric Wilson holds a kitten that was rescued from a drainpipe. In its annual report, the Kingsport Fire Department said it saw a 9% decrease in calls for service last year — most likely due to the pandemic.




2020 BY THE NUMBERS

• Firefighters responded to 7,639 incidents (compared to 8,413 in 2019).

• Number of structure fires: 72 (with a loss of just over $933,000).

• Number of vehicle fires: 34 (with a loss of $210,000).

• Number of medical calls: 5,596 (compared to 6,129 in 2019).

• Number of fire-related deaths: zero.

• Average response time: 7:28 (compared to 8:48 in 2019).

• Total fire loss: almost $1.2 million (compared to $2.9 million in 2019).



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The Kingsport Fire Department responded to 72 structure fires during 2020, including this one pictured in this file photo. The estimated loss of these structure fires was just over $933,000.


Kingsport is one of 32 communities across the state that enjoys an ISO rating of 2. Only five localities in Tennessee have an ISO rating of 1.

As of December 2020, the KFD had 122 personnel working in eight fire stations, serving a population of more than 53,000 residents living within 54 square miles. Kingsport’s ISO rating is 2 and 2Y.



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