For the Swift Current Fire Department, 2022 was a hot year for calls.

Over the course of last year, the Fire Department noted a marked increase in calls across a few key areas.

Ryan Hunter, Fire Chief for the Swift Current Fire Department, said these increased numbers are the opposite of what he hopes to see in the annual report.

"I certainly don't want to have as many house fires as we had," said Hunter. "I don't want to see one, but that's just the nature of our business."

Most notably, compared to 2021's 677 calls for service, the Swift Current Fire Department responded to a total of 803 calls for service last year.

This sharp uptick is not unrelated to the jump that the Swift Current City RCMP saw. Both organizations' bump in overdose and drug-related calls contributed heavily to their year-end.

"It's a three-legged stool of police, fire, and ambulance," said Hunter. "All three of us are seeing increases in what affects all of us when we respond together."

Another bustling stat for 2022 was structure fires. Swift Current was host to a series of blazes that tore through both residential and commercial buildings.

Hunter hopes that by continuing to educate folks on how these fires start, and what they can do to prevent them, this year will prove better.

"I do want to direct our education more towards home fire safety," revealed Hunter. "That's where our structure fires are coming from."

The third major concern for the Swift Current Fire Department and its crews was vehicular crashes. No matter the reason for a crash, if the Fire Department is responding, it usually isn't good news for those involved.

Altogether, 2022 was a very active year for crews in the city. Not just in responding to the increase in these various calls, but also in their day-to-day operations.

One thing they are very proactive about over at the Fire Hall is maintaining the upkeep of their equipment. From the boots and harness they wear into fires, to the fire trucks that they famously bring to the scene, everything is kept to standard.

"The good takeaway for me is that we have been running a good program," said Hunter. "I had a really good road map to follow from previous Fire Chiefs who have made these programs."

Another positive note from 2022 was the continued efforts taken to work effectively alongside the RM 137 Rural Fire Department.

"We have a great working relationship," said Hunter. "Whenever they call and ask us for a hand, we provide whatever they're asking for, so I have absolutely no desire to tip that apple cart. It has been working great for us."

A mark of professionalism, attention to detail, and maybe even a bit of luck, was the fact that not a single member of the Fire Department suffered an injury during fire responses. Not even civilians involved in the calls were injured during the structure fire calls. That in and of itself is a big win, no matter the year.