Ship Bottom Fire Company Calls Dropped Slightly in 2016
The Ship Bottom Fire Department answered 309 calls in 2016, a small drop from the 321 recorded in 2015.
“I attribute the slight drop in calls to better public awareness concerning alarm maintenance and improved smoke/CO2 detector technology,” said Fire Chief Doug White.
Late last year, he noted the Ship Bottom Borough Council adopted an ordinance setting fines for false alarms. There will be no penalties for the first two false alarms. But a third false alarm will result in a $200 inspection fee, and a fourth will cost $300. The maximum fee is $900 for a 10th false alarm. The ordinance also calls for an additional fee of $100 paid to the fire department “for the cost of responding with equipment and trained firefighters to each false alarm after the third alarm to the same business or residence within the calendar year.”
White said many of the false alarms involve seasonal businesses. “They close up for the winter and then the alarm goes off,” he said. “We try to contact the owners and find out they’re in Florida.” The fire chief said the ordinance would serve as a good incentive to have alarms serviced and fixed if necessary. “This will help us all with our main goal, to save property and lives.”
White said the fire company has approximately 25 active members and a junior training program for 16- to 18-year-olds. Anyone interested in joining the company can stop by the firehouse for an application or go online to Shipbottomfireco.com, he added. —E.E.