The Fire Chief for Hanover says calls for service were way up last year. In 2016, there were 226 calls in Hanover and in 2017 that number jumped to 266.
Paul Wiebe says these numbers come from four stations. There were 71 calls for the Grunthal department, 70 calls for Kleefeld, 37 for New Bothwell and then 88 times Steinbach fire department responded to a call in Hanover.
Last year, there were 90 calls for collisions and vehicle fires, 60 alarm calls, 35 grass and brush fires and then 20 structure fires. Wiebe says of the 60 alarm calls, probably half of them were false alarms. But he says they can not decipher from the 911 dispatch whether the call from the alarm company is legitimate.
Wiebe says there were a couple of house fires during the year and some grass fires that kept them busy in fall, but two fires stood out. In June, thousands of hogs died in a fire near New Bothwell and then in November there was a deadly fire near Pansy that killed approximately 7,500 hogs.
According to Wiebe, the largest spike in calls last year came from the area serviced by Steinbach. Wiebe notes the Steinbach Fire Department covers Mitchell and Blumenort, which are two of the largest communities in Hanover. In Mitchell and Blumenort alone there were about 80 calls. That load will shift to Hanover departments once the new fire hall opens in Blumenort some time in 2019.
Meanwhile, Wiebe says there was not one fatal crash last year in Hanover and no injuries to any of their firefighters.