Busiest year ever for fire, rescue crews

Third party billing brings in $450,000 over past 12 months

EastBayRI.com ·

2016 was the busiest year ever for the Warren Fire and Rescue Department, and the department’s chief believes the numbers have nowhere to go but up:

“People don’t realize how busy we are as a small department,” said Chief Al Galinelli. “We’re getting busier and busier every year; luckily we can handle it now.”

Over the past year, Warren’s rescue workers responded to 2,065 calls, up more than 10 percent from 2015. At the same time, the fire department went on 656 runs, also a double digit percentage increase. Though many of those calls were in-town, others were to help neighboring towns including Barrington, Bristol and Swansea, which have mutual aid agreements with the Town of Warren. In all, third party rescue billing payments brought in about $450,000, offsetting close to 75 percent of the department’s $578,000 budget.

Transportation is a continual issue for the department, which earlier this year had to use a patchwork system of borrowed and failing trucks. That changed in late May, when the department took delivery of a new $280,000 rescue truck. In the half year since it was delivered, the truck has been driving 24,000 miles, the chief said.

“I’ll be putting in for another this year,” Chief Galinelli said. “We can’t run this new one for three or five years at this rate.”

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