The year 2021 is gone and we welcome 2022. As we start a new year, we have the opportunity to reflect back on the happenings of the previous year. We look at the past and we learn from it. We collect information from the previous year and we determine if we met our strategic goals and objectives. We also use this information to plan for the future.
The year 2021 was a strange and bizarre year much like 2020. Most of that was due to COVID-19. The department continued to provide the usual emergency services as in the past but there were many changes due to COVID-19. We learned a great deal in 2020 such as how to respond and what was needed from the department.
In 2021, we saw an increase in cases and deaths in Union County. January, August, and September were particularly bad months for increased cases and deaths. This placed a strain on the emergency services and the healthcare system. We saw the introduction of the vaccine in January. We were involved in helping to organize and administer the vaccine to the population in several mass vaccination clinics. COVID-19 is still a major factor in our operations every day.
In January, ISO (Insurance Services Office) conducted a survey of Union County to determine the Public Protection Class (PPC™), essentially the community’s fire protection. The PPC™ is one tool that insurers use to calculate fire insurance premiums. The PPC™ ranges from class 10 (worst) to class 1 (best). Union County Fire Department, E911 Dispatch and the various water companies of the City and County were proud to announce that Union County’s PPC™ class has remained a 4/4Y thus keeping insurance rates low.
There were many other achievements during the year; too many to list in this column but here are some highlights. We were able to continue some of our community programs including our Smoke Alarm program which provides free smoke alarms to Union County residents. The department took delivery of a new fire engine for station 1 which is the first custom cab designed for UCFD. There were other purchases and donations of equipment that better enable us to service the community.
The department responded to the usual incidents as well as other not-so-common in 2021. We responded to a tragic home explosion that resulted in two deaths. Several unusual calls were the “fire alarms” this summer which ended up being Cicadas. The department also responded to several major accidents including a semi-truck overturned on Richard Russel Hwy and a plane crash near the lake.
The year 2021 brought its own challenges and opportunities. We reflect back on this year and look forward to servicing our community in 2022. Union County Fire Department ~Our Family Protecting Your Family~