The South Milwaukee Fire Department has published its annual report. You can check out the full report here.
“Serving the community with commitment, concern and compassion.” I want to thank all of our firefighters and paramedics for their tireless work to deliver on that mission.
Here is Chief Knitter’s letter to the city council …
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On behalf of the dedicated members of the South Milwaukee Fire Department, it is with great pleasure that I present our 2018 Annual Report.
This report provides only a brief snapshot of the efforts put forth by the hard working members of your fire department who continue to provide the exceptional level of service they are known for with the limited resources on hand. The changing face of our community and the increasing demand for our services keeps us continuously challenging ourselves to find new and creative ways to serve the public. While we may not face the challenges of larger cities, most evening news broadcasts lead with stories that could easily call upon the services of our department and I am confident in saying that we are well-prepared to respond.
Of significance in 2018 is the celebration of our 125th Anniversary. Our department was formally organized in 1893 and is the oldest city department. To recognize this milestone, the department played host to a luncheon, tour, and short presentation on the history of the department for the South Milwaukee Historical Society. In addition, the department accepted a plaque from the Milwaukee County Historical Society recognizing this accomplishment.
Our overall call volume increased from 3188 calls for service in 2017 to 3481 calls for service in 2018, with the increase focused on Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responses, which account for nearly 87% of our call volume. We continue to see a shift in our demographics for EMS patients to an aging population with slightly over 56% of our patients being age 60 or above. This is in stark contrast to a statistic provided by a 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimate that lists our population of residents over age 65 as 16.2%. Obviously, the “senior” apartment complexes (age 55 & over) and the nursing home and supervised / assisted living centers and the health concerns of their residents create a challenging demand on our system.
In closing, the South Milwaukee Fire Department will continue to answer the call 24/7/365 and maintain its high level of service delivery as we respond to the needs of the community as an all-hazard, all-risk department. Our focus will remain on community involvement, risk reduction, fire prevention, public education, and delivering timely, professional, effective, and efficient service. The members of the South Milwaukee Fire Department and I would like to thank Mayor Erik Brooks, the members of the Common Council and Police and Fire Commission, and our citizens for all their hard work and continued support.