Getting Answers: Northampton Fire responding to record number of calls

The Northampton Fire Department is getting the word out that they responded to a record number of emergency calls last month and we’re digging deeper to find th
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 3:27 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2022 at 5:20 PM EDT
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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Northampton Fire Department is getting the word out that they responded to a record number of emergency calls last month and we’re digging deeper to find the cause for the uptick.

Northampton Fire-Rescue serves the city each and every day. However, lately, they’ve noticed a big increase in emergency calls.

“It’s kind of unprecedented to hit 800 calls in a month, especially for Northampton fire. We’ve never had that number before,” said Northampton Division Chief of EMS Matthew Lemberg.

Lemberg told Western Mass News the department had 805 calls in the month of October, the highest call volume ever in their history. This year to date, they’ve had 6,965 calls, which is up 400 from 2021.

“We will hit 8,000 by the end of the year,” Lemberg explained.

Lemberg was able to break down that number. He said of the 805 calls, 582 calls were medical calls and 52 were mutual aid. That’s where they’ve seen the biggest increase, in calls from other departments, looking for help in emergencies.

“…To neighboring communities that may not have as many ambulances that we have. Towns and cities across the region have seen an increase in call levels as well,” Lemberg added.

He also said the number of times they are responding to mental health calls has gone up dramatically.

“We’re seeing everything from cardiac arrests to mental health issues…With everything opening back up after the end of the COVID, pandemic and more people and more students moving into the area, I think we’re seeing more people utilize our services for their need,” Lemberg said.

We asked Lemberg if staffing has been an issue with this increase in calls. He told us no, it hasn’t been a problem and he wants the community to know that they will always be there in the time of need.