New Providence fire chief talks fire safety after several calls

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Under new leadership for the first time since 2015, the Providence Fire Department has a new man at the helm to help the department handle the pile of calls they receives.  

“We did approximately 45,000 calls for service last year and nearly three quarters of them were for some form of a transport run to a hospital for everything from nose bleeds, to chest pain, to cardiac arrest, and difficulty breathing,” Derek Silva, Providence fire chief said. 

In 2022 medical emergencies made up three quarters of calls in Providence, and so far in 2023, the city is off to a hot start with fire calls, three just happening yesterday. 

“It happens with the change of seasons, alternative heating methods, maybe the maintenance on their heating units isn’t up-to-code,” Silva added.  

ABC 6 News also spoke with the fire chief of the Rehoboth Fire Department who said serving a town that’s more rural can be difficult because houses are buried, and clearly marking your home number is helpful. 

Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi added it is actually a requirement in the town of Rehoboth to number your homes, and it’s still important whether you’re in the woods or the city. 

“House numbers in providence definitely become a problem for us especially in those multi-unit buildings where there might be a number for the building but not the unit,” Silva said. 

But both Rehoboth and Providence Fire departments make it their priority to keep the community safe offering free services to families in need. 

Silva added, “We do have a business line for folks that are unsure about smoke detectors or in need of smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors we have a program that we can provide those at no cost.”

Categories: News, Rhode Island