BURTON, S.C. (WSAV) – The Burton Fire District (BFD) released 2021’s emergency response data Tuesday as part of the BFD’s Community Risk Reduction program.

Officials hope the data will help the BFD better prepare for future fires and emergencies in 2022.

According to the BFD, they responded to 3,178 emergency responses in 2021. That was a 12% increase from the previous year.

Officials say the largest increases were in the the most dangerous and deadly types of emergencies.

Fires increased in 2021 by 50%, including a fatality and four serious injuries.

House fire Joe Frazier 112721. Two adults, a Marine and his fiancé, seriously injured.

In 2021, vehicle accidents with injuries increased by 35%. That year there were 11 vehicle accidents with trapped occupants, an increase of four from 2020.

Incidents where pedestrians were struck by vehicles also increased in 2021. That year there were 13 incidents, including three fatalities.

BFD encountered a 22% increase in COVID related calls. Burton EMTs and Paramedics treated 150 overdoses in 2021.

Officials say those numbers have motivated the BFD to place more focus on their emergency medical program. The BFD plans to increase the number of firefighters qualified as Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians, and upgrade their fire apparatus to advanced medical engines. 

The BFD is partnering with the Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department in a grant program called COAP, which they plan to add in 2022 to proactively help address opioid overdoses.

In partnership with the Beaufort County School District, local businesses and civic groups, firefighters will continue to train and educate the community not only on how to prevent fires and injury, but how to respond as well.

Burton firefighters will continue programs that train citizens on how to use fire extinguishers, perform CPR and First Aid, and how to stop critical bleeding; as well as their seatbelt and distracted driving program for driver’s education students.

Officials say the fire district will continue to provide and install free smoke alarms to Burton citizens who are in need of one.

The BFD will also continue efforts to expand the JACOB Kit program, where bleeding control kits are installed throughout the community, along with citizen training on how to use them.