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Department Statistics

What are “Run Numbers”, you may ask?  Firefighters commonly refer to responses as “runs”.  Generally, one “run” is counted for each incident that the fire department responds to.  Runs include a wide variety of incidents such as structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, brush fires, hazardous material spills, water rescues, flooded basements, downed power lines, activated smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and other various service calls.  Since the Brewster Fire & Rescue Department provides emergency medical care and patient transport we also record runs for our EMS responses such as chest pains, bicycle accidents, trauma, difficulty breathing, and a wide variety of other medical conditions.  Run numbers are not counted for fire inspections, fire safety programs, or blood pressure checks.  In simple terms, a “run” is only counted when we provide a service to you or the community to protect lives or property or to prevent or reduce loss or hazards.

The following charts show the total number of fire and EMS runs combined for the calendar years indicated. They also include a detailed breakdown of the type of runs, the day of week, and the time of day during which the runs occurred.  The department has seen an increase in the number of runs which is due mostly to the growing number of year-round Brewster residents.  However, other factors such as our rising elderly population, the median age of our residents, and the increase in Cape Cods summer population contribute to these additional numbers.

The department currently averages approximately 8 calls per day but it is not unusual to respond to more than twice that amount during a twenty four hour period.  In addition, many of these runs occur simultaneously which can be a particularly challenging situation to manage.  For example, a motor vehicle accident with injuries occurs in west Brewster and they need a fire engine and ambulance at the scene while across town at the same time an individual is having chest pains and difficulty breathing and needs an immediate response of an ambulance. While the statistics included here would reflect this as simply two separate runs it is easy to see that this common scenario is exponentially more challenging than responding to several runs spread out over several hours.  This is because available manpower is divided up during simultaneous incidents based on the severity of the incident and the level of service required.  It is not unusual for the fire department to respond to two or three and sometimes four simultaneous incidents in Brewster. During these periods the level of medical and fire based services we provide can be severely compromised

While the peak tourist season is generally our busiest time of the year this is not to say that winter months are slow.  Recent trends indicate our responses have increased during what used to be considered our “slow” time of the year.  Although the winter population is nearly one third of what the peak summer population is, the number of fires in the winter many times exceeds those that occur during the summer months. It is apparent Brewster can no longer be recognized as a seasonal community.  Recent residential growth and the annual influx of summer visitors to the area have resulted in an active year round community that requires effective year round emergency medical and fire suppression services.  Nonetheless, the professional members of the Brewster Fire & Rescue Department stand ready to meet these unique year round challenges presented to us during the delivery of our services.


“Run” Totals


2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014

3148   2902   2906   2718   2707   2765   2904   2682   2819   2828