BCCRS Responds to Nearly 8,000 Calls in 2019
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad Responds to Nearly 8,000 Calls in 2019
Most frequent calls include auto accidents, injured persons and cardiac emergencies
Bethesda, MD — The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad responded to 7,890 calls in 2019, making it one of the busiest fire/rescue/EMS stations in Montgomery County. On average, BCCRS responded to 22 calls per day—or nearly one call every hour of every day of the year.
Automobile accidents topped the list again in 2019, with BCCRS units responding to more than 1,344 such incidents last year. Sixty nine (69) of these incidents were dispatched with a report of a person trapped or otherwise seriously injured.
As with fire/rescue departments throughout the country, more than 80% of the Squad’s calls in 2019 were for some type of emergency medical situation. BCCRS firefighters and emergency personnel responded to 172 incidents involving a report of fire or smoke in a home, high-rise or other building.
The Top 10 dispatch types in 2019 were as follows:
- Injured Person (1,135)
- Automobile accident (1,090)
- Sick person (1,022)
- Trouble breathing (652)
- Decreased level of consciousness (585)
- Cardiac (e.g., chest pain/heart attack) (413)
- Automatic fire alarm (257)
- Automatic medical alarm (182)
- Stroke (180)
- Unconscious person (161)
In addition to these top 10 call types, BCCRS personnel responded to 75 dispatches for an overdose involving drugs or alcohol; 43 for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle; and 21 involving technical (rope) (7) or water rescues (14). Of the technical rescues, several required the use of advanced rope rescue techniques and equipment (including one at a construction site along Wisconsin Avenue).
On the fire side, BCCRS units responded to 158 calls involving some type of fire, including dispatches to reported house fires (80) and building fires (72). BCCRS’ heavy fire/rescue squads are staffed by trained firefighters.
“We are proud to play a key role in the County’s integrated fire/rescue system that provides the highest quality emergency services in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and surrounding communities,” said BCCRS Chief Edward G. (“Ned”) Sherburne. “Our more than 100+ active volunteer paramedics, firefighters, and EMTs, along with our daytime personnel, continue to serve with compassion and dedication.”
During 2019, BCCRS finished construction of new live-in quarters for volunteer personnel and instituted a stipend program for certain live-in personnel – one of the most expansive such programs in the country. Qualified volunteers who ride at least 48 hours/week are eligible to receive a stipend of up to $1,000 per calendar quarter; those committing to 36 hours/week are eligible for $750/quarter. “Our new stipend program is designed to attract and retain highly qualified and committed volunteers,” said BCCRS President Kenneth Holden. “The cost of living in Bethesda is high for our volunteers, and the stipend program is designed to offset some of that expense so volunteers can live at the station and staff key positions.”
Also in 2019, the Rescue Squad completed construction of a new state-of-the-art ambulance, which will be placed in service in early 2020 and purchased new thermal imaging cameras, which can “see through smoke” and help firefighters locate fires and other hot spots and identify victims in need of rescue. The Squad is planning similar upgrades to its life-saving equipment in 2020.
* * * * *
Founded in 1937, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad provides state of the art emergency medical, fire, and rescue services to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, surrounding Maryland communities, and Northwest Washington, D.C BCCRS is managed entirely and staffed primarily by more than 100 active volunteer paramedics, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. BCCRS is fully integrated into the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) department. To speak to one of our volunteers, take a station tour, or get more information about volunteering at BCCRS, visit our new-and-improved website at www.bccrs.org.