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CFD Annual Report Shows Increase in Response Rate, Salary Bump

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Firefighters saw a pay bump in salary. Firefighters saw a pay bump in salary.
Chief Baxter. Chief Baxter.
Chief Baxter says that employee retention is important to CFD. Chief Baxter says that employee retention is important to CFD.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

According to its 2017 annual report, the Charlottesville Fire Department responded to 6,535 calls last year, which is up three percent from the prior year. 

The report provides the community with a glimpse into the fire department’s work over the past year. 

“We haven’t had a fire fatality in Charlottesville since 2009,” said Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter.

232 of those calls required the taming of flames.

“60 percent of our responses are for Emergency Medical Services incidents;  we also respond to hazardous materials calls, technical rescue incidents, and then a whole host of other types of hazards,” said Baxter.

CFD’s budget increased 8.7 percent from 2016 to 2017. Baxter says that the increase allowed for the addition of two new trucks as well as an increase in salaries for his employees.  

“In a career where experience really does count, it’s important that we not only are able to recruit people that are going to be good Charlottesville firefighters, but that we’re able to retain [them] through a 25, 30, 35-year career,” said Baxter.

The department installed 179 smoke alarms -- free of charge -- to home owners and plans to increase this effort throughout 2018.

Additionally, the department is emphasizing firefighter health and safety this year with an improved physical fitness program and a new peer support team.

CFD also hopes to continue to improve its response times to emergency calls in 2018.

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