San Diego’s Homeless Tied to Nearly 13% of All Fire Dispatch Calls

by on January 17, 2020 · 1 comment

in Homelessness, San Diego

by Mary Plummer / inewsource /  January 17, 2020

Fire incident calls tied to homelessness are on the rise in San Diego. Last year, they made up nearly 13% of all fire-related calls. “We’re addressing it as best we can,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber, who added that the growing homeless problem is “no secret.”

While the number of all fire calls has fluctuated over the past five years, fire calls that mentioned the homeless have steadily increased.

In 2018, they totaled about 10% of all fire calls. That was also the year Webber issued an August memo to fire personnel ordering that fire calls with a possible homeless connection be tracked with keywords and other details so the department could work more closely with police to prevent wildfires that threaten homes and other structures.

He said the memo was prompted by rising concerns about an increase in fires connected to homeless encampments and questions — internally and from the media — about how many fires were related to the growing homeless problem.

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Avatar Debbie Terry January 17, 2020 at 2:27 pm

What about Fire/Rescue calls that are medical responses? That is also tracked… what are the numbers?

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