The number one reason firefighters are called into service in the city of Dauphin is a largely preventable problem.
Dauphin fire chief Cam Abrey says cooking fires are the number one cause of alarms within the city.
He says the majority of those are unattended cooking.
"The phone rings and somebody gets distracted or somebody comes to the door and somebody gets distracted, they're watching a show on television and they put something on the stovetop or in the oven and time slips away so fast. So we really do have the reminder that's out there that we've used for a number of years during Fire Prevention Week, which is 'Watch what you heat.'"
Abrey says the number of calls for cooking fires this year is right on par with previous years.
He says if you just looked at the wages of firefighters, each one-hour call costs a couple hundred dollars. And he says there's another way to look at it:
"You could look at, the alarms go off, and all these people leave their jobs, their full-time employment, to come to the fire hall and jump on the trucks and respond to a call. Now it's not only a cost to the municipalities that we serve, but there's also a cost that goes out to the business owners that employ a lot of our firefighters. And what happens to that business when these people leave their full-time jobs to help their friends, neighbours, and family as a firefighter?"
Today is International Firefighters Day.
Abrey is thanking the businesses that employ local firefighters.