Delivering City services and programs Calgarians need and value every day using your property tax dollars
This is a part of our new feature series about City employees, giving citizens an inside look at what their job entails and showing the people at work behind The City.
In any given year, the Calgary Fire Department races to the scene fighting about 2,000 fires.
CFD Fire Investigator Travis Thiessen says keeping people safe before and after destructive fires is integral to the work the fire department does. The City provides 24/7 police, fire and emergency response.
“Our job as investigators is origin and cause… after the fire is out, we come in and figure out where the fire started, how it started and how we can prevent it from happening again,” he said. “What we find out can influence building code changes and make homes safer for people.”
In 2021, Calgary Fire Department members responded to the highest volume of emergency calls in history, attending 70,645 incidents, of which 36,583 were critical medical interventions.
At the scene of an emergency, firefighters are seeing citizens at their most vulnerable: scared, worried and oftentimes barefoot. “We’re always dealing with people after the fire, that can be hugely emotional for them,” said Thiessen. “It can be the worst day of their lives and I think the customer service we can provide for those citizens, we help answer questions about what’s next, there’s a lot of balls in the air at a fire scene and we try to make it as smooth as possible and comfortable for people.”
The service delivered through the fire investigator’s expertise is highly valued because the findings can spark improvements to ensure citizens have access to safer housing, buildings and commercial properties.
“In a word, it’s safety: everything we come up with based on our origin and cause examination is for future planning and making safe buildings and safe communities. We are contributing to a safer community.”
The City of Calgary delivers City services and programs Calgarians need and value every day using your property tax dollars.
Visit calgary.ca/ourfinances to see where your tax dollars go to support City services like fire and emergency response.