DES MOINES, IOWA — Tuesday, January 4, 2021 — If you called the Des Moines Fire Department in 2021, you weren’t the only one. The Department set a record responding to 30,838 calls for service during the calendar year during the first year the department cleared 30,000 calls.

This record call volume continued a steady upward trend in service calls that has seen the number of calls climb over 56% over the past decade.

“Our department is proud to serve the City of Des Moines,” Des Moines Fire Department Chief John TeKippe said. “Our residents know that whether they have a medical or fire-related emergency, they’re going to have some of the best trained and dedicated firefighters taking care of them.”

A large part of the increase in call volume has been due to the demand for emergency medical services which made up 66% of the calls in 2021.

“Long gone are the days where the Des Moines Fire Department’s purpose was simply to put out fires,” TeKippe said. “When you think about the fact that the majority of our calls now involve medical services, it opens your eyes to how skilled our firefighters really are.”

The Des Moines Fire Department met the increased demands by adding a new station, Fire Station 11 to serve the City’s northeast side, in November.

“It’s going to be important to continue to invest in our emergency services infrastructure over the next few decades,” TeKippe said. “We have plans for renovating and updating our existing fire stations to ensure that we can continue to handle the increasing demands for our services that have proven to be a vital part of public safety in Des Moines.”

Additionally, the 98th Class of the Des Moines Fire Academy with 29 recruits will start its training on Monday, January 10, 2022.

DMFD Fast Facts:

  • The 30,838 calls in 2021 was an increase of roughly 8.5% from 2020 (28,463 calls)
  • Nearly 20,000 of the calls were EMS related
  • Approximately 900 calls were fire-related incidents (Vehicle fires, structure fires, etc)
  • Of the calls in 2021, roughly 10,000 were other calls (Hazardous materials, public assistance, false alarms, smoke scares, etc.)
  • Des Moines Fire Station 1 was busiest with over 10,000 responses