By Ray King

Slight increases in house fires and vehicle accidents with injuries led to an increase in total calls for the Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department in June compared to the previous month.

In June, a total of 367 calls were reported, 20 more than in May.

According to the monthly report, which was released Tuesday, there were 14 house fires in June, that was two more than in May. Of the 14, five were reported in Ward 1, four more in Ward 2, and three each in Wards 3 and 4.

The report showed that firefighters responded to 24 vehicle accidents with injuries, seven more than in May.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half the calls firefighters responded to were emergency medical calls but since the pandemic, those calls have decreased slightly as they did in June when firefighters answered 168 medical calls or 45.78 percent of the total number of calls for the month. The total for May was also 168 calls.

Other numbers from the report were seven vehicle fires in June, two less than in May, 12 brush/grass/rubbish fires, two more than in May, 30 fire alarms responded to, three less than in May and 14 false alarms, seven less than in May.

There were also a total of 98 calls listed as other an increase of 21 from calls in May.