(5 October 2013 Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
(5 October 2013 Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Milton Fire & Rescue responded to a record number of emergency calls in 2013, yet the volunteer department may be facing the lowest number of returns for annual subscription dues in years.

Milton Fire Chief Jason Long said the department responded to 281 calls in 2013, nearly 50 more than in 2012.

Long couldn't cite a specific reason for the increase in calls this year.

"There's just been a lot of wrecks," Long said.

Milton Fire & Rescue responded to 46 vehicle accidents with or without injuries in 2013, data showed. Still, those numbers are down by 15 calls from 2012.

The department did assist the county's emergency medical services more this year than in previous years, Long said. Rescue volunteers responded to 80 medical assist or EMS assist calls throughout 2013.

Unauthorized burn calls also increased by nearly half in 2013. Crews responded to 14 calls last year compared to only eight reports of unauthorized burns in 2012.

Volunteer firefighters responded to 22 reports of fires, which made up about 8 percent of the departments calls. The majority of the calls - nearly 47 percent - were for rescue or emergency medical service calls

"We have a mixed bag of things," Long said of the annual calls.

Nearly 80 - or 27 percent - of the calls the department received were considered "good intent," but were calls cancelled en route to the scene.

The increase of calls hasn't affected the department's budget so far, Long said, but the amount of subscriptions might have an impact on the upcoming year.

Maintenance costs on the department's trucks have gone down over the last year, he said, although fuel costs for the increased runs have gone up. Right now, the budget seems to have balanced out.

The department had about half of the usual amount of annual subscription payments returned this year, which might impact the future.

The fire department is funded by subscriptions and does not tax property owners for operating costs. Milton Fire & Rescue also receives a donation from the city for department operations each year.

The annual subscription per deeded property starts at $40. Subscription dues provides 24-hour coverage in the Milton area for emergency fire response to residences and roadway accidents.

The fire department continues to accept subscription payments for 2014, even though the subscriptions were due Jan. 1.

Residents may chose to send subscriptions to the department by mail to Milton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, P.O. Box 256, Milton, Ky., 40045 or online at www.miltonfireandrescue.org.

More information about subscriptions, contact the department online or by phone at (502) 268-3016.