New Year’s emergency calls down in Honolulu

HONOLULU (AP) — First responders in Honolulu say emergency calls in the days surrounding New Year’s Eve were down compared with last year.

The Honolulu Fire Department responded to 284 calls on Oahu during the celebration this week, compared with 322 calls last year, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday ( ).

About one-third of 66 fire calls were related to fireworks, fire officials said.

Capt. Terry Seelig, a Fire Department spokesman, said the fireworks-related fires were minor, mostly in dumpsters and small grassy areas.

Paramedics responded to two fireworks injuries compared with five last year, officials said.

A 5-year-old boy had minor burns to his hand and wrist because of fireworks. He was treated at a fire station. And a 25-year-old man suffered serious burns after playing with an aerial firework.

Paramedics also responded to 11 calls of people complaining of respiratory problems, down from 16 last year. Emergency Medical Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright said and overall decrease reflects well on the community.

“We did have fewer calls than last year, which was fantastic,” she said. “We’d like that to continue for the new year.”

Seelig said a Honolulu law that took effect in 2011 prohibits children from handling fireworks. The Fire Department is pushing for a ban on all fireworks.

Injuries from aerial fireworks are a nationwide problem, he said.

“The illegal firework injuries are really the area that we really need to focus on,” he said.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,

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