FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Complaints about the repeated scream of bottle rockets flying through your neighborhood this Fourth of July aren’t going to rise to the top of the list, but public safety departments promise someone will look at it.
Arlington is joining Fort Worth this weekend, encouraging residents to use a special hotline, and online reporting site for fireworks issues, rather than 911.READ MORE: Texas Officer Dies After Crash With 18-Wheeler While Responding To Emergency
Both cities are trying to reduce call volume from the emergency line, to leave it open for fires, accidents and urgent medical situations.
The approach follows a record number of fireworks complaint calls in 2020, and an admission this spring by officials in Fort Worth that they are having no impact in curbing fireworks use, which is illegal in the city.
In Fort Worth, retired firefighters will answer calls to a hotline, putting the information into a database where a dispatcher will flag priority calls.
In Arlington, certified emergency volunteers will similarly fill out a form, then is reviewed by a dispatcher.READ MORE: Padel Players Try Out For US National Team In Dallas
“We’ve got people watching those to see where those emergencies truly are, and what calls we can prioritize as a priority two or priority three type call,” said Mike Drivdahl with Fort Worth Fire.
Arlington has also been placing digital message boards in parts of the city, reminding people of the city ordinance in an effort to get more compliance with the law.
Drivdahl acknowledged the city does not have enough resources to respond to all of the complaint calls received, something officials said in March, draws additional complaints from residents.
However he said they still try, and that on some calls it may not be apparent that they respond if they get there after all the activity has stopped.
Richard Fegan said firefighters in Arlington approach it the same way.MORE NEWS: Over 250 Guns Surrendered To DeSoto Police During Saturday Event
“You may not make it to all of em, but you may,” he said. “So we’ll have police and fire units out throughout the city patrolling but also being dispatched to direct locations.”