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Ring, ring: Mesa Fire fields nearly 63K emergency calls in 2015

PHOENIX — The Mesa Fire Department fielded nearly 63,000 emergency calls in 2015, the agency said.

“We responded to 62,999 calls (last year),” Mesa Fire Deputy Chief Forrest Smith said. “That’s just for fire and medical emergencies.”

Smith said about 70 percent of the calls came from a cell phone, which represents a major change for the department.

“And that was from some data that we came across two years ago, so we know that that number has gone up,”he said.

Smith said about 20 percent of 911 calls are non-emergency calls. He said some of those could face criminal charges for misusing the system.

The department announced its annual emergency call numbers Tuesday to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the 911 system.

On Feb. 16, 1968, Alabama House Speaker Rankin Fite made the nation’s first 911 call from his house to Congressman Tom Bevill at Haleyville, Alabama City Hall.

“Typically, 240 million calls go through the 911 system each year,” Smith said.

KTAR’s Bob McClay contributed to this report.

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