GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Professional Firefighters answered a record number of calls last year. 

The Professional Firefighters Local 366 posted the stats on their Facebook page, saying it was the busiest year in the department's 169-year history. 

The department responded to 50 less fires in 2019.

"Our total fires that we responded to in 2018 was 608 and in 2019, 555," Grand Rapids Fire Department Lt. William Smith said

The Grand Rapids Professional Firefighters answered 24,156 alarms in 2019, which is 66 alarms a day. This number was 1,751 more than in 2018. 

"We're happy to be be here to serve our community, so I think it isn't a far stretch of the imagination to recognize that with more people we're going to have more calls. And I think that has a lot to do with what we're doing here as far as suppression responses," Smith said.

In April, Grand Rapids firefighters responded to a string of five fires that were set on the city's northwest side in one afternoon. Demaar Lee McLaughlin, 34, was accused of setting the fires and was eventually charged with five counts of arson. 

RELATED: Fire department responds to 5 fires in northwest Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Firefighters Local 366 represents 200 firefighters in Grand Rapids who work at the city's 11 firehouses. It is affiliated with the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union.

"As we go through 2020, their high level of training and professionalism will continue to make a positive impact in our vibrant city," the Local 366 said. 

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