There were no major fireworks-related injuries during the Fourth of July holiday, city officials announced Thursday afternoon; however, multiple rescues, citations and arrests were reported.
From July 1-4 there were 40 felony and misdemeanor arrests and 46 fireworks and misdemeanor citations as a result of police and fire enforcement, according to a city release. Fire resources also responded to one tree fire, one trash can fire and one minor eye injury—all fireworks-related incidents.
During that four-day period, Marine Safety personnel on the beaches and waterways made four arrests, reunited 55 lost children with parents and responded to 287 swim rescues, 39 boat rescues, 56 boat assists, and 461 medical incidents.
The Dispatch Center also received 1,227 fireworks-related calls from July 1-5, 230 less calls than last year.
During the 24-hour period of July 4, the Dispatch Center handled 3,169 calls to both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line, and 1,365 calls for service. On the average day, the center handles about 1,950 calls to both 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line, and nearly 850 calls for service, representing a more than 60 percent increase on Independence Day, according to city officials.
Between 8:30PM and 9:15PM, considered peak time, the Dispatch Center received 715 combined calls—an average of 16 calls a minute. Staffing was increased by 30 percent in the Dispatch Center from 7:00PM to 11:00PM for the anticipated increase in call volume, officials stated.
“Residents’ safety is our priority,” said City Manager Patrick H. West in a statement. “I am proud to say that there were no major injuries that took place this past holiday.”
July 4 is historically the busiest day of the year for both the Long Beach Fire Department and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), officials said.
During the months leading up to the holiday, fire and police personnel conducted a fireworks campaign during which they educated the public that all fireworks, including the kind marketed as “Safe and Sane” are dangerous and illegal in the city, according to officials.
The campaign included public service announcements, distribution of educational materials, billboards, posters at parks, libraries and buses, as well as the distribution of 200 lawn signs.
LBFD representatives also spoke at community events and visited 56 block parties July 1-4.
The LBPD also seized about 7,000 pounds of fireworks citywide during enforcement efforts for the holiday, a 1,300 percent increase over the 2016 holiday, during which 500 pounds were seized.