WREX: Rockford First Responders Prepare for Busy Night Ahead of 4th of July

ROCKFORD (WREX) – The pops and the bursts from fireworks are the highlight to every 4th of July celebration.

But for local first responders, it also means they’ve got a busy day ahead.

“July 4 is one of the busiest days that we do see,” Rockford Fire Div. Chief Matt Knott says.

Last year, Rockford Fire says more than 300 calls for service came in all because of fireworks.

Those calls ranged from complaints about illegal fireworks going off to house fires and even a few injuries. So far this year, Rockford hospitals say they haven’t seen any fireworks related injuries. But when they do, it’s usually burns.

“As you start to get a bit deeper into the skin and toward the muscle and bone, or what we call 3rd degree burns, those can be a little bit more serious sometimes require hospitalization and even surgery,” Dr. Jason Brendenkamp with Mercyhealth says.

Most fireworks are illegal in Illinois, but that’s not stopping people from driving across the stateline into Beloit to pick them up. Then, they bring them back home to set them off.

But if you’re caught using them, RFD says be prepared to pay the price.

“We will confiscate those fireworks and we’ll issue a notice to appear or a fine associated with it,” Knott says. “We take it very seriously.”

That’s why first responders say the best and safest thing you can do this holiday is leave the fireworks to the professionals.

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