With complaints from the 2018 holiday, Seaside officials ramped up efforts to deter illegal fireworks with both personnel and educational outreach, including public service announcements and electronic reader boards set up at both entrances to the city.
“The weekend wasn’t that busy, we just had more major calls, which is eerie for us,” Fire Chief Joey Daniels said.
Firefighters “hit the beach as hard as we could,” he said.
While fireworks complaints were down, separate incidents saw five people Life Flighted to Portland.
Incidents included a fireworks hand injury, a burned child, and an unresponsive person on the Prom, Daniels said.
A man with serious knife wounds was found in dune grass on the beach in Seaside after midnight on July 6 and received transport, as did another unresponsive person, Daniels said.
The weekend saw seven water rescues, including the grandchildren of a former city manager, Larry Lehman.
According to Police Chief Dave Ham, Seaside Police took 56 calls on July 4, “a hodgepodge of our normal type of calls,” he said.
Seaside sought to deter illegal fireworks through a public information campaign.
Ham said at least 13 fireworks citations were issued and four arrests on Independence Day. “It’s not a lot, but it did keep us busy.”
Extra state troopers came in, with 10 in total making traffic stops and fireworks interdictions.
Three plainclothes police in patrolled the beach from 7 to 10 p.m., he added.
“We were pretty quiet from the time the fireworks ended to the time I went home at about midnight,” Ham said. “It was overall a good night.”
Additional patrol staff continued through the weekend.
“Sunday slowed down,” Ham said. “But there were still people in town. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good Fourth of July.”
Mayor Jay Barber and councilors thanked responders for their work.
“There were several serious accidents,” Barber said. “There was a good response in every case, from what I’ve heard. Please convey our appreciation to our troops. It’s part of who we are as a city to serve our visitors and citizens well.”