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What does ほか mean when it is used in a sentence like this: [situationA] ほか, [situationB]"

Specifically I would like a little help clarifying the following sentence:


I am familiar with ほか in other situations, but I'm not sure how it's used here. As far as I can figure out, it's either along the lines of "It's not that the number of accidents has decreased, but..." or "The number of accidents has decreased, but more importantly...".

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It means "besides". It confirms the existence of [situationA], and states that there is another [situationB]

Your example may be translated as:

Besides the decrease of the number of emergencies(accidents, ...), the decrease of the calls when there is no emergency is an important reason.

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