2007-05-19 / News

FairfieldBeach substation staffing increased

By Charles Prince

MILLERSPORT - Village council members got more good news on efforts to improve the village's water system.

Mayor Dean Severance reported Tuesday night that the Ohio Public Works Commission approved a $200,000 grant/loan for Phase I of the water line replacement project. A new water line will be run along the village's western border as part of a three phase project to loop the entire system. Michael Carder, of GGC Engineers, is the project manager. He expects to bid the job in mid- June with construction starting in late July.

Carder said construction of the village's new water treatment plant is about 35 percent complete. "It's now coming out of the ground," he said. The contractor, Crace Construction, is "a tad behind," Carder added, but they will be adding more workers. Some additions to the plans have been approved, but so far they have been offset by deductions.

Fire Chief Bill Yates told council that the FairfieldBeach substation will be staffed starting June 1 unless there were objections. No one did. He expected that the village would have an opportunity to review the revised contract Walnut Township Trustees handed to Severance late last month. Trustees signed the contract before giving it to the mayor. His concerns were discussed last Friday in a meeting with the township's special counsel and Trustee Sonny Dupler. He walked village officials through the latest changes. The village's primary territorial responsibilities will now be specificallyidentified on a map. All references to an EMT-I (for intermediate) have been removed. It's an uncommon classification between an EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic. Removing it provides an incentive for Basics to go to Paramedic school, Yates said.

FairfieldBeach residents were the big winners in the revisions. Yates boosted on-station coverage from 10 hours a day to 12 hours a day. "I really wanted 12 hours per day," he explained. The extra two hours a day will increase costs about $17,000 per year. Staffing is now set as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. It can be changed if the firechief believes one is warranted.

The firedepartment is now required to track response times based on the time the call is by the department, not when it came into the 9-1-1 center. The department doesn't get the 9-1-1 center times, Yates explained.

Yates also asked for a resolution from trustees to answer any possible confusion about which department responds to calls on Bickel Church Road which is north-south boundary for primary service areas for Millersport and the Thurston-Walnut Township firedepartments.

The resolution by trustees directs the Millersport and Thurston firechiefs to have the 9-1-1 Center dispatch cards modified so BOTH departments will be dispatched for any emergency medical services call on any portion of Bickel Church Road.

Yates wants to avoid any confusion about which department to dispatch to calls on the boundary line. He mentioned a recent incident in Licking County where a home was destroyed by fire, amid claims that the nearby City of Newark Fire Department was not on the card to be immediately dispatched to structure fires in Newark Township.

Council members needed fivevotes to immediately approve the contract. Since only four were present, a tentative special meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17.

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