Thorn Township Fire Department to add part-time paid staff this fall
THORNVILLE – Thorn Township Trustees have approved a proposal to establish two EMSfirefighters at the Zion Road fire station 12 hours a day, five days a week giving the township a vastly improved response time.
The all-volunteer department has difficulty making fire and squad runs during the week when most of the volunteers are working at their full time jobs. The new plan, approved by trustees at a special meeting Monday, proposes that two fully-trained firefighter/ paramedics would be at the fire station from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. every weekday starting Oct. 1.
A firefighter/paramedic will be paid $11 an hour, according to assistant chief Mark Holdcoft who helped develop the plan with Fire Chief Duane Moore and other senior officers of the Thorn Township Fire Department.
Trustees voted to allocate $25,000 to begin the service and decided to monitor its progress through the last quarter of 2011, before appropriating additional money for the program. A large part of the funding would come from starting an EMS billing program that bills private and public insurance plans for squad runs that can run from $350 to $700 depending on distance traveled, services rendered and other factors.
In order to participate in this part time program, firefighter/ medics would be required to serve a minimum of 24 hours a month.
Department leaders presented a detailed plan to the trustees, including how the crews would respond to mutual aid calls, how they would record their time, protocols for transport, and continuing education and training.
Trustees Dick Boring, Rick Wilson and Dale Factor were unanimous in their support for the plan.