Rod Hale’s admonishment to compare Greenville to Sidney and Celina in the recent Daily Advocate article is a welcome thought. Like always if we hang around long enough, a good idea pops up. If and when the committee goes to Sidney, the first thing they’ll see is one of the firefighter’s that Greenville hired first. He left and went to Sidney because he said it the prospect of staying employed looked a little more favorable. Indeed! But that’s not the big deal. The big deal in both Sidney and Celina and St. Mary’s for that matter, that the committee will see is a firmly entrenched EMS system. Both departments have had an EMS function for over 25 years and probably longer than that. In Celina they will see that they have an active volunteer corps also. Rod Hale did away with Greenville’s.
The other thing they will see is a system much like we have in Greenville. If a structural fire occurs, off duty personnel must be recalled. In fact, if a medic call occurs in Celina, three personnel are recalled automatically. This is to guarantee that the other medic can be placed in service and also that if a fire occurs there is someone to respond on the engine. Sidney has a little bit of leeway because they have two stations but it’s basically the same. Piqua runs much the same as Celina, recalling men after the second medic or an engine and medic go out back to back. Troy has a little leeway also because they have three stations. In all cases, a structural fire in any of these towns calls for the recall of personnel as does multiple EMS calls at the same time.
The question then comes down to this. If we cut our forces to a five man shift and we have a working fire, do we recall personnel to guarantee that we’ll be ready for another run or to back those guys up, causing the overtime of three or four firefighters or do we not call anyone in and hope that no one else has a fire at the same time? In the fire service, you can never plan for one event, always two. Mr. Hale’s parting shot was a good one. Finally we’re going to compare Greenville to another department that runs EMS. Good job Rod… we’ll get another committee together right away to study that.
So when the folks from Greenville motor on up to Sidney and Celina, make sure to jot down how many guys are on a shift, how many medic runs and fire runs they have a year, how much money the city takes in from those medic runs and how much overtime is incurred.
Last week a person on one of the chat boxes admonished all that we shouldn’t allow the City of Greenville to put ambulances into service without the people being trained. This person needs to understand first of all that the liability of the city doing something wouldn’t like that just isn’t likely. Secondly a medic unit in the GFD would have trained staff. There are at least three levels of certification with some of it in transition. GFD personnel trained to the basic level could operate a medic unit.
The millage that people in the city now pay the township for EMS coverage is around three miles. The city has statistics and figures that show the city can provide the same service for 2 mils and maybe less, thus providing the citizens of Greenville with better service, less taxes and the same amount of personnel. Let’s go think about that for a minute. Is that really true? They always say that figures don’t lie.