Perrysburg Twp. citizens asked to clear hydrants
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:15
LIME CITY - On the heels of the department's busiest recorded month, Fire Chief Tom Brice asks Perrysburg Township residents to help with those calls by keeping fire hydrants clear of snow.
"If they've got a hydrant in their front yard that's drifted over, if they could shovel that out, that would help us immensely. We've noted several areas where the hydrants are rather buried, and (that) is going to create a major issue for us potentially if there would be a fire in that area."
Brice told trustees at Wednesday's meeting that the department responded to 174 calls in January, up from the previous high of around 165. That month follows the department's busiest year, with 2013 service totaling 1,700 runs, according to an annual report made available Wednesday.
Of the 1,700, there were 305 fire runs and 1,395 medical calls. The average time from dispatch to arrival on-scene was 7 minutes and 8 seconds, with 90 percent of responses en route within 90 seconds of being dispatched.
"The most common emergencies in 2013 were related to falls, illness, heart problems, motor-vehicle accidents and respiratory emergencies," the report states, adding that there were no fire casualties or fires deemed suspicious in 2013.
Brice also reported Wednesday on the township's involvement in memorial services for two fallen Toledo firefighters. He said he offered staff to cover shifts in Toledo, but that was not needed, so a group of 15 to 20 firefighters took part in memorializing the two men. Perrysburg Schools contributed a bus at no cost to shuttle Perrysburg city and township firefighters to the service.
Separately, Brice said benefit events are being organized for Bill Crosser, a township firefighter who lost his home to a fire. Police Chief Mark Hetrick said his department is also organizing a fundraiser.
"The outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous," Brice said.
In other business, Hetrick reported more than $107,000 came into township coffers in 2013 from an equitable-sharing agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and township police spent $14,256 of it on equipment throughout the year.
Township Administrator Walt Celley outlined possible technology upgrades such as a cellular booster at the police and fire house, which currently offers poor reception and also no wireless Internet access.
Celley said it would be helpful to be able to use cell phones during emergency situations, like when a tornado caused damage in the township last November.
"At a minimum, I will say we absolutely need cell phone boosters in the police and fire complex. That's impossible (to use phones there), and it's very, very frustrating," Celley said.
A detailed cost estimate was not available, but Celley said the price would likely not exceed $16,500 for a booster, with wi-fi costing around $14,000.
"We didn't do a whole bunch of work on this, just wanted to get some initial numbers to see if this is something you're interested in," he said to trustees.
The group had a separate discussion on progress toward digitizing zoning permits and other township documents. Zoning Inspector Kelly Hemminger said a proposal from eMerge would involve scanning about 36,000 documents and storing digital copies, which are indexed and easily searched, for $4,560 with a monthly storage fee of $170.
"Currently all of our zoning certificates are in paper format," Hemminger said, making them vulnerable to a fire or other damage. "So we're looking to get them scanned so they're easily accessible. It's been talked about many times over the past few years."
The group discussed collective bargaining and purchase of property during an executive session, with no action following.