BG fire division 10th in state to get accreditation

Saying he had "monumental good news," Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards celebrated the city’s
fire division during his report Monday night to city council.
"This is a remarkable story, six years in the process," Edwards said. Calling Fire Chief Steve
Meredith to stand with him before council, Edwards said the chief played "a major, major role in
the effort, along with his team in the division."
The mayor said Bowling Green is only the 10th fire department in the state to receive accreditation
through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Among the others previously accredited are
Beachwood, Columbus, Newark and Toledo. BG is also one of only seven cities in the state in which both
the fire and police operations are accredited. There are 49 cities in Ohio with accredited police
departments.
Municipal Administrator John Fawcett took the opportunity to brag on the city’s continued Insurance
Services Organizations rating of "2." The best rating is a "1" and there are no
cities with that rating in Ohio, he said. Fawcett said ISO looks at water supply and maintenance and the
entire city operation in making its determination.
"This speaks well of the chief, the whole division, the city leadership, council’s supports and
others," Edwards said.
Meredith said it was a group effort over many years to comply with all of the requirements. "The
division intends to continue to improve its service and fulfill and strengthen its EMS and fire
services."
After the meeting Meredith said about a dozen of the 50-member fire division staff worked on the effort,
with Capt. Doug Isaacson serving as accreditation manager. "He really spearheaded the effort,"
Meredith said.
The division will go through a review every five years and file an annual compliance report "to make
sure we are following through," Meredith said.
The chief said the CFAI assigns a mentor to help departments through the process and noted a four-person
team spent three days in Bowling Green going over the plan, the division and city to make the final
decision.
Meredith has been chief since Feb. 12, 2007 and on the division for 33 years. He plans to retire Aug. 1.

Council also:
• Gave first reading to an ordinance creating a 12-member City-University Relations Committee. The
concept has been in development and was recently the subject of a meeting of council’s Community
Improvement Committee.
• Heard Edwards and Grants Administrator Tina Bradley express their support for efforts to improve rural
transportation efforts in Wood County, while maintaining the city’s BG Transit operation and its
existing funding stream.
• Gave a third reading and tabled an ordinance for rezoning the Wood County Hospital property. A public
hearing on the rezoning is set for 6 p.m. April 7. Council is expected to vote on the proposal during
its meeting that night.