Monday, February 19, 2001

More township emergency service

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TWP. — The largest-ever class of firefighter/paramedics will graduate soon, boosting emergency services here.

        The 15 recruits are expected to graduate next month. Their additions, plus replacement of a staff mem ber, will bring the fire and rescue force to 73.

        They are being trained at American Legion Post 318 on Forest Road.

        Fire Chief Dan Esslinger said the new employees will staff two more life squads.

        “We will be able to have a life squad at each of our four stations,” Chief Esslinger said. “We will also be able to increase the coverage area,” and shorten response times.

        The levy money will also end a general fund subsidy of the fire and rescue departments, projected to exceed $1 million this year.

        Voters approved the 2.78-mill levy after rejecting a 4.7-mill levy in March 2000.

        “The additional fire force is necessary to maintain basic service, but a real value is the money stops the drain on our general fund for the last four years,” Trustee Russ Jackson said.

        However, the additions to the force will not enable the township to meet standards set by the Occupational Safe ty and Health Administration.

        OSHA's ideal is to have at least four firefighters at a fire scene, two outside and two inside. Anderson Township has only two firefighters on each truck.

        “We are confident that the addition will allow us to do the basic services without maintaining these grandiose standards set by OSHA,” Mr. Jackson said. “... We are not sure those standards are necessary in an area like Anderson Township, where much of the area is spread out. Maybe in an area where there are a lot of apartment buildings close together, that kind of standard is ideal.”


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