Friday, July 27, 2001

Firehouse merger talks OK'd

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BELLEVUE — City Council voted Thursday night to open talks with council members in neighboring Dayton over a proposed merger of the two cities' fire departments.

        The Dayton council approved a similar move at a Wednesday night meeting, paving the way for joint meetings and eventually public hearings on a plan put forth by the fire chiefs of both cities.

        Bellevue Fire Chief John Daley and Dayton Fire Chief Dennis Lynn have said a merger into a single fire district, based at the Dayton firehouse, would save money while providing better overall fire and EMS protection for the two river cities.

        A study was conducted and a merger proposal drawn up by Brian Dehner of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, working with both fire departments.

        Bellevue Councilman Tom Rechtin said he had some questions and problems relating to the report, including an indication that some response times could be longer under a merged department.

        “For much of the city (Bellevue), the response time will not change,” Chief Daley said. “In some instances, it might be 35 seconds more than it is now in some parts of the city. That is not going to make much difference. The hard fact is, very few people are rescued from burning buildings. Response time can be critical on EMS runs — but for structure fires, it's not going present any real problems.”

        If a merger is approved and a fire district is established, it would be run by a commission with its own budget, estimated in excess of $1 million annually and funded equally by both cities.

        Councilman Steve Guidugli said he had heard from some Bellevue volunteer firefighters that they were concerned the merger was an attempt to do away with the volunteers. He said he wanted to hear from more volunteer members of the department.

        “I think a public hearing is the proper place for volunteers and everyone else to make their feelings known,” Bellevue Mayor Jack Meyer said.

        Chief Daley said the proposed merger was not intended as a means to do away with volunteers of either department.

        “We will continue to need volunteer firefighters,” he said.


Cop kills gunman in shootout
Olympic pitch well-received
Anesthesiologists in short supply
Rain brings more flooding to soggy Tristate
She can forgive, but can't forget
Bridge study may start early
Colerain man charged with abduction, assault
DeWine asks for more money for police overtime
Fund to aid mother's family
Tristate A.M. Report
UC told it can afford faculty raises
Local school committees to be trained
Merchants, residents grateful for patrols
More charges filed in saliva-throwing case
Task force to get 2nd prosecutor
RADEL: Fighting firing
Charges urged against operator
Man held in slaying, alleged rape
Miami-Talawanda partnership expected to benefit community
Non-Muslims welcome
10-year-old's flight canceled, but airline forgot to tell dad
New clinic will treat tiniest newborns
Projects with matching funds have better shot at Clean Ohio grants
Carnegie Arts Center more accessible
Democrat resigns party posts
- Firehouse merger talks OK'd
Kenton, Boone to share police work
Kentucky News Briefs
Ky. mining commissioner dies
Lawyer: Barge firm free of blame in fatal crash
N.Ky. United Way chief: Giving should be a joy
Property tax given scrutiny