We cannot continue turning a blind eye to the Fire Dept. and fund a group that was established to provide jobs for the Fire Chief's family and others in the department.
The volume is so small that approximately 2-3 runs a day do not justify the existance of the paid department.
The OR &W was given the fire station and funded with 4 mills for staffing, equipment and structures.
The requested 3 mills is an increase of 75% over the original 4 mills.
A lot of the equipment and trucks are exorbitant. Why do we need Ladder trucks when all our buildings are 2 stories max? Bellaire is next door and can be here quickly for tall buildings.
These taxes are 'forever taxes' that is difficult to stop.
The numbers have been out for several years. And the numbers have stayed fairly flat. What numbers am I referring to? Fire and EMS runs. Every year there have been an average of 1000 total Fire and EMS runs by the department from 2014-2016. That sounds like a lot, but it averages out to less than 2.8 runs a day.
The OR&W Fire District only makes approximately 850-900 EMS runs a year and it averages out to less than 2.5 runs a day. Average run times should be 1-1 1/2 hours each requiring a total daily response time of 3-4.5 hours. What do they do with the extra 20 hours of dead time every day?
Most runs occur during the daytime. With only 2 to 3 runs a day, there will be few times at night that runs will happen. The FD is reportedly trying to build sleeping quarters by expanding the building. The money (ours most likely) is being thrown away on a fool hardy project so that the workers can be paid for sleeping.
Volunteers did this service for years. Of course, in exchange they had perks and benefits - pool tables, large TV's, free gifts, etc. Now, the chief claims they can't get the help. Who's fault is it? I won't go into it here since it is very complex.
NO, not with so few runs. The idea of a fire district needs to be re-evaluated as if needed here. We have lost most major industry (power plant/stamping plant) and really can't afford the high tax base in this town.
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