New fire department created for better service
Shelley Terry, Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio
Apr. 23–PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP – Plymouth Township residents are fired up about their new fire department.
Throughout the past two years, trustees, local officials and former Fire Prevention Officer William Strubbe worked on policies and procedures for the creation and operation of a new township fire department.
Previously, the township contracted with the Plymouth Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, a private fire company, to provide fire and ambulance services to township residents.
As times have changed and volunteers have become harder to find, trustees saw the need to transition to a true township fire department in order to better meet residents’ needs, Strubbe said.
“Volunteerism peaked in the 1970s with most organizations but it’s been an uphill battle for about the past 30 years to get volunteers,” he said. “To offer the best possible emergency services to township residents, the township hired a part-time firefighter/EMS personnel to accompany the paid-per-call personnel.
The township hired Strubbe to serve as the new fire chief, and the department is routinely staffed with two firefighter/EMS personnel, 16 hours per day, seven days a week. The staff consists of 13 part-time personnel, including Strubbe, and eight paid-per-call people.
“The new department with paid firefighters will better serve the area,” Trustee Debbie Friedstrom said.
Fire department records indicate that annual responses have increased 230 percent since 2000.
The Plymouth Fire Department, 1001 Plymouth Road, can be reached at 440-993-4350.
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