Why does a Perrysburg Township fire truck rush out to a medical emergency along with an ambulance?
Township trustee Robert Mack posed the question from a Reitz Road resident to Fire and EMS Chief Tom Brice at Wednesday's trustee meeting.
"Most of it has to do with safety," Chief Brice said.
When ambulance personnel go to someone's home, they do not know what or who they will encounter, he said.
"You've got nobody else watching their back," he said. The firefighters who go to the scene offer some strength in numbers.
They can help lift patients, mitigating the risk of injury to the responders, he said, and the fire truck can help block traffic at the scene.
The chief said township residents had come to expect a high level of patient care from first responders and that trained firefighters contributed to the level of non- or pre-transportation care that EMTs delivered.
Trustee Gary Britten expressed concern about wear on the much larger, more expensive fire truck, and he asked whether the responders couldn't all ride to the scene of an emergency in the same vehicle.
Chief Brice said the departments had tried arrangements like that before but ran into other problems of wrong or forgotten gear and of receiving other emergency calls while on scene and not having a second or proper vehicle in which to respond.
Mr. Britten noted that the continuing levy on the Nov. 6 ballot could force their hands if voters reject the tax request.
"We may have to change the way we do business," he said.
The 4-mill levy, if approved, would generate about $1.45 million a year, costing the owner of a $100,000 house about $120 annually.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at email@example.com or 419-356-8786.