Sheriff: Perry fire call protocol OK

PERRY TWP. – Columbiana County Sheriff Ray Stone made an appearance Monday at the Perry Township Board of Trustees meeting, saying he had no problem with a protocol for his dispatchers to follow when toning out the township fire department.

“Whatever you guys want, we’ll do,” Stone told the trustees.

The protocol to determine when the fire department should be called out has been discussed over the course of several months. Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix said one version of the protocol had been four pages long and that they were told the sheriff’s people were upset about it, so the trustees and fire department personnel condensed it to one page.

Stone had not seen the one-page version until recently and said his dispatchers, the chief deputy and no one else at his department had seen it, either. Someone had supposedly said something to Sheriff’s Office personnel about the calls and Perry Township Fire Chief Bruce Whitcher said his officers and firefighters have been told not to be calling down there.

The Sheriff’s Office handles dispatching for Perry Township.

The trustees said they would sign the new protocol and send it to the Sheriff’s Office, with Stone saying he’ll enact it the day he gets it.

“As long as you’re okay with it, I’m okay with it,” he told trustees.

Whitcher said he’s been trying to rebuild some relationships lost over the years and improve the fire department, noting “we all need to work together.”

In other fire department matters, trustees discussed what to do with old Engine 72, which has been retired since the new fire truck arrived. Whitcher said the truck can no longer be used for fire service, explaining that the pump needs rebuilt and the engine rebuilt or replaced.

Trustees had originally talked about selling it, but directed Whitcher to check on the scrap value.

Trustees approved his request to purchase four sets of fire gear for entry work for $9,049. Whitcher said the gear is worn out from age and there are holes in them.

In other business, Trustee Don Kendrick said they’re looking for a part-time maintenance person to hire for up to 30 hours a week for the street department. Applicants must hold a Class B Commercial Driver’s License, with mechanical ability and heavy equipment experience helpful.

Resumes can be sent to the Perry Township Trustees, P.O. Box 112, Salem, Ohio 44460.

The township has three full-time employees in the street department, but one is currently on medical leave.

Mix announced the township’s spring cleanup starts April 8 on the north side for one week, then moves to the south side for one week. The list of allowable items will be announced in a couple of weeks. He also reminded residents the township and city will host a large items and electronic drive on April 5 and 6 in the Timberlanes parking lot.

Trustees signed checks totaling $6,422 and one zoning permit had been issued.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at