PERRY TWP. - Trustee Vice Chairman Don Rudibaugh said he'll be asking for clarification from the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office on the protocol for toning out the township fire department.
Rudibaugh made the statement Monday in response to a query by Fire Chief Bruce Whitcher, who wanted to know why dispatch said "no" when KLG Ambulance requested the fire department's assistance at a scene on March 11.
Whitcher pointed out the protocol says the fire department is to be called out for any requests by any ambulance company for assistance. He said he was curious if anybody had checked into that as to why they were told no. He explained that KLG's ambulance was out of town at the time of the call and wanted the fire department to respond.
"According to what we approved last year, we should have been called out," Rudibaugh said.
The police were close to the area and responded and tried to resuscitate the person, who died. The police cruisers are equipped with automated external defibrillators. The fire department, which is all volunteers, also has an AED on each pumper truck. The department is still wrapping up the paperwork and waiting for a drug license in order to offer a first responder service similar to what the Salem Fire Department offers.
Police Chief Mike Emigh said they can't really fault the Sheriff's Office since the fire department personnel aren't first responders yet. The person was in full arrest. He said he questioned the next day why the fire department wasn't called and was told the fire department hadn't submitted a letter showing first responder status, which isn't official yet.
When contacted at home Monday night about the issue, Sheriff Ray Stone said he couldn't really comment one way or another because he wasn't aware of the situation and didn't know what transpired.
He said he'll have to look at the logs and check the tapes to see exactly what happened and what was said. He'll also be checking with his chief deputy, who oversees dispatching as part of his many duties.
Stone did say he would think he would have been contacted by Perry Township the next day or heard about it from a trustee or the fire chief instead of hearing about it from the press two weeks later.
Stone, formerly the police chief in Perry Township, had attended a trustees meeting last year regarding the protocol. The Sheriff's Office handles the dispatching for the township for both police and fire. The protocol to determine when the fire department should be called out had been discussed over the course of several months and was approved last year.
In other business, Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix announced they determined what roads will be done this year after attending a meeting at the county engineer's office earlier Monday regarding paving and chip & seal projects.
Township roads to be paved through the county include Brooklyn Avenue and Hampton Place. Hampton Place will also get chipped and sealed in preparation for paving. Other roads for chip & seal through the county include Egypt and Painter roads.
Mix said the township will pay $56,393 to Strawser Construction of Columbus for microsurfacing, another form of paving which can be cost effective with a thinner layer of material. Township roads to be microsurfaced or coated include Manor Drive, Old Farm Lane, Highland East, Highland West, Highland Avenue and Brookview Drive.
The trustees agreed to hire Korey Nelson, of Austintown, as a part-time police officer who will be in training status, then probationary. He's a 2013 graduate of Kent State University and started out with the Mill Creek Police Department. He's currently with the Hubbard Police Department part-time.
Trustee Don Kendrick reported two zoning permits had been issued so far this month. He also announced that the demolition had begun of the township's three homes on the list for the county demolition project, with a home on Beechwood started first. Next up will be a home on Goshen Road and then Pidgeon Road.
Kendrick is reminding residents that they have to get a permit from the township for any remodeling projects valued over $500, including roofs, windows and fences.