Fire Levy September 11, 2020
In a virtual campaign kick-off meeting for the effort to pass a 1.9-mill levy for the Sylvania Township Fire Department, Chief Mike Ramm said the primary reason for the need is an increasing number of calls for service, with many of them being for medical emergencies.
Voters in the Sylvania Township fire district, which includes the City of Sylvania, last approved a levy for the department in 2014, a year when there were 4,706 calls for service. Last year, firefighter/paramedics responded to 6,380 alarms.
Chief Ramm noted that the increase in calls for medical emergencies has coincided with a reduction in the availability of private ambulances to transport people to hospitals for necessary treatment.
Private ambulance companies can’t financially survive waiting for emergency calls from fire or police departments, he said. Most ambulance companies now operate on schedules taking patients to and from hospitals and other treatment facilities.
Sylvania Township, the chief noted needs an additional medic unit to maintain the level of service expected from the department.
In 2014 there were 3,637 alarms for incidents labeled “rescue and emergency medical service.” Last year, the department responded to 4,567 calls in that category.
The meeting, via Zoom, was in contrast to the kick-off for the 2014 campaign. That meeting was held in front of the fire station at Main and Monroe in downtown Sylvania and was attended in person by township and city officials, a local television personality, and others.
The pandemic dictated the terms of this kick-off and presents a potentially more substantial difficulty. The chief said he understands the problem in asking for a levy during uncertain economic times.
Nevertheless, the chief added that the department is projected to have less than $800,000 by December next year and be at a deficit of more than $1 million a year later.
He also pointed out that no matter the pandemic’s dangers, Sylvania Township’s firefighter/paramedics have continued to respond to all fires and medical emergencies.
It’s a tough time for everybody,” he said, but “we have to be able to protect the community.”
Karate September 11, 2020
A recent karate course taken by members of the Sylvania Township Fire Department did not result in anyone getting closer to a black belt, but it is hoped that some methods learned may result in safer outcomes at emergency scenes in the future.
Jeffrey Bennett, interim captain and training officer for the department, said the training was meant to prepare firefighter/paramedics for dealing safely with combative patients.
He said that it is unusual, but not unheard of that when EMTs arrive at a scene an individual may be resistant and sometimes violent.
He noted that the behavior can be brought on by alcohol or other drugs, legal or illegal. It also can be the result of the individual’s medical condition.
“There may be a type of dementia or some other condition that causes the person to be afraid or confused and act aggressively. A lot of times if you see them in the hospital later–after their medical needs are met–and they’re fine.”
John Roberts, owner, and instructor at All American Karate, 7601 Sylvania Ave., said the primary purpose of the instruction is to avoid a physical confrontation and allow the first responder an avenue of escape.
“If they get hurt, they likely can’t help the individual,” he said.
Mr. Roberts said he has been certified to train first responders in dealing with aggressive actions. He said it once was common to just teach them some karate techniques and let them use them in the field as they might. Now, he said, the training is for first responders to defuse the situation and to keep themselves out of a physical confrontation.
The training included how to stand with a non-threatening posture while maintaining a balance that will resist a shove. They were taught the best way to block a punch and other moves, but with an eye always toward getting out of the immediate vicinity.
Capt. Bennett said that once removed from the threat, they are to call for police assistance.
The members of the department were also shown some safe ways to restrain a patient who is already down, but is resisting their efforts to help.
The firefighter/paramedics were split into six groups, with each group getting about 1.5 hours of instruction over three days.
Captain Bennett said those who went through the training said they found it beneficial.
He added that although nothing has been decided, it could be a good idea to take classes there again, perhaps going over some scenarios which weren’t covered in the most recent sessions.
Moratorium for Internet Sweepstakes Business September 9, 2020
The Sylvania Township trustees have established a six-month moratorium on the establishment of any internet sweepstakes business in the township.
The action was taken after Daryl Graus, manager of the township zoning and planning office, said there had been an inquiry concerning establishing such a business in the township. He told trustees the Sylvania Township Zoning Resolution does not have a category for internet sweepstakes cafes and thought it would be best to simply put a temporary stop to any such development for six months.
Because his office is in the middle of updating the Zoning Resolution, he said he will be able in the next six months to determine an appropriate category for such an establishment.
There is controversy as to whether such businesses violate anti-gambling laws, although some operate openly in Toledo.
Herr Road Zone Change September 9, 2020
The Sylvania Township Trustees have approved a change in zoning from agricultural to light industrial for a property on Herr Road at Resource Park Drive.
The change in zoning will allow for the construction of a building for a plumbing business with room for offices, inventory, and for business vehicles. No retail use of the building is planned.
Current land uses in the area are light industrial to the north, across Resource Park, residential to the west, agricultural to the east, and a church that is under construction to the south.
Although the township’s land-use plan calls for residential development south of Resource Park, Daryl Graus, manager of the township’s planning and zoning department, noted that the construction of the church makes it unlikely that the 3.4-acre parcel will be developed as residential.
He added that the church in the future will act as a buffer between the light industrial and any residential development to the south.
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