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Northfield Center-Sagmore Hills Fire District to close Wednesday

by Briana Barker | Reporter Published: September 14, 2016 12:00 AM
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Northfield Center -- Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District will disband at noon on Sept. 14 and the fire station will remain closed until Sept. 16 so city firefighters can transition into the station.

Macedonia Fire Chief Tim Black said there will be no interruption of service to either Northfield Center or Sagamore Hills, which had been served by the fire district. He said emergency calls will be handled by Macedonia firefighters from either the new Sagamore Hills substation or the city's fire station.

"We will have a staff of four firefighters at Sagamore and five in Macedonia until Friday morning," Black said, adding he expects the Northfield Center substation to reopen by then.

Black said the department is also awaiting approval from the state to station pharmaceuticals in Northfield Center.

When the station does reopen it will do so as the Northfield Center Safety Building, and become known as "Station 3."

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The transition comes less than a week after the contract was inked between Macedonia and Northfield Center.

Township Trustees voted unanimously Sept. 7 to sign a $375,000-per-year, five-year contract for fire and EMS protection with Macedonia.

Macedonia City Council ratified the contract Sept. 8 with a unanimous vote.

Sagamore Hills and the city ratified a similar, $750,000 annual, five-year contract in April -- a move that forced closure of the fire district and required Northfield Center to seek an alternative for fire protection on its own.

The city's contracts with the townships require the Macedonia Fire Department to staff substations in each township with at least two firefighters.

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The townships will still have the cost of maintaining equipment, purchasing new equipment and maintaining infrastructure.

Black said Sept. 12 his firefighters were in the process of training on the former district's vehicles and moving equipment to Sagamore Hills. "We have the manpower and a pretty extensive plan in place," Black said.

He said the reason for the Sept. 14 take over was because the city has been filling in vacant fire district shifts when necessary -- only one person was scheduled to work that day, with no one on the schedule for Sept. 15, the original date of the district's dissolution.

Black said the city has had to fill approximately 10 shifts during the past few weeks due to call-offs.

Northfield Center Trustee Rich Reville said Sept. 12 the transition was progressing well, with all the equipment inspected and up to date.

Reville added the titles for equipment have been transferred from the district to the townships, which are splitting the former district's equipment 50/50, with each township getting a fire engine and two ambulances.

Briana Barker: 330-541-9432


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Citizen_Auditor Sep 17, 2016 9:25 AM

Chief Tim Black and the entire Macedonia Fire/EMS Division has demonstrated for well over two decades their committment to excellence in providng professional public services to whomever required help.

With over forty years in government financial services, I was never more proud to servethanwith Chief Black, Captain Ripley, and all the staff at the Macedonia Fire/EMS Department.

Everyone should support and be thankful to have the finest dedicated professionals serving them. In time, after the dust has settled on this monumental transition, I am confident that your fears will turn into praise and thank you for their kind, compassionate, professional service.

Loren Sengstock, Former Finance Director

Islandgirl23 Sep 14, 2016 4:32 PM

I have a few questions about this article.

Were the Macedonia fireman at the northfield center station for these "call offs"?

and being that it is the first day... wouldn't it be wise to overstaff the northfield station as the men do not know the area?

Why is it acceptable to leave the northfield center station vacant for 3 days? Northfield center residents are at risk... correct? I mean common sense dictates longer response times?

Given the the most recent literature it appears this will cost both townships nearly 2 mill. How is this less money than 980000.00 again common sense reveals 980000 is less than 2 mill.

I was under the impression this was about money. When will the Residents be told the real reason?