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Letter: Former fire chief offers views on area's fire service 'crisis'

Published: August 10, 2016 12:00 AM

As a former

Sagamore Hills resident with family still in the township, and as a former chief of the Northfield Center Fire Department, I have been watching the current fire service crisis with great interest.

When I left the department in 2010, it was with the satisfaction of knowing that Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills were about to solidify their long-standing cooperative relationship by creating a fire district. Unfortunately, due to the egos involved, they did not follow the pattern of successful fire districts in the makeup of their board. Now we see the results of that mistake: An unwieldy and thoroughly incompetent board has failed to establish a self-sustaining district, one with its own operating and capital improvement levies.

With the current situation, a deterioration of the area fire service is occurring with too many poorly staffed fire stations (the fact that Twinsburg or any other city does it this way does not make it a sound fire service practice) that will cost the taxpayers more, both this year and in the future.

Ideally, the area should be protected by a Nordonia Hills Fire District with three stations each staffed with four firefighters on duty. In addition, there should be an overall shift commander. Should that prove impossible, the best alternative would be three separate departments, each staffed with at least four on duty, utilizing a cooperative response agreement that would allow the closest station to respond to any call.

Most of what I have seen from the townships and Macedonia is so much hogwash. All involved in the current situation deserve the severest condemnation. And the voters of the two townships would be well advised to move as quickly as possible to sweep their current "leadership" from office.

Robert Derrit, Mantua

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