EATON — City of Eaton 2019 Annual Reports were released in February. Included was the City of Eaton Fire and EMS Division’s 2019 Annual Report.
Chief Brian Smith reported, in 2019, the Fire and EMS Division responded to 2,532 calls for service. That call volume averages to 6.93 calls a day. Requests vary greatly as residents are challenged with new and varying issues; the greatest is that of health-related issues and the movement to more home health care.
Emergency Medial Services Operation
In 2019, the division was faced with 16 cardiac arrest events. Out of that, the division had a ROSC (Return of Spontaneous Circulation) rate of 70.6 percent. This rate is more than triple the rate hospitals achieve when the patient arrests in the hospital.
Calls for service are higher for the age groups over the age of 50 years. There is a direct correlation between the type of service requested and age. Most, if not all the complaints illustrating high volume of calls, can be related to patient’s age. Nearly 70 percent of the patients treated by EMS responders are over the age of 50 years.
Fire and Rescue Operations
The Fire and EMS Division handled 725 fire/rescue responses in 2019. These calls vary greatly to include fires of all types, rescues, EMS assists, auto accidents, hazards mitigation, fire alarms, odor investigation, public assists, police assists/standbys, and other emergency and non-emergency calls. On-duty fire crews continue to respond to significant medical calls, supporting EMS provider with assistance; however, these responses are decreasing. These practices bring the division in line with national standards of care and ensure appropriate level of service is provided.
The division utilized all department resources for 87 general alarms, on-duty crews handled the remaining 638 calls. General alarms include fires, serious auto accidents, special rescue, simultaneous calls and mutual aid fires and rescues. We provided mutual aid 29 times and received mutual aid 85 times.
The fire and EMS Division handles a variety of emergencies, including: animal problem or rescue, chemical release, reaction, or toxic condition, combustible/flammable spills and leaks, controlled burning, cover assignment, standby at fire station, move-up, cultivated vegetation, crop fire, dispatched and canceled en route, electrical rescue, electrical wiring/equipment problem, emergency medical service (EMS) incident, excessive heat, scorch burns with no ignition, extrication, rescue, false alarm and false call, fire in mobile property used as a fixed structure, good intent call, medical assist, mobile property (vehicle) fire, natural vegetation fire, other incident type, outside rubbish fire, public service assistance, rescue, emergency medical call (EMS), service call, smoke, odor problem, special outside fire, steam, other gas mistaken for smoke, structure fire, system or detector malfunction, unauthorized burning, unintentional system/detector operation, water or ice-related rescue, water problem, wrong location, no emergency found.
The Fire and EMS Division has an apparatus replacement plan. As the fleet age and operational demands change, it is important to evaluate community and department needs. A new Fire Engine was ordered May 1, 2019. It will replace Engine 1603, a 1993 E-One Engine. The new Engine will be placed in service as a front-line Engine and the current E1608 will move to a second-out Engine. It is expected to be delivered in July 2020.
The Fire and EMS Division operates two Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport units, and one ALS Fire Engine around the clock. Transport units are periodically rotated to allow for service and to reduce wear and tear on each respective unit. The last new Medic was placed in service in 2018. This acquisition reduced the workload of the other units. With the opening of the Kettering Emergency Room and the switch from van to truck chassis, the division intends to extend the service life of medic units from five to 10 years. The division has witnessed a reduction in mileage during the first few years of operation of the Preble ER.
Training and Education
Training is conducted weekly with volunteer training monthly. This provides opportunities for continuing education credits. The division provided 800 hours of training to their personnel in 2019. Many personnel also attend classes and seminars at other locations. This shows continued interest in staying current on new techniques and refreshing and improving their skills. Like other combination Fire/EMS departments, maintaining staffing levels is a challenge and can change for several reasons. This continues to impact recruiting and retention of personnel. In 2019, the division was 44 personnel. Of that, 40 are dual certified Fire and EMS personnel.
The division has several Fire and EMS instructors on staff. EFD is a State of Ohio continuing education site for EMS. The division also has several Clark State adjunct facility on staff. Having dedicated training personnel allows the division to conduct most if not all required training, in house at a significant cost savings. It also allows neighboring agencies to receive quality training locally.
Fire Prevention/Public Education
In 2019, the division partnered with Eaton Police Division to conduct emergency management training for Eaton Community Schools. A full-scale exercise was conducted for the entire staff. The Fire/EMS Division participated in and provided EMS for the Preble County Fair and Preble County Pork Festival, staffed a booth and helped coordinate activities at the Safe Communities Day at the YMCA, Halloween candy give-away, and provided crews at the demolition derby and other fair events.
The division continues to work to increase fire safety awareness with an improved web site and increased Fire Prevention Week activities to include school and daycare presentations. This past year, staff provided fire safety training, including a Sparky Dog for all elementary school children. Also, the division provided information and training to community groups and businesses to include: Pheasant Run Home Owners Association and other community watch groups, local health care facilities, YMCA — Kids Health Fair, YMCA — Senior Health Fair, and Preble County Council on Aging. The division participated with MedFlight to provide a mock MVA for Eaton High School Juniors and Seniors.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH