Windham – The WVFD Joint Fire District met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently with all board members present. Chairman Linda Rininger called the meeting to order. The board approved the minutes, the bank reconciliation and the expenditures for the month of October.
Fire Chief Mike Iwanyckyj asked for an executive session before giving his report. He cited personnel issues regarding a leave of absence. They adjourned for a 5 minute executive session before proceeding with the meeting. The chief asked for the official start date of the WVFD Joint Fire District, which was January 1, 2010. He needed the date in order to pursuit the large equipment grant to purchase Scot Air Paks and accessories for the ambulances. Iwanyckyj said one of the reasons Windham was eliminated from the grant the last time was the name change of the fire department when the joint fire district was formed. He also stated that the date of the name change was not filed. Iwanyckyj said they still had the fire department listed under Windham Volunteer Fire Department.
There was some discussion on whether to increase the matching percentage of the grant for 5% to10 % to increase the chances of obtaining the grant. Board Member Dann Timmons and Linda Rininger were hesitant to do so, since the department needs to buy a new truck, but in the end the board compromised and decided they would go with 7% match to improve their chances in getting the grant. The chief will apply for a FEMA Grant to purchase a truck but has been told in the past, that our trucks are not old and dilapidated enough and our district is not poor enough to qualify for the grant, but he will apply for it anyways.
The board approved the following for EMT school in the spring: Charity Showalter, Christine Gatton, and Jodi Collins. These three will start shadowing the EMS crew once a liability waiver has been signed. Classes for EMT will not begin until March 2014. They also approved the hiring of Sean Blair as a Cadet.
The Chief also said, due to the high usage of heroin in our area, he is working with the hospital on doing a training session on narcan, the drug that reverses drug overdosing when opiates are used. He said the squad has had the drug on board for some time now. He also said he looked into correlating the police department with the training session on the usage as well, but they fall under the Lorain County Coroner’s directives while the EMS falls under the hospitals directives, so he was unclear whether they would be able to achieve that, since they might have a different protocol.
The fire department calls to date, as of November 14, 2013 are 641. In 2012, the department had only 618 for the entire year.
Lastly, Timmons brought a complaint to the board from a resident concerning EMS coverage. The resident had a family emergency and Windham EMS was not staffed, so they sent Community Ambulance. The chief addressed the issue by saying due to the fact that his scheduled day-time staff had taken full-time jobs on short notice, he had a day when they were short-staffed. He has since restructured the schedule so they are now staffed 24/7 again. This was the first time in two years that Windham EMS has used Community Ambulance as a back-up because of staffing issues. Timmons also stated that they are a volunteer fire district and their EMS personnel do have other jobs so they can support their families. EMS technicians are paid a stipend for being on-call and making runs. The WVFD Joint-Fire District Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7pm in the fire station.