BATH TOWNSHIP — Bethel Township Fire Chief Jacob King payed a visit to the Feb. 20 Bath Township meeting to familiarize the board of trustees with the operations of the neighboring township’s fire department.
As of Jan. 1, the Bethel Township Fire Department has provided fire and EMS coverage to two zones in Bath Township. Zone 1 covers an area of the township that begins at the State Routes 4 and 235 interchange and continues south to Huffman Dam; zone 2 covers the vicinity near the Interstate 675 and State Route 444 interchange and continues south to the city limits of Fairborn.
King said the fire and EMS departments operate out of two fire stations, Station 51, located at 3333 Lake Road in Medway, and Station 54, located at 260 East Main St. in Donnelsville. The fire department is staffed with five part-time personnel, including three personnel at Station 51 and two personnel at Station 54, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
“The third person at Station 51 is our officer in charge of our battalion. That person operates out of a SUV and manages the response area,” King said.
King explained that the two fire stations are staffed with paid-per-call personnel from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. About 99 percent of the staff stays at the stations throughout the night. Other personnel has to be able to respond to the station in less than six minutes.
The fire department responds to an average of 2,200 calls annually. With the addition of the two zones in Bath Township, the coverage area of the department has expanded from 36 square miles to approximately 42 square miles.
According to King, the fire department is equipped with two fire engines, three medic units that are equipped with advanced life support apparatus, one tanker, one medium rescue truck, one brush truck, one ATV (all-terrain vehicle), one command vehicle and one MCI (mass casualty incident) trailer.
The fire department has received both federal and state grant funding throughout the years. Federal funding included $2.1 million in FEMA Grants from 2004 through 2018. State funding consisted of an Ohio Workers Comp Grant for two power-loading ambulance cots, approximately $4,000 annually in Ohio EMS Grants, and $15,000 in Ohio Fire Marshal Training Grants from 2004 through 2018.
King told township trustees that the Bethel Fire Department would benefit from an additional Lucas Chest Compression System that is used during a cardiac arrest event and a Stryker Power Cot which would reduce back strain and increase safety while moving patients.
King also presented a report for January that included a breakdown of all runs during the month.
The department responded to 201 calls during the month, and 20 of those runs were to Bath Township. King noted that response times vary depending on the circumstances of the incident. Average response time for Station 51 is 6 minutes and 47 seconds. Station 54 averages a response time of 11 minutes because that station’s response area expands into Station 51’s district as well.
Throughout January, the fire department transported people to Soin Medical Center, Dayton Children’s Medical Center, Huber Emergency Center, Grandview Medical Center, Springfield Regional Medical Center, Miami Valley Medical Center, WPAFB Medical Center and Dayton VA Medical Center.
King concluded his presentation by noting that the Bethel Township Fire Department would remain an intricate part of the community, which has now expanded to Bath Township. He added that the fire department has a Facebook page that provides information to members of the community, including weather alerts. Members of the fire department have also shoveled snow off a number of residents’ driveways throughout the winter months.
“If we continue to show support for our community, our community will continue to show support for us and our needs,” King said.
“It is great to be associated with Jacob and the Bethel Township Fire Department,” Township Trustee Steve Ross said. “We are looking forward to working more with this township fire department.”
The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet again in regular session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 at the township office, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road in Fairborn. The public is welcomed.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.