BATH TOWNSHIP – A Bath Township resident is lending her technical assistance to township trustees as they design a performance report template that will track the monthly activities of three township fire departments that are providing fire and EMS coverage to Bath Township.
Michelle Clements-Pitstick presented her ideas and recommendations to trustees during a formal presentation at the March 6 township meeting. Township Trustee Steve Ross reached out to Clements-Pitstick, an EMT with the Hustead EMS Department and former 911 dispatcher, and asked for her help during the Feb. 6 township meeting.
Clements-Pitstick had previously asked trustees for data regarding fire and EMS response times since the first of the year when Beavercreek, Miami, and Bethel Township Fire Departments took over fire and EMS coverage to Bath Township. Ross noted that the trustees had never received a monthly report from the Fairborn Fire Department during the time the township had a contract agreement with the city. As a result, the trustees did not have a report to use as an outline.
“The purpose of the monthly activity report is to provide empirical data to the Bath Township Trustees regarding fire and EMS responses within the jurisdiction,” Clements-Pitstick said.
Clements-Pitstick recommended that the monthly report include all non-HIPAA protected information of every run to the township, including the reason for the run, date and time of the run, type of apparatus used when responding to the scene, certification levels of the personnel responding to the call, address of the incident and response time.
“This is the basic, generic information you should be obtaining,” said Clements-Pitstick. “Knowing what type of apparatus is being used and the certification levels of those responders are imperative information to gather to determine if the township is meeting the needs of its residents.”
In addition, Clements-Pitstick said the report should include the number of personnel responding to each call, which should be no less than three personnel. She also pointed out the importance of including all information pertaining to mutual aid runs, including the number of times during a month each fire department called for mutual aid to answer a call in Bath Township and the number of times those requests were fulfilled.
“The report needs to include how many times mutual aid was requested and canceled en route,” she added. “You need to know if the fire department is calling mutual aid often because it has just enough personnel to staff one medic unit.”
According to Clement-Pitstick, time-sensitive ALS needs require rapid and efficient response times. Therefore, response times, starting from the time the call is dispatched; to the time the responders reach the scene, need to be logged and reported. She also suggest revising the mutual aid call cards in certain areas of Zone 3 in the township in an effort to decrease response times.
“On March 2, Miami Township was dispatched to the intersection of Byron Road and State Route 235 for an auto accident with entrapment. It was a 20-plus minute response time because Hustead EMS was called for mutual aid,” said Clements-Pitstick. “This was the second call dispatched to Miami Township at that time. If you pull January information, you will find that 62 percent of the time Miami Township Fire Department received a second call simultaneously, they were unable to handle the second call and needed to call for mutual aid.”
Clements-Pitstick recommended that the township set a standard for response times for all calls to the township. She noted that a 9-minute response time is an average response time in neighboring fire districts. However, some fire departments, such as those departments answering a mutual aid request or crossing county lines, cannot respond in 9 minutes.
Township Trustee John Martin stated that he had observed the accident at Byron Road and State Route 235 and asked Clements-Pitstick if Miami Township could have requested mutual aid from Xenia Township Fire Department, which might have been able to respond quicker. Clements-Pitstick explained that this incident is an example of an emergency where Miami Township could benefit from revising the department’s mutual aid call card for this particular area of the township.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.