MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP – The Mad River Township Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a pilot program that will provide incentive pay for battalion officers working weekends at the Enon and Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department.
The vote came following an executive session on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The program will be tested from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 in hopes to improve the response times and availability of battalion officers working throughout the weekends. After the trial period, the program will be evaluated and if deemed successful, could be programmed into the 2016 budget plan for fire and emergency medical services.
“I put forth the proposal to the township trustees which consisted of defining the time periods in the battalion officer’s slot that are to be filled during the weekends,” Enon and Mad River Township Fire and EMS Chief Tracy Young said. “The proposal defined 12-hour shifts, starting at 6 p.m. Friday evening through 6 a.m. Monday morning.”
Young explained that each officer in the department would be responsible for filling one or more of the battalion officer’s weekend shifts each month. As an incentive pay, battalion officers will receive half of their base pay rate during their standby time and full pay rate during emergency responses. Officers are also expected to staff the battalion command vehicle and respond to emergencies to serve as a first response unit and command officer during their 12-hour standby time.
“We value our employees, and we respect their family weekend time,” Young said. “This proposal allows for our officers to be on standby time so they have less family interruption, but yet will still be available to respond on emergencies or any situation that may arise with fair compensation. As our response volume and service demands increase within our response district, we (Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department) must adapt to these changing needs. Our hope is that this pilot program for weekend duty will increase response continuity, decrease the need for mutual aid and provide a fast response by the battalion officer unit.”
According to Young, the Enon-Mad River Township Fire and Emergency Medical Services responds to an average of 1,500 emergency calls annually, at an average response time of approximately five minutes from the time of dispatch to arrival on the scene. Currently, the fire and EMS department consists of 67 members, including firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.
In other township business, Mad River Township Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Wise reported to township trustees that he had submitted a uniformed officer’s report to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department regarding vandalism that had occurred at Porter Park in the Holiday Valley subdivision.
Wise said that a picnic table at the park was damaged by vandals sometime between 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, according to a township road and park employee. He reported that a resident, who lives near the park and wanted to remain anonymous, left a note at the park informing the public that he or she was closely watching the park and would report any criminal activity to local law enforcement. The resident then collected a handwritten note left on the picnic table from an unknown individual who claimed that he or she had witnessed the vandalism. Wise collected all the handwritten notes and took photographs of the damaged picnic table. Anyone who may have any information regarding the vandalism is asked to contact the Clark County Sheriff’s Department at (937) 521-2050.
The deputy also requested that township trustees consider narrowing the entrance to the park so no motorists could drive any vehicles into the park, which is restricted.
New areas of business during the township meeting included a 3-0 vote, in which trustees approved Mad River Township Trustee Kathy Estep’s motion to advance $30,000 from the township’s general fund account to the road levy fund account to pay for current change orders to the 2015 township road project.
The township trustees also approved the lighting assessment for 2016, which reflects a 10 percent increase.
The next regular session of the Mad River Township Board of Trustees will be 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, 260 E. Main St. in Enon.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.