By Martha Jacob –
The Georgetown Village Council has given approval to Georgetown Fire Chief Joey Rockey to hire at least two part-time employees to ensure continuous fire and EMS coverage to the village.
Rockey presented a power-point presentation to members of council Dec. 8 explaining why the steps were needed by his department.
“Months ago, we figured out that we needed to step outside our zone and hired a consulting firm, Otto J. Huber out of Loveland to study our situation and give us some recommendations on solutions. regarding our fire and EMS,” Rockey said. “We had a real problem with a lack of staff, so we hired someone to study our situation here in Georgetown and help us come up with a plan. He actually had more that 15 recommendations including one big one, and that is to hire two part-time employees to cover the department.”
Mayor Dale Cahall commented that the main reason the two positions were needed was because of the amount of runs that the Lifesquad and fire department are experiencing, and particularly because when they are out on runs second calls often come in and are being missed, especially during the day. He said lives may depend on that void and those missed calls.
“Our department is currently staffed with all volunteers, they don’t get salaries,” Rockey continued, “They do get paid a small amount per call they go on, but it’s not much. We have 25 volunteer firefighters and 7 EMT’s that are not firefighter certified. The active employees on the EMS rouster is 11. As far as equipment goes, we have two ambulances and two engines, a ladder truck and a tanker, a brush unit and a farm rescue trailer.”
He continued, “Our area that we cover is the Village of Georgetown, all of Pleasant Township, a third of Franklin Township and about a third of Scott Twp. That’s 54 square mile about 7,000 people. That’s a big district. During the day our staffing is inadequate. We’re on track to make 1,100 EMS calls this year alone. That’s a lot of calls.”
Rockey went on to discuss other reasons for the need to hire two people to cover the department including the fact that up until two years ago Georgetown had its own hospital and didn’t have to transport patients so far away, all the volunteers in both departments have full-time jobs and usually work during the day.
“These two full-time people will be EMT/Firefighter certified,” Rockey said, “They will work 12 hour shifts, serving during the day, which will assure coverage for our citizens. The village will pay the two employees.”
The cost for the village will be approximately $156,000 annually. Council approved Rockey’s request following his presentation.
Rockey said he would begin looking for candidates right away.