ANNA — At the end of 2014, the Jackson Center Rescue Squad (JCRS) disbanded due to low membership numbers.
Anna Rescue Squad (ARS) was responding mutual aid for JCRS prior to their disbandment. When JCRS ceased operations, Anna Rescue contracted with the Village of Jackson Center and Jackson Township to provide their citizens with EMS coverage. It is a five-year contract that will be evaluated by both parties at the end of each year.
The contract was finalized in March and $16,000 was given to ARS. The 2015 coverage will be covered in return for Anna Rescue receiving Jackson Center’s equipment and squad. The village will start collecting tax revenue in 2016 for the year 2017.
Levies to support the ambulance services will be on the November ballot. There will be one for Dinsmore Township residents, including the villages of Anna and Botkins, and one for Jackson Township, including the Village of Jackson Center.
Dinsmore’s reads: A renewal of a 0.3 mill and an increase of 0.4 mill to constitute a tax for the benefit of Dinsmore Township, for the purpose of providing ambulance service, emergency medical service or both, at a rate not exceeding 0.7 mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.07 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2016, first due in calendar year 2017.
Jackson’s reads: An additional tax for the benefit of Jackson Township, for the purpose of providing ambulance and emergency medical service, at a rate not exceeding 0.5 mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.05 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2015, first due in calendar year 2016.
Jessica Rickert, administrator for Anna Rescue, said, these levies will help keep everything up to standards. It will pay for a new ambulance, along with new equipment for the ambulances. It will give voters in Jackson Township the opportunity to assist the Anna Rescue Squad to achieve their goals and standards while serving the public in Jackson Township, Jackson Center Village Administrator Bruce Metz, said.
Rickert and Metz said the working relationship between ARS and the village has been good. “They are a vital part of our community, with our population more than doubling during the day,” Metz said.
He said, they continually communicate with us on run volumes and times. As of Aug. 31, Anna Rescue had responded to 113 calls within the village and township in 2015. Their average response time to arrive on scene is an impressive 4.89 minutes. In total, ARS has responded to 372 calls within their entire territory.
The addition of Jackson Township added over 60 square miles to the Anna Rescue territory bringing them up to 176 square miles of territory to cover.
To meet the increased demand and call volume, ARS added weekend paid daytime coverage in addition to weekday coverage which was already in place. Night time coverage continues to be volunteer.
A big goal of ARS in the future is working on their response time, Rickert said. They want to reach more people in more areas, and have volunteers in and from more areas.
ARS has moved into the rescue building in Jackson Center and are starting to take some calls. They have some additional personnel attending school to become certified with the hopes to take all calls from there, Metz said.
Rickert said, in total they have 32 volunteers and 7 are currently going through training. They had a few come to them from JCRS that were fully certified. She said they are always looking for more. Community members who are interested in serving with the new rescue squad should contact Rickert at 937-394-7377.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN