SIDNEY — The Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services experienced a large increase in activity in 2016.
“During the past year, the department responded to 4,083 calls for service, which is 5.6 percent increase from the 2015 levels, a 12 percent increase from 2014 – and the highest volume of calls in Department history,” said Chief Bradley S. Jones. “There were 4,083 EMS calls and 931 fire calls. Those fires resulted in three civilian injuries, two fatalities, and four firefighter injuries; and accounted for fire losses totaling $637,095 which is less than the 2015 fire loss.
The Fire Prevention Division also experienced a busy year, performing 348 inspections. In conjunction with the Sidney-Shelby County Fire Investigation Unit, they were involved in 24 fire investigations, with 14 of those within the City of Sidney. This is an increase from 15 fire investigations in 2015. Over 4,000 youth and adults were served with 120 instructional programs in fire safety, fire extinguisher usage, and educational safety programs given annually in all public and parochial schools in grades K-5.
With over 6,000 total man-hours, fire personnel continued in-service training with classes: Cardiac, Geriatric and Pediatric Protocol, Trauma, 12-Lead EKG, SCBA, Pediatric advanced life support (PALS), and other EMS courses. Fire training included: pump operations, general hose, technical rescue areas including ice rescue, river rescue, trench rescue, rope rescue, vehicle/machinery rescue, hazmat operations, grain bin extrication and confined space. Personnel attended classes outside the department for Hazmat IQ, Fire Officer I and Fire Officer II and Fire Instructor and Fire Inspector. Members of the department also conducted a river rescue training for the Piqua Fire & EMS Department. In April, the department in conjunction with CXS and the local LEPC, a full scale HazMat exercise was conducted at Cargill.
On Jan. 11, Firefighter Jason Truesdale was promoted to lieutenant of the Fire Prevention office, and was joined by Firefighter Tony McLain who promoted to lieutenant on Feb. 22.
In March, we had four new members join Sidney Fire & EMS – Adam Schulze, Derek Stitzel, Caleb Dersch and Andy Zumberger. Collin Habel and Kyle Meyer became the newest members of the Operations division in June.
In April, Mark Pleiman, a 17-year member of the department, was named the 2015 Firefighter of the Year.
The Department helped sponsor the 35th Midwestern Ohio Fire Investigators Seminar in April, and celebrated Fire Prevention month in October.
Also in 2016, City Council approved the purchase of 12.5 acres of land on Wapakoneta Avenue for a future third fire station.
“The need for a third fire station, located in the northern portion of Sidney, was identified more than two decades ago,” Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst stated. City Manager Mark Cundiff added, “We do not have the necessary resources to either build or staff a third fire station at this time. However, Council realizes that the desired property is available now and may not be in the future.” This purchase was definitely a step in the right direction for the citizens of Sidney!
In 2017, the Department looks forward to continuing to serve the community.