SIDNEY — A joint project of the American Red Cross and Sidney firefighters resulted in the installation of 83 smoke detectors in local homes Saturday.
Sidney City Council got an update on the project Monday night at a meeting that also dealt with other related business: fire and EMS contracts with surrounding townships and the introduction of a new firefighter.
Brad Jones, chief of the Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services, told council that personnel from the Red Cross, fire and and police installed 83 smoke detectors. At residences where workers did not find anyone at home, they left door hangers with information on how residents could contact the fire department to have a detector installed later.
The detectors have 10-year batteries, Jones said, but he reminded residents who don’t have these new detectors that they should change their batteries at the same time they change their clocks on the Daylight Saving Time “spring forward, fall back” dates.
Saturday’s event was held in connection with Fire Prevention Week, but Jones said that won’t be the only time such a project is conducted. “We’re definitely going to repeat it,” he said.
Although the fire department has smoke detectors for pickup by qualifying low- and moderate-income residents, Jones said the program works best when personnel install the detectors. “Just handing it out, it ends up on the shelf,” he said. The department also has carbon monoxide detectors that personnel will install.
Jones said of the homes he visited Saturday, about half either did not have smoke detectors or the ones they had were too old. He said personnel placed an average of two or three detectors in each residence. “We put a smoke detector on every living level (where people sleep) of the house,” he said.
Jones also presented information about proposed contracts to provide fire protection and/or emergency medical service to area townships for 2016. The contract amounts to be paid by the township are Clinton: EMS, $24,855, and fire, $34,099; Orange: EMS, $6,784, and fire, $9,420; Franklin: fire, $8,974; Washington, EMS, $1.
The dollar values reflect a 1 percent increase over the 2015 contracts (except for Washington Township). In Washington Township, Sidney covers a section of Interstate 75 that is less than a mile long. The only access to the section in Shelby County is from Sidney.
Responding to questions from council, Jones said a federal formula is used in determing the contract amounts. “Our costs are for a state of readiness,” he said. He said previous contracts had 3 percent increases; the 1 percent increase is based on the downward trend of call numbers.
Jones also explained the mutual-aid agreements Sidney has with other departments, which are separate from the township fire/EMS contracts. Other departments provide equipment and personnel when needed at emergencies and Sidney does the same for other departments. No payments are involved for mutual aid.
Council will act on the contracts at its Oct. 26 meeting.
Jones introduced council to Kyle Barlage, who was sworn in earlier Monday as the city’s newest firefighter.
Barlage is a graduate of Russia High School and completed his Level I Firefighting and EMT-Basic certification in 2011 and Level II Firefighting and Paramedic certification in 2012 at Sinclair Community College. He was employed by the Vandalia, Clayton and Englewood Fire departments before joining Sidney. He had previously taken classes as an electrician and received his journeyman certificate in 2009 from Sinclair as well.
The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.