Fire Levy

In a virtual campaign kick-off meeting for the effort to pass a 1.9-mill levy for the Sylvania Township Fire Department, Chief Mike Ramm said the primary reason for the need is an increasing number of calls for service, with many of them being for medical emergencies.

Voters in the Sylvania Township fire district, which includes the City of Sylvania, last approved a levy for the department in 2014, a year when there were 4,706 calls for service. Last year, firefighter/paramedics responded to 6,380 alarms.

Chief Ramm noted that the increase in calls for medical emergencies has coincided with a reduction in the availability of private ambulances to transport people to hospitals for necessary treatment.

Private ambulance companies can’t financially survive waiting for emergency calls from fire or police departments, he said.  Most ambulance companies now operate on schedules taking patients to and from hospitals and other treatment facilities.

Sylvania Township, the chief noted needs an additional medic unit to maintain the level of service expected from the department.

In 2014 there were 3,637 alarms for incidents labeled “rescue and emergency medical service.”  Last year, the department responded to 4,567 calls in that category.

The meeting, via Zoom, was in contrast to the kick-off for the 2014 campaign. That meeting was held in front of the fire station at Main and Monroe in downtown Sylvania and was attended in person by township and city officials, a local television personality, and others.

The pandemic dictated the terms of this kick-off and presents a potentially more substantial difficulty. The chief said he understands the problem in asking for a levy during uncertain economic times.

Nevertheless, the chief added that the department is projected to have less than $800,000 by December next year and be at a deficit of more than $1 million a year later.

He also pointed out that no matter the pandemic’s dangers, Sylvania Township’s firefighter/paramedics have continued to respond to all fires and medical emergencies.

It’s a tough time for everybody,” he said, but “we have to be able to protect the community.”


Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer

Published: September 11, 2020

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