An automatic aid agreement recently approved by the Sylvania Township trustees will help create quicker and more economical response to fire emergencies in both Sylvania and Springfield townships. Sylvania Township adjoins Springfield Township to Springfield's north.
Under the agreement, more resources, including equipment, are to be dispatched.
"This operational enhancement will help place more firefighters on the scene initially, which will help reduce property loss by having the adequate manpower for an aggressive initial attack," said Barry Cousino, Springfield Township fire chief.
He said the change also will help increase safety of firefighters who report to the scene. "Most suburban and rural fire departments operate with minimal staffing because of limited funding and the economic downturn.
"Springfield Township previously responded with nine firefighters to a working fire, which is significantly less than most metropolitan fire departments that respond with approximately 25 firefighters," Mr. Cousino said.
Participating in the mutual aid agreement will add responders to the scene. "So the intent is not to reduce staffing or equipment, but to try and keep our firefighters alive and safe," he said.
Sylvania Township Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski agreed that one of the biggest impacts will be to the response time. "I agree wholeheartedly that it's going to help increase our resources," he said.
He added that the partnership will mean another engine will be reporting to the scene.
He also said the partnership will increase the relationship between the two township fire departments.
"We have highly trained, highly motivated individuals that are dedicated to protect both townships and I can't say enough about both departments," Mr. Kowalski said.
-- Kelly McLendon