Wednesday Night
Rain Showers
Thursday Night
Rain Showers
Thunderstorms Likely
Friday Night
Thunderstorms Likely
Chance Thunderstorms
Saturday Night
Mostly Cloudy
Chance Thunderstorms
Sunday Night
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
Partly Sunny
Monday Night
Mostly Cloudy
3 Day
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Coldwater, Celina fire departments may join in mutal aid agreement

By William Kincaid
CELINA - The city fire department is again being asked to help a neighboring department.
City council members this week passed first reading of an ordinance authorizing the mayor and fire chief to authorize an automatic mutual aid agreement with Coldwater Fire Department. The city recently approved a similar agreement with the Mendon Fire Department.
The agreement says the city will automatically respond to structure fires in Butler Township instead of waiting for a call for back-up, and Coldwater will do the same for Celina in Jefferson Township West.
If approved by Celina and Coldwater councils, either party could choose to terminate the agreement by issuing a 30-day notice.
Celina Fire Chief Doug Wolters said Coldwater would send a fire engine, fire tanker and manpower to fires in Jefferson Township West, while Celina would send a fire engine and four to five firefighters to any calls north of state Route 219, excluding the village, and a fire engine and two firefighters to fires east of state Route 118 and south of state Route 219.
Wolters pointed out Celina would be first priority in the event of simultaneous calls. Also, if Celina is lacking manpower or equipment, its response would be reduced or canceled, he said.
"Coldwater fully understands that," Wolters told council.
Coldwater made the request to improve the department's Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating, Wolters said. Homeowners and businesses in the townships could have a significant savings in insurance costs after ISO re-evaluates the department, he wrote in a report.
Councilman Mike Sovinski pointed out that the people in Butler Township will benefit from the city's taxpayer-funded department.
"I'm all in favor of this, but we're giving something away here," he said. "We need to make sure we get goodwill out of this."
Wolters said benefits to the city would include a good working relationship with mutual aid departments, additional manpower and water at structure fires in Jefferson Township, heightened firefighter safety, a better chance at obtaining grants and an improved ISO rating.
All council members except June Scott voted yes to approve the ordinance to second reading. Scott questioned a clause in the ordinance that states the mayor and fire chief are authorized to enter into an agreement with Coldwater "in the same or substantially similar form as the automatic mutual aid agreement attached ... as exhibit 1."
Scott was told many ordinances passed by council include the same language.
Council members this fall also authorized a similar automatic mutual aid agreement with Mendon for response in Center Township. The agreement was requested due to a lack of ample personnel on the Mendon department during the day.
Mendon wants Celina to provide automatic mutual aid for structure fires in the entire township. In the past, Celina would ask if Mendon needed assistance before responding.
In return, Mendon's fire department will automatically respond to structure fires in Celina's coverage area of Center Township.
Additional online stories on this date
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Health Department staff will receive 2 percent raises and additional wage increases beginning in January.
The health board discussed employee wages in executive session Tuesday before approving the raises and a revision of the pay scale. [More]
MARIA STEIN - The Marion Local girls' basketball team rode a huge second quarter to coast past Sidney Lehman 61-44 in a game not nearly as close as the final score indicated. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
SWCD reviews pollution complaints
Hall retiring from elections board post
Board members to consider principal's retire, rehire
Council OKs abatement with relocating company
New police cruiser on chief's radar
Go easy on yourself this holiday season
Coldwater expects $615,000 in carryover
Officials to aquire notes to work on renovations
Minster's rally falls short
Fourth straight win for Rangers