Ashland fireplace chief says too many calls, not sufficient employees
Rescue personnel from Ashland Fireplace & Rescue and Jackson County Fireplace District No. 5 apply extrication. [Mail Tribune/ file photo]
Ashland Fireplace & Rescue Chief Ralph Sartain stood earlier than the Ashland Metropolis Council Tuesday and painted an image of a hearth division beneath fireplace.
Ashland Fireplace & Rescue personnel are sometimes within the place of responding to overlapping calls — medical and fireplace calls arriving on the identical time, Sartain mentioned.
Ashland Fireplace & Rescue is the ambulance and fireplace service for town of Ashland, responding to each medical and fireplace calls within the space. As well as, Mercy Flights assists with medical emergencies all through the valley and responds to 911 calls in Jackson County, Sartain mentioned.
He mentioned requires service have grown sooner than the division’s staffing.
In 1995, Ashland had 21 firefighters, who responded to 1,011 requires service, Sartain mentioned.
In 2021, the division had 30 firefighters however responded to four,785 calls, 2,079 of which have been overlapping calls.
As a result of Ashland’s dual-trained firefighters and paramedics see sufferers from the purpose of contact to hospital check-in, firefighters are sometimes caught attempting to stability two very important calls without delay, he mentioned.
“Our farthest current name was from Ashland to Eagle Level for a cardiac arrest,” Sartain mentioned.
The upward development continues, Sartain mentioned. As of Monday, the division was already at 2,960 calls, with 1,655 overlapping to this point this 12 months.
“Which implies we have now one or no assets left in the neighborhood for a further name,” he mentioned.
Seventy-one % of these calls are medical, he mentioned, whereas fireplace calls make up eight % of all calls. Ashland firefighters work a 48/96 schedule – two days on and 4 days off, except known as for extra time.
In response to fireplace hazard days and excessive numbers of medical calls, employees are working extra extra time and, Sartain warned, their sleep patterns are being disrupted to an alarming diploma.
He mentioned the division wants to extend its minimal staffing requirement from eight firefighters per shift to 10 and rent extra employees, a transfer Sartain has known as for prior to now.
Contact Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at email@example.com or 541-776-4487. Observe her on Twitter @MRothborne.