Ohio community steps up to fund EMS service
The Fire Department is all volunteers and establishing EMS service was done from donations and through fundraisers
The Lima News
WESTMINSTER, Ohio — While there’s been numerous departments consolidating services during the economic downturn in the last decade, the Westminster Rural Fire Department has added emergency medical service thanks to generous donations.
One of those supporters, John Rudolph of Rudolph Foods, was always suggesting adding an EMS service. Rudolph was one of the biggest donors to the agency and helped make the suggestion a reality, Chief Jordan Striff said.
Earlier this year, Rudolph died while the agency was working to get the EMS service up and running. Thanks to big donations from Rudolph, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and others, the agency began EMS service on Jan. 1 using a loaner squad from Indian Lake EMS, Striff said.
The rescue squad was purchased from the Upper Scioto Valley EMS in Alger and is dedicated to Rudolph’s memory with a logo on three sides of the vehicle honoring Rudolph’s memory, Striff said.
The Fire Department is all volunteers and establishing EMS service was done from donations and through fundraisers, he said.
“It does not cost anyone in the township a single penny,” he said.
It only took three months to start the program thanks to the generous donations, he said.
The agency went into overdrive to train volunteers up to 20 people, buy a rescue squad and fill it with equipment, Striff said.
“We thought it would take a year or two,” he said.
The department has two paramedics among its 35 volunteers, too, which is the highest level of EMS responders, he said.
The EMS service covers the western half of Auglaize Township, which is about 18 square miles and accounts for 1,500 residences and Rudolph Foods.
Before the agency established EMS, EMS from Harrod had to respond from about 10 to 15 minutes away. Having EMS out of Westminster cut the time down to just a few minutes, he said.
Initially, agency officials expected three to five runs a month but that wasn’t always the case, Striff said.
“In June, we had almost daily runs,” he said.
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