MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP ─ The Enon-Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department has reported a decrease in emergency responses for the third consecutive year, according to the department’s 2016 Annual Statistical Report.
Township firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) responded to 1,707 emergency runs in 2016, which reflected a 3 percent decrease in comparison to 1,760 responses in 2015 and a 4.7 percent decline, compared to 1,791 calls in 2014. However, the four-page statistical report showed a 0.9 percent increase when comparing the volume of responses last year to 1,692 responses reported in 2013.
“The numbers in 2016 almost matched up to the total numbers for 2015,” Fire and EMS Chief Tracy Young said when presenting the annual report to Mad River Township Trustees during the Feb. 21 township meeting. “Although the response volume decreased by 53 runs, the complexity of response increased.”
Using the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), Young categorized the type of incidents the department responded to in 2016 and illustrated those results using a pie chart. Once again, EMS runs clearly dominated the operations of the department during the year and accounted for 86 percent of the department’s total responses. Incidents relating to all types of fires represented 2 percent of the total responses for 2016, which showed a slight decrease when compared to 3 percent of emergency responses in 2015.
Other incident classifications included in the report were Haz-Mat emergencies at 2 percent, service calls at 2 percent, good intent at 6 percent and false alarms at 2 percent. The fire and EMS department also saw a decrease in mutual aid responses during 2016. The department provided mutual aid 37 times last year in comparison to 49 mutual aid responses in 2015.
The fire and EMS chief reported that the average fire and EMS response times increased in 2016 but pointed out that slower response times to illegal burns partially attributed to those results. The median EMS response time increased from six minutes, 43 seconds in 2015 to seven minutes and 49 seconds in 2016. The average response time to fires rose from nine minutes, 48 seconds in 2015 to 10 minutes and five seconds in 2016.
“Anything above 10 minutes, I get concerned,” Young said. “However, I did take into account that firefighters respond to illegal burns at a slower pace.”
In addition, the annual report detailed EMS and motor vehicle accident (MVA) statistics from 2011 through 2016 which were illustrated in two bar graphs. Last year, Medicount reported that EMS and MVA gross revenues totaled $300,155. This category was then broken down into three subcategories that included the annual gross and net amounts received for the department’s fire and emergency services, MVA billing and Hustead EMS.
Young reported that the overall gross revenue for 2016 increased 0.45 percent in comparison to the 2015 gross revenue. Net revenue per response added up to $318.58 in 2016 compared to $312.89 in net revenue per response in 2015 and $308.66 in 2014. However, he pointed out that the collection rate of return in 2016 was 86.3 percent, compared to 94.9 percent in 2015 and 93.5 percent in 2014.
The chief said determining the cause and origin of fires is the only way to prevent future fires and to develop fire prevention programs that correlate to the community’s needs, and he illustrated that information in two pie charts.
According to the report, 19 percent of all fires that took place in 2016 originated in outside areas, and 13 percent of the fires occurred in large, open spaces. Seven percent of all fires were characterized as cooking fires. Fires originating on highway and streets, storage tanks and bins, storage supplies structures, vehicle storage, substructures and vehicle trunks represented a 6 percent portion each of all fire origins.
Unintentional actions contributed to 44 percent of all the fires occurring in the village and township last year. The source of 38 percent of the fires was classified as undetermined, and 6 percent of the fires were intentional in nature. Failure of equipment, such as vehicle fires, represented 12 percent of all fires.
Young also noted that 11 incidents resulted in significant fire loss at an estimated total cost of $224,050.
The report also included a long list of accomplishments achieved by the department during 2016, including the implementation of an electronic patient care reporting system, the purchase of a second LUCAS CPR device, and the achievement of three EMTs who received their paramedic certifications.
“The focus on 2017 will include the general enhancement of the infrastructure of the fire and EMS station,” Young said. “We will also continue to improve programs and communications.”
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.