BERLIN TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – When emergencies happen, timing is everything.
Right now, it takes the Berlin Township Volunteer Fire Department around 13 minutes to respond to a call.
Firefighters say their neighborhoods deserve better, so they’re asking residents to vote “yes” for a staffing levy this November.
“We need to get there sooner, rather than later,” said firefighter Sam Barnhouse.
If the staffing levy passes, firefighters say it could dramatically reduce their emergency response times.
“The way it’s going, our calls are just going to keep going up. We need to start at some point to allow for that staff to be there and provide those services that are necessary because volunteers are hard to come by anymore,” Barnhouse said.
The current 2.8 mill levy will expire at the end of the year.
“So we are putting on a 4.5 mill levy, which essentially only adds 1.7 mills to the current levy that’s already in effect,” Barnhouse said.
With the extra money, the volunteer department says it would be able to staff one person 24/7, cutting its response time from 13 minutes or more down to 7 minutes or less.
“That is huge when it comes to any medical call,” Barnhouse said.
If the levy passes, those at the department believe it will help their neighbors by giving them the service and quick response they deserve.
“There’s a lot of benefits to it in providing that care for them when they need it. It’s there for them as they’re paying for it, so they should be able to have that service when they need it,” Barnhouse said.