Shelby Fire Company says Medina FD is invaluable to neighboring fire companies

Posted 18 January 2015 at 12:00 am


The members of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company recently had a discussion about the upcoming vote on dissolution. We wish to explain our concerns on dissolution and why we feel it wouldn’t be in the best interest of public safety to have the village dissolve.

To start off with, despite what has been said, everyone loses their jobs when dissolution occurs. When Medina dissolves, so does every employee contract. That means some of our strongest allies in public safety are lost, and then we have to hope to get them back and in the same capacity.

As firefighters, when we get called out for a medical emergency there is nothing better than hearing the Medina ambulance crew calling in route. Medina operates four ambulances and the possibility of losing just one of those units during a restructuring after dissolution is too great a risk.

Those against dissolution have said we are using scare tactics to get people to vote no. However, it is us who are worried. Shelby, Lyndonville, Ridgeway, East Shelby and Medina Fire are intertwined with our operations to keep you safe. Firefighters are planners; We have to be to jeep us alive at a fire, and what is being proposed with dissolution has too many variables and would put us all at risk.

What happens if you lose a department, or even part of one, is it will begin to tax the manpower of your surrounding fire companies. What follows are increased response times, less manpower to a scene, and the greater possibility for loss of life and property.

The line officers of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company have discussed what would happen if we had to take over 30 percent of the village in the event Medina Fire or Medina Ambulance does not return to full capacity because there is no guarantee that they will. The determination was that we may not be able to maintain the service level that Medina Fire and Ambulance provides to the area due to extra call volume, which would be catastrophic for public safety.

When firefighters arrive to a burning home, we don’t blindly rush into it hoping for the best. Our chiefs do a size-up, then form the plan of attack that will be the safest and most effective. We do a 360 of the scene, walking around to get a full picture of what is happening. During that time a plan begins to take shape, and then a risk vs. reward calculation is done. How much risk is involved, and how much will the reward be?

The members of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company have done our 360 walk around and size-up of dissolution, as well as risk vs. reward calculation. We have found that the risk of dissolution – the dismantling of a great team of firefighters, ambulances, and paramedics at the Medina Fire Department is not worth the reward, especially for a reward that is not set in stone, a reward that doesn’t make mathematical sense, a reward that just puts all of us at too great a risk.

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company cannot support dissolution because of the potential impact on emergency services and public safety is too great.

Gary Lamar
President of Shelby Volunteer Fire Company