Minutes: August 27th, 2019

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Special Meeting

August 27, 2019

Catawba Island Township Trustees held a special meeting on Tuesday, August 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the administration building. The purpose of the meeting was to inform residents of the pending contractual agreement with the City of Port Clinton for Emergency Medical Services.

In attendance were: Gary Mortus, Matt Montowski, William Rofkar, Karen Shaw, Kevin Wylie, Dan Barlow, John Gangway, Ernie Wylie, Louie Wargo, Eric Schramm, Brian Washburn, Randy Riedmaier, Sarah Riedmaier, Julie Wylie, Diane Belden, Mary Mahoney, Timothy Mahoney, Jane Shelt, Larry Shelt, Blaise Hoffman, Sue Gillig, Jim Gillig, Brenda Brahier, Allen Stryker, Jordan Davenport, John Schaffner, Marlene Gulas, Reggie Langford, Karal Reese, Alan Miller, Alexandra Cassis, Julie Cassis, John Carroll, Tom Letterhos, Chris Scott, Kevin Gibbons,
Kathy Wylie, and Jeff Green

Chairman William Rofkar spoke on behalf of all three Trustees and began by stating that the impending changes are in no way meant to be a criticism of the volunteers or how EMS has been run in the past. He said it is simply necessary to adapt to the changing times and providing emergency medical help when someone is in desperate need is critical.

William Rofkar said as with most local and national fire departments, CIVFD has struggled to recruit and retain members. He said our volunteers are aging and many of the same people we have depended on over the past 20 to 50 years are the same people answering the majority of calls today and they handle twice as many calls with half the number of members as were on the department in the 1980s.

William Rofkar also described the shifting demographic of the township to older residents which not only increases the need for emergency medical services but makes recruiting difficult. He said families are busy and do not have extra time to dedicate to serving as EMT’s and the training for both certification and continuing education requirements have increased significantly. William Rofkar said not requiring EMT’s to be firefighters and paying-per-run has not helped with retaining recruits.

William Rofkar said Port Clinton has put together an EMS program that includes a paid 24 hour staff housed at the Port Clinton fire station and response time should be similar to what we currently experience. He said their large staff is well trained and also provides service to Bay and Portage Townships.

William Rofkar said the service will cost approximately $130,000 annually which for the immediate future will continue to be funded from the current fire levy initiated in the 1980’s and possibly the general fund. He said the volunteer fire department will remain as it is and the transition is only for EMS operations.

Special Meeting - August 27, 2019 Page 2

William Rofkar said we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have been there for us for so long but times change and we need to look forward to the future and set in motion the best system to serve the community.

Karen Shaw read a letter submitted to Trustees by Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kevin Wylie. The letter stated that the CIVFD supports the contract and will work alongside the Port Clinton EMS to maintain service in Catawba Island Township and that members of the CIVFD believe contracting with Port Clinton is the best current option to provide continuous Emergency Medical Service within the township. It was also noted in the letter that the CIVFD intends to continue their EMS presence and provide continuing education to the department’s EMTs and First Responders with an ultimate goal to recruit additional EMTs and once again provide EMS service through the CIVFD.

Port Clinton Fire Chief Kent Johnson spoke briefly about their EMS operations and answered a few questions including the fact they soft bill insurance companies for their service.

Gary Mortus said it has been a pleasure working with members of the fire department through the long process and many meetings moving forward. He said we may not have always agreed but it has been a team effort between the Trustees and fire department members looking at all the options in determining how to provide the residents with the best service possible.

Matt Montowski reaffirmed this is just a change in the times and an opportunity to better serve our constituents. He reminded those in attendance that the Trustees each serve as a liaison and provide oversight for various areas of service within the township. He said William Rofkar oversees Police and Fire, Gary Mortus oversees Maintenance of Roads and the Cemetery, and Matt Montowski oversees Zoning.

William Rofkar said the proposed contract is being reviewed and there will be a few minor changes before it is agreed upon.

Matt Montowski made a motion to adjourn the special meeting and Gary Mortus seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

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William Rofkar, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer