Ohio volunteer FDs consider merger with ambulance service

Franklin Township, the village of Carlisle and Joint Emergency Services are discussing the purchase of a study that would determine if the agencies should merge


Ed Richter
Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Carlisle and Franklin Twp. will consider an agreement with the Joint Emergency Services board to have a study done about their services and whether they should combine.

JEMS Chief Andy Riddiough said if the entities approve, the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association will evaluate each department and answer questions including whether they should combine services.

Volunteer fire departments in Carlisle and Franklin Township are considering a merger with Joint Emergency Services (JEMS).
Volunteer fire departments in Carlisle and Franklin Township are considering a merger with Joint Emergency Services (JEMS). (Photo/Joint Emergency Medical Service)

The study would cost about $18,000. If they proceed with the study, the cost would be divided by the three entities, Riddiough said.

JEMS provides EMS services in Franklin Twp., outside the city of Franklin, and employs part-timers. The Carlisle and Franklin Twp. fire departments are volunteer operations.

There have been multiple discussions and studies over the years about merging Franklin Twp., Carlisle, JEMS and Franklin operations. However, increased costs for a joint department was cost prohibitive for the smaller agencies and previous proposals were rejected by voters.

Julie Duffy, Carlisle village manager, said this fire operations feasibility study will be the first one conducted without the city of Franklin.

The city of Franklin pulled out of the JEMS ambulance district and began providing EMS services to city residents with its full-time fire department on Jan. 2, 2013.

"We just want to see what a combined fire/EMS department might look like, but it's not a commitment to create a fire/EMS district," she said.

Traci Stivers, Franklin Twp. administrator, said officials there received the formal proposal and are planning to have it before the township trustees at Wednesday's meeting.

"We want to see how we can provide the best services for our residents," Stivers said.

Riddiough was not sure when the JEMS board would consider the matter. The two-member board consists of Carlisle Councilman Will Bicknell and Franklin Twp. Trustee Brian Morris.

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(c)2020 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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