HINCKLEY TWP –– The Hinkley Board of Trustees passed Tuesday a motion to expand the Fire Department’s hours of operation.
“It’s going to drastically reduce the overnight response (time),” Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh said.
The motion sets fire department staffing as two members who will be in the building from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. nightly. Previously, the department had been staffed on an on-call basis from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The part-time, volunteer department has a few dozen members.
“We have been discussing our fire department staffing and hours in the hopes of continuing to increase them,” Trustee Becky Lutzko said during Tuesday’s board meeting.
“After having reviewed the budget … it’s something that we are able to do and I think it will improve service and reduce response time.”
The staffing change will cost about $60,000, but residents won’t have to pay more.
“I do want to clarify that this is not an additional cost to the residents,” said Lutzko. “The township passed a levy in 2017 ... this is just allocating levy dollars.”
During the night shift, firefighters will be paid minimum wage. If they are required to go into the field on a call, their pay will increase to their normal hourly rate for the duration of the call. Pay rates were unavailable Tuesday night. The motion will go into effect March 1.
In other news
Resident Mary Holt hopes to create some local legislation regarding dog tethering and animal treatment.
“I am an avid animal lover and I feel very strongly that Hinckley should adopt some type of dog tethering provision to increase public safety and the humane treatment of dogs,” Holt said during Tuesday’s meeting.
She said that tethered dogs can be aggressive, have poor health and will be territorial. Not only is this bad for the dog but it can be dangerous for humans as well because the dog is more likely to attack.
Cleveland, Dayton, Akron, Cincinnati, Youngstown and Brunswick are a few of the cities that have adopted some sort of legislation. Several townships have as well.
The trustees and Police Chief David Centner said they would speak further with Holt about the issue.