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Issue #11 Paramedic Levy Renewal

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of North Ridgeville’s paramedic service. In 1995, the residents of North Ridgeville passed a paramedic levy to hire seven firefighter/paramedics and equip the Fire Department ambulances to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) care. The program has been a huge success and we are proud of the fact that all 36 of our Fire Department staff are now state certified paramedics. The Fire Department currently staffs three ambulances each day and answers over 3,000 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls a year. In 2017, our paramedic service became one of six EMS agencies in the State of Ohio to receive the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accreditation which signifies that we have met the “gold standard” determined by the ambulance industry to be essential in a modern EMS provider. Our EMS service also receives an American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Achievement Award each year for our successful care of cardiac patients in the field.

The paramedic levy is on the ballot every five years for voter approval. The Fire Department considers this to be our “report card” from our residents. If we have done a good job over the past five years and the residents are happy, that is reflected by the number of votes the paramedic levy receives. This year, there is a paramedic levy renewal on the ballot with a .5 mill increase to provide for an increase in Fire Department staffing.

Currently two of the three ambulances that the Fire Department operates each day are staffed with three firefighter/paramedics. The third ambulance is only staffed with two firefighter/paramedics. Although two personnel can handle any first response to an emergency, we feel it is necessary to transport critically ill or potentially unstable patients with three firefighter/paramedics. The two person ambulance is also the only crew without an officer or what most would consider a formal boss. When the two person ambulance currently responds to a critically ill or potentially unstable patient, the Fire Department sends a second ambulance or calls for mutual aid to assist with the transport.

The paramedic levy renewal with .5 mill replacement that is on the ballot this May would allow the Fire Department to hire three additional firefighter/paramedics and promote three current firefighter/paramedics to lieutenant. This would result in three fully staffed ALS ambulances in service each day. It will also improve the Fire Department’s ability to respond to other fire and rescue emergencies. The Fire Department has not seen an increase in staffing in over 11 years.

The current paramedic levy is a 1.75 mill levy. The May renewal with .5 mill increase would result in a 2.25 mill paramedic levy. This would be an increase of $17.50 per year on every $100,000 of home valuation. If you have any thoughts or questions concerning the City’s paramedic service or the upcoming renewal/increase, please feel free to contact Fire Chief John Reese at (440) 353-0803.

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