Chief of the Department
9274 Columbia Road
Olmsted Falls, OH 44138
The Fire Department is staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The firefighters are trained as emergency medical service providers with the majority of the staff functioning as paramedics. Seven full time employees including the Chief and Lieutenant are supported by a part-time staff of 21.
The Fire Department has aggressively pursued alternative sources of funding in order to relieve the citizens of the community the burden of additional taxes as well as improved the Department's ability to meet the increased demands in providing service. The city was fortunate to receive funding through the Assistance to Firefighter's Grant program in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. Awards totaled nearly $1.2 million with the City responsible for 5% in matching funds.
Modern personal protective equipment for the firefighters, additional portable radios and a high-pressure breathing air system was purchased in 2002 with the $114,000 provided by the federal government. The Department had never owned a breathing air system which is used to fill the air bottles firefighters wear when working in smoke filled environments. Neighboring communities provided this service in the past.
The 2003 grant proposal provided $225,000 towards the purchase of a new fire engine. The final cost of the truck was $305,000 with the City required to pay approximately $80,000 toward the vehicle.
In 2004, $80,000 in funding was sought to replace equipment that no longer complied with State and Federal Standards and to better equip the new engine. New hose, nozzles, additional breathing apparatus, forcible entry tools, ventilation fans and vehicular radios replaced equipment that was nearly 25 years old. The Department also purchased for the first time, a complete set of hydraulic rescue tools (Jaws of Life) that are frequently used to extricate victims trapped in motor vehicles.
The 2005 grant request for $50,000 focused on equipment used to rescue firefighters who may be trapped during fire operations and to upgrade existing equipment. Improved masks for the breathing apparatus, specialized saws, a thermal imaging camera, and gas detectors were purchased.
In 2008, the Department was the host applicant for a regional communications grant totalling $650,000 for the communities of Olmsted Township, Parma Heights, and Olmsted Falls. This grant allowed the three Departments to transfer to a new communications platform that exists across the State. Cuyahoga County picked up the matching funds for this equipment. There were no costs incurred by any of the communities for this state of the art equipment.
The Department continues to seek new funding sources each year to replace or purchase new Fire and EMS equipment.
During the 2008 calendar year, Department personnel responded to 687 requests for emergency medical care and 223 fire emergencies. The new centrally located fire station on Columbia Rd. has helped to equalize the response time to the three (3) sectors in the city with an average response time for Fire and EMS emergencies of under five (5) minutes.
Olmsted Falls continues to work closely with the Olmsted Township Fire Department to develop coordinated response plans for fires and emergency medical calls. Since both communities face multiple barriers that could delay the response of Fire and EMS services, an automatic aid policy has been developed that will help to minimize any delays in response.
Olmsted Falls Emergency Medical Service transports are sent to five area hospitals including Southwest General, Fairview General, St. John’s Westshore, Elyria Memorial and Metro Health Medical Center.
Focusing on the future emergency service needs of the community, the City built a new centrally located fire station that opened on September 11, 2004 that includes several key components unique to this type of facility.
"Safe room" vestibules allow anyone who may feel threatened by a stranger to seek protection until Police arrive. The station also includes an EMS clinic and a 30 person training and community room that is capable of functioning as an Emergency Operations Center in the event of a disaster.
The Administrative area includes offices for the Chief, Lieutenant, Fire Prevention and a watch office/reception area that is adjacent to the apparatus bays. Adequate space has been included for storage, laundry and housekeeping services and communications equipment.
The living areas include three double bedrooms for the firefighters, a dining area, full service kitchen, dayroom, shower and toilet rooms, lockers and physical fitness training space. There are individual lockers for bedding, personal storage and PPE for each of the 26 firefighters.
The tragic events of September 11th and Hurricane Katrina have made everyone aware that a natural, man-made or terrorist event could occur in or near their own community. The communities of Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township are not immune to such an event and have formed a committee to develop an all-hazards emergency action plan.
The Fire Chief's and officers of both communities continue to meet to review and refine their All Hazards emergency response. Included in this planning is preparation for a potential pandemic or other mass medical emergency. The Fire Departments in the Southwest Region continue to work on a coordinated response to such an event.
Residents should begin to prepare themselves in the event that a disaster occurs in the Olmsted communities. Guidance for supplies, equipment, and other information can be obtained from teh Department of Homeland Security's website at: http://www.ready.gov/america/npm/index.htm
Inspections and Services
In addition to providing Fire and EMS Services to the community and participating in a county-wide mutual aid response system, the Department also provides other important services to the community.
Fire Inspections - The Department has four (4) state - certified Fire Inspectors that conduct occupancy inspections on residential, mercantile and commercial facilities. Yearly maintenance inspections are scheduled for each commercial structure to identify potential hazards, update pre-plan information and assist the owners with any other safety concerns. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire Prevention Programs - Homeowner Associations, schools, churches and other organizations interested in fire safety can contact the department to arrange for a representative to provide a presentation to their group.
CPR, AED and First Aid Programs - Evening and weekend courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillation by the American Heart Association Instructors are available to interested individuals or groups. First Aid programs are also available to individuals and companies interested in complying with OSHA requirements.
Residential Lock Box Access - There are times when an individual loses their mobility for extended periods of time and family members become concerned that Fire or EMS may not be able to gain access in the event of an emergency. The Fire Department provides, at no cost to the resident, a residential lock box that will allow access to a key to the residence in the event of an emergency.
Interested individuals should contact the Department at (440) 235-3238 to obtain additional information on this program.
I welcome your input on any and all issues affecting the City of Olmsted Falls Fire Department. Please feel free to contact me via EMAIL