Voter approval of the .25% income tax levy for the Mount Gilead Fire Department will provide funds needed to provide services and staffing at their current level. Anyone who has experienced a structure fire (and we have) or had EMT from your local fire department respond to a lifesaving emergency (and we have), can imagine the tremendous value maintaining a fire department has for a community.
Mount Gilead Fire Department is a municipal fire department. They are owned and operated by the village of Mount Gilead. They are village employees.
They have automatic and mutual aid agreements. They provide automatic aid, for example, to Cardington. They contract with the Village of Edison, Gilead Township, and some of Franklin and Cannon Township. They provide coverage for approximately 9,000 residents, services that include fire suppression, rescue services, advanced life support first-responder, fire prevention, and fire safety inspections.
- The department’s call volume has steadily increased through the years.
- With a limited budget, the increase necessarily impacts the department. Since 2016, Mount Gilead fire department calls for service have increased by 35% or 154 per year. The increased call volume has also increased overall operating costs annually.
- Fire equipment is costly and needs to be maintained or replaced frequently, replacement is a requirement, not a luxury.
- The department’s busiest times are the during the daytime hours when they have the lowest number of volunteers available. If the levy failed, they would revert to a volunteer-only department, leaving them reliant solely on volunteers during the most demanding hours.
Did you know that the Mount Gilead Fire Department has an Insurance Rating of 3? Only 9% of Fire Departments in the entire country have this high of a rating. This helps reduce homeowners’ and business’s insurance. If the levy failed, property insurance premiums would rise approximately 4%.
The income tax would cost you, the taxpayers, approximately $92 a year if you have an annual income of $36,945.
Let’s hope you never have a fire emergency. Let’s hope you never call 911, anxiously waiting for a lifesaving response to a medical emergency.
Last week we met some of the volunteer fighters at Mount Gilead — VOLUNTEERS who have full time jobs, we listened to them explain why they do it. They may have full time jobs in Franklin County or Richland County but they’re volunteering in Morrow County because, literally, one of them said, “We love what we do;” and because this community is home; this fire department “is our family.”
Those are the men and women we want to respond when we’re in need — people who care.