Medina Township trustees voted to consolidate the fire department into the city of Medina Thursday night.
The proposal passed with a 2-1 vote. It lead to 38 layoffs or full time to part time transitions within the Medina Township fire department. Of the 38, 15 live in the City of Medina and have been offered part time employment in the city fire department.
“The levy was passed by voters to have a fire department for this township, funds for this township," said one Medina Township resident. "I can’t see how in the world you can take that levy money and turn it over to the city," she said.
“People will die. Period,” Medina Township Fire Captain Mark Roberts said about the proposal last month. “And we’ve got a Board in here with a list of all the runs that we’ve made this year – the heart attack calls, the overdoses.
Roberts says Medina will now have to cover an additional 25 square miles with less resources.
Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell says he would not make this change if he did not think it was safe. Medina Township fire stations are currently staffed by part-time fire fighters from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. After the merger, township stations will be staffed 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to midnight.
Hanwell says Medina would charge the township $230,000 annually. He also says Medina Township spent $600,000 last year to operate the fire department.