Brown Township, Franklin County
Vol. 1, No. 9
A HISTORY OF DEDICATION
Each year the Norwich Township Fire Department presents the Brown Township Trustees with a summary of the runs for the current year as well as other pertinent information.
First of all, there were 3,563 total runs made in 1997. Simple calculations tell us that nearly 10 runs were made each day! That's a busy firehouse. Just putting the needed gear on and off ten times could lead to exhaustion.
The first firehouse was built in 1943 for $999.99. It had room for the truck and trailer plus a toilet and shower. At that time Brown Township was expected to pay 25% of the cost of operation of the volunteer department. As the firehouse became operational in 1944, consider how the volunteers were notified:
The first alarm was a church bell. Then fire phones were obtained. When a call came in, the people on the two fire phones would call three people, then these three would each call three people and so on until everyone was called. Later, more phones were added and a siren was loaned to the department from Civil Defense. The phones were still used, but when the fire calls came in, the person nearest the fire station ran over and turned the siren on and wrote the address of the alarm on the blackboard inside the building. Men working in different places would hear the siren and come to the fire station to see where the alarm was and then respond.
How exciting it will be when an emergency exists in Brown Township and the NTFD can continue its dedication within minutes from yet another new firehouse.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt
67.7% of those runs were made within the City of Hilliard. Brown Township's portion of the runs was 5.9% or 210 runs, an increase from 1996. Overall, there is a 16% increase over 1996 for total runs in the 39.2 square mile area Norwich Township serves. (see chart).
Response time was divided by category. EMS average response time was 3.39 minutes. Fire and service runs average 4.56 minutes. Of course, Brown Township's response time is longer than average and was not broken down. We are all aware of the need to improve response time in Brown Township.
Responding to the growing pains of Hilliard and the surrounding areas, the Norwich Township Fire Department (NTFD) employs 36 full-time firefighter (30 are paramedics) and 7 part-time firefighters. With the addition of the Brown Township Substation, more personnel will be needed.
Anyone who has had their lives or that of their loved ones, in NTFD's hands will tell you what a safe place that can be. They are highly trained, experienced and dedicated individuals. Dedication rings through the history of the NTFD. Did you know there was once a Norwich and Brown Townships-Hilliards Fire Dept. made up of volunteers?
Before the volunteer department came into being, there was the "Bucket Brigade". The fighting of fires, until the 1940's was an unorganized volunteer project. There was no equipment except the bucket brigade. When a fire broke out, the church bell would be rung and the neighbors would phone each other. All able-bodied persons who had been contacted would arrive at the scene with ladders, buckets and anything else they thought they might need. They would attempt to bring the fire under control, not always very successfully. Member of the brigade did not have the benefit of training or personal protection equipment, other than a handkerchief over the mouth. When the O'Hara PoolRoom burned, bucket brigaders narrowly escaped as the building collapsed.
Saving Farmland Is Smart Growth, Not Anti-Growth
By Tom Mohoric
A recent "cost of farmland" study by (Medina) County Commissioner Steve Hambley shows that since 1990, the value of Medina County's farmland has increased more than 100% - the greatest increase in the entire state.
This is one reason the agricultural community supports the recent decision by county commissioners to establish the Medina County Farmland Preservation Task Force (formally the Purchase of Development Rights Action Committee). This task force is made up of farmers, producers and agribusiness people. It will study and promote the best available tools for ensuring smarter growth for the retention of our vital agricultural industry, which includes production agriculture, horticulture, equestrian activity and related agri-tourism.
There is concern that this committee--as well as the former PDA Action Committee-had turned into a "stop growth" committee. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our county agricultural industries currently generate $200 million annually. This is not the kind of revenue one wishes to see replaces with helter-skelter urban sprawl. The individuals serving on these committees are working on behalf of every county resident, including our children and grandchildren, to ensure a desirable and prosperous future for all, not just for a few.
It is well documented that where planning for agricultural preservation is in place, property values rise, bond rating improve, control over cost of community character is preserved. Farmland protection is not anti-growth; it is smart balanced growth.
Farmland protection takes years of careful thought, public investment and landowner support. Farmland protection strategies are not experimental, but are proven methods of safeguarding both the agricultural industry and the overall quality of life.
One of the tools, purchase of development rights, was discussed last year within the Medina County Farm Bureau. More than one-third of our members indicated they would consider selling their development rights to a county agricultural land preservation board.
In April, the PDR Action Committee drafted a plan for a purchase of development right program. The plan offers farmers a choice when it comes time to take equity out of their land. This is a good tool and a good plan. The newly created task force will be looking at many other ideas to complement this one.
In a recent county survey, one resident remarked he enjoys living in Medina County because it reminds him of how Parma was 40 years ago. This comment is quite striking. According to the county planning commission, we are currently losing the equivalent of 21-100 acre farms every year in the county. In 50 years, all of our farms will be gone. Those who are concerned by this news are invited to join the effort to see that Medina County's farmland is preserved.
Tom Mohoric is a past president of the Medina County Farm Bureau. Medina County is located between Cleveland and Akron. This article is reprinted with permission.