NORTH LEWISBURG – The Northeast Champaign County Fire District Board, during its Nov. 30 meeting, voted to hire Dr. Robert Lowe, MD, as the district’s next medical director.
“We were all very impressed with Dr. Lowe,” said Interim Operations Manager Sarah Page, who added the decision to hire Lowe was primarily based on changes being implemented by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which currently provides the NECCFD’s medication direction services through Dr. Colin Kaide, MD.
“Dr. Kaide is a fantastic doctor, and he gave us a wonderful protocol that helped develop and shape this department,” Page said. “Unfortunately, the direction OSU is going with medical direction is no longer fitting with our needs.”
Lowe, who is EMS medical director for OhioHealth and provides medical direction to more than 10 fire departments throughout the state, will be employed by the NECCFD on a yearly basis beginning Jan. 1, 2016, at a cost of $2,000.
“Dr. Lowe’s contract will be exactly the same as the current contract, so there will be no cost change,” Page said.
Two of the fire district’s emergency vehicles – Engine 321 and Medic 321 – will be outfitted with new tires just in time for winter weather after the board accepted two estimates from Spain’s Service Center in North Lewisburg.
Along with six new tires, the fire truck will receive six new rims. The cost of outfitting Engine 321 with the new tires and rims is estimated to be $3,264.52.
As for the squad, only the six tires will be replaced at an estimated cost of $2,465.66.
In other business:
•Fire Chief Mike Penhorwood expressed his desire to bring more awareness to the community in regard to the importance of smoke detectors.
“We’ve been on four or five runs where, evidently, smoke detectors in our community aren’t much of a priority,” he said. “I don’t know what to do.”
Penhorwood did highlight a program that some eligible residents have taken advantage of, and he’s hoping to find other avenues to help make smoke detectors readily available to everyone.
“We have a program where we will install smoke detectors under certain circumstances for the elderly or those under the poverty level,” he said. “I’m going to call the state fire marshal’s office to see if there are other programs out there where we can maybe get a bulk of smoke detectors shipped out here, and we can pass them out.”
•North Lewisburg resident Pat Bollack-Brown informed the board that the American Red Cross blood drive held on Nov. 25 in the North Lewisburg Municipal Building was deemed a success.
The American Red Cross, Bollack-Brown said, will coordinate another blood drive at the municipal building from 1 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 29.
“We are encouraging people who didn’t come to the last blood drive because they have kids to come to this one,” she said, adding there will be activities available to keep kids entertained.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.