NECCFD getting more calls for service

By Joshua Keeran -

NORTH LEWISBURG – The Northeast Champaign County Fire District remains busier than ever, Fire Chief Mike Penhorwood reported during Monday’s NECCFD Board meeting.

Citing run summary data, Penhorwood said the district’s runs increased from 475 in 2014 to 505 in 2015. So far this month, the district has made 52 runs compared to 44 made in January 2015.

“We are up quite a bit,” Penhorwood said.

In 2015, there were 239 runs in North Lewisburg, 108 in Wayne Township, 71 in Rush Township and 44 in Woodstock.

Of the 505 runs made last year, 43 involved mutual aid to other areas, while the majority of the runs within the district were for medical transport (289).

To help the district with its workload in 2016, the board approved the hiring of six part-time employees and passed a motion allowing for the purchase of up to $4,000 in computer-related equipment.

Two of the new part-time employees – Kaleb Quinn (paramedic/firefighter) and Cory Devore (EMT/firefighter) – will fill EMT spots. The other four part-time employees hired on Monday – Logan Adams (EMT), Jarred Reese (EMT/firefighter), Jeff Organ (paramedic/firefighter) and Jake Ropp (EMT/firefighter) – will serve as volunteers.

As for technology improvements, Interim Operations Manager Sarah Page said, the district will purchase two Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablets to be used in the medics. The total cost of each tablet is $928.98, which includes a vehicle mount, keyboard and tough case.

“We are moving to a mobile data platform for EMS reporting,” she said.

The board also signed off on the purchase of two Dell laptops to be used by Penhorwood and Page, as well as the purchase of a new desktop. The total cost of both laptops is $1,398, while the board approved spending $500 on the desktop.

In other business:

•A motion agreeing to pay NECCFD employees their hourly wage plus mileage when subpoenaed for court on behalf of the district was passed by the board.

•Page informed the board that Dr. Robert Lowe, MD, the district’s new medical director, is completing his paperwork with the state and will meet with district personnel on Sunday.

•The American Red Cross will coordinate a blood drive from 1 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the North Lewisburg Municipal Building.

“The Red Cross has a bulletin out that they are in desperate need of blood,” Penhorwood said.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.