The Erie County Fire Department?

Local officials plan on exploring ideas to maybe consolidate, combine county-based fire services
Andy Ouriel
Aug 1, 2014

Some area officials want to explore the potential for consolidating and combining fire departments in Erie County.

Huron city councilman Sam Artino spearheaded a brief discussion Thursday morning during an Erie County commission meeting about looking into ways to save money without sacrificing fire-related services.

All three Perkins Township residents attended the meeting and backed Artino's suggestion. 

“A group needs to be put together to come up with an effective and efficient service to our constituents and our citizens,” Artino told all three county commissioners. “Local governments are (financially) struggling. I think we are at a point at looking at regional fire or EMS and the sharing of equipment.”

All three Erie County commissioners also seemingly supported the effort but recommended Artino discuss it further with area fire chiefs, including those serving Sandusky, Perkins Township, Huron and Margaretta Township.

“This would be a huge step for our community,” Erie County commissioner Pat Shenigo said. “I think it’s the right step. It’s what every community should be looking at.”

A potential regional fire department would piggyback off a countywide dispatching system, in which 911 communicators located in one centralized hub, inside the Erie County Sheriff's Office, field emergency calls from all across Erie County. The dispatchers then route the call to the right department.

Earlier this week, new Sandusky fire Chief Dave Degnan also voiced support for a deeper look how area departments might be able to share resources and equipment to lowerr costs for area taxpayers.

“It’s definitely a good idea to explore regionalism with other departments,” Degnan previously told the Register. “We have a ladder truck in the city of Sandusky. There is also a ladder truck in Huron and Perkins Township. Sure, (each department) could all be using each ladder truck at the same time. But is it a possibility to explore if we can share other equipment that costs a lot of money? Maybe we can help each other out if one of the department’s doesn’t have enough money for something."



Sam better check with his union friends first, they're not going to like this idea.


I guarantee this plan would include cuts in the workforce!


Lol, so true. Sounds like a great idea though. Quit coming to the tax payer all the time, find ways to cut costs.


I think Sam has a great idea. I hope the entities in the county can look beyond their self centered thoughts and try to reduce costs (tax payers paying) without hurting services.
The county should also look at others systems in the county, like schools too. Lots of bucks to be saved.


"All three Perkins Township residents attended the meeting and backed Artino's suggestion." All three of them, eh? All the other thousands of Perkins residents must have moved to Sandusky or Huron or elsewhere.


There were only four seats to sit. Keeps attendance down.


I am not waiting for a ladder truck to get from Huron to Sandusky. It could mean life or death for someone and a complete burn down of a house. Sharing equipment is not a good idea. Just when you do that, that is when you will need the piece of equipment yourself.


Who said that is the plan? I bet a plan could be developed that serves the people well whether in Huron or Castalia. If a plan can't protect property then it isn't a plan. Just be open to improvement instead of being the party of NO.


No big deal. You carry insurance. Right?


Very bad idea, dispatch needs a lot of work.


How do you know it needs a lot of work?


God bless ya.


Rationalized dispatch is a mess and you want to make it even bigger! Huge mistake, ask the people that know! Sounds good on paper, but is a huge disaster.


Great idea! All equipment would probably remain in the same location. Reduce the top heavy departments! 1 Chief for the county. Next would be the schools!!!


Just annex and get it over with.


Paging Darkhorse : Annex? Please explain your comment. Who would be annexing and what areas would be annexed?


So the county will share the costs of the low life's in Sandusky who use the ambulance service as their personal taxi?


Isn't that an ignorant comment. You need to see someone for your anger issues.

Pumper 7

Excellent idea, it has worked for L.A. For years, it would also stop the jurisdictional nonsense! It would decrease the response times, especially for squad runs!


Regionalization is nothing but annexation without making it legal. The entities lose their identities.


What an assinine assessment!