LSFD Emergency Unit Receives Award

Thursday, 11 April 2013


The Emergency Services Unit of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department received the Ohio Fire Corps Award of Excellence and the National Fire Corps Honorable Mention Saturday, March 16, at the Ohio Fire Corps Conference.

Lt. Jim Hellyer of the ESU received the Ohio award from Candice McDonald, the Ohio Fire Corps State Advocate and the national award from Sarah Lee, the deputy director of the National Volunteer Fire Council and Director of the Fire Corps. The Ohio Fire Corps Conference was at the Mohican State Park Lodge & Conference Center.

The Fire Corps is the key component of Citizen Corps that supports and supplements resource-constrained fire and emergency medical services through the use of citizen advocates for departmental activities. There are 1,347 Fire Corps units nationally and approximately 40 units in Ohio, with the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department unit being unique.

The Loveland-Symmes Fire Department’s ESU provides supplemental operational and administrative assistance specifically in the area of fire, disaster, and related emergency services. It is made up of 14 volunteers from the community that wanted to serve their community and the fire department.

The unit was established in 2005 born from ideas in the department strategic planning session from Fire Chief Otto Huber. It was based upon the Federal Community Emergency Response Team and Fire Corps. The program, which is directed by Deputy Fire Chief Billy Goldfeder and Hellyer, took it a step further.

According to Huber, “ESU members may choose to be assigned to a duty crew at a firehouse and participate directly in emergency response activities along with the on-duty, regular firefighters.”

ESU members are also subject to regular emergency “call out” to assist in specific situations as needed, which include assisting on fire and emergency calls, performing traffic control at events and incidents, and providing disaster support services such as flood and wind storm response. This is in addition to supporting many community events. This frees the department’s professional firefighters and medics to concentrate their efforts on providing the best possible care and services to the community.

The ESU also helps maintain the fire department’s Homeland Security’s Mass Casualty Unit and provide much of the planning and training for the Citizens Fire Academy, which offers citizens within the community the opportunity to learn more about their fire department. It was the expanded roles of the department’s ESU that helped them stand out in Ohio-and the nation- and earned them the recognition for the awards.

Huber emphasized that “our volunteer members do some serious and important work. Those who have joined have learned that they gain at least as much as they contribute. If not for the dedication of our residents and the financial support of the Township Board of Trustees and the City Council, this program would not be possible.”

“We are beyond proud of our ESU members and their achievements,” Goldfeder said. 

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