Liberty Township

Insufficient response to 911 call unlikely, despite reductions

To the Editor:

This is in response to a letter to the editor by Mr. Jim Hurt that criticized Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan for supposedly hurting the township's fire department by not supporting the status quo of overspending.

I met Melanie Leneghan when she was running for trustee. She was pounding the pavement walking door to door campaigning for the trustee position. I am 65 years old and have worked in private industry for 35 years. In that time I feel that I have become a good judge of character. Ms. Leneghan impressed me with her friendliness, calm demeanor, candor and passion for fiscal responsibility in government.

I am a retiree on a fixed income. Mr. Hurt refers to Ms. Leneghan's involvement in the fire levy as "political grandstanding." Well, if political grandstanding is code for fiscal responsibility and representing the taxpayers, then I am all for it.

Mr. Hurt also points out the renewal levy passed in February only allows for two paramedics to respond as opposed to the previous three-paramedic response. In an auto accident that I was involved in a while back, the Columbus EMS responded with two paramedics, which I felt was more than adequate. What Mr. Hurt fails to point out is that in the event of an advanced life support 911 call, or what he refers to as "life-threatening," a minimum of four paramedics would be sent, depending upon which truck is manned that day. In all, 13 paramedics are scheduled 24/7 in Liberty and are backed up by Delaware County EMS and paramedics from Concord, Orange and Washington townships, among others.

What I find amazing is that the residents of Liberty Township are paying for redundant EMS services. We pay for Liberty Township EMS support through the levy. We also pay for EMS services to Delaware County in the form of county sales tax. In fact, 13 of 18 townships in Delaware County get all their EMS services through the county. Liberty Township could also.

And Melanie Leneghan is criticized for being fiscally conservative regarding the township fire levy? Come on!

As for the special-needs registry, it is a countywide service. The information is on the county servers and it is as available to Liberty Township residents today as it ever was. The senior-care program is a being funded by the Delaware County Council for Older Adults. It is a new program and it is the goal to eventually roll out the program to the entire county.

So Mr. Hurt, rest assured that should you require EMS services, you will not only have 13 firefighter paramedics scheduled in Liberty Township to assist you, but you will also have plenty of backup.

John Weis

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