A message from the Fire Chief (12/7/17)

Fire Chief Kirt Sickels · Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Hello West Liberty and the surrounding communities!

The West Liberty Fire and EMS Department would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Please be careful in your holiday travels as safety is a very key message from all us! Buckle up and make sure you have an emergency safety bag in your car. Complete with a blanket, emergency flares and a few bottles of water.

As we grow closer to that “New Year” I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some information and major accomplishments done by your West Liberty Fire & EMS Department. First off, and very important to us, has been your support of our department and our needs. WE THANK YOU! Without this support, we would not be the department that we are very proud to say is one of the best Volunteer Fire Departments around!

Recently we lost a very special member of our department that had been on board for more than 55 years as an active member: Mr. Bill Cline. Our sincere condolences and sympathies are with the Cline family and this loss sits heavy in our hearts. The mold was broken when they made Bill, and we surely benefited from his expertise and unselfishness!

The year has been a very active and busy one for all of us! You may have noticed that we have been out quite a bit with our lights and sirens a going! We will again have a record breaking year as we have already surpassed our numbers from last year at this time! Well over 500 ambulance runs and right at 100 fire calls for the year thus far.

At times, we have been stretched to capacity with more than one emergency going on at the same time! Cars vs cars, cars vs Semi’s, and cars vs trains! In fact, this past year we have seen two car verses train emergencies, and thanks to a well-trained crew and some incredible rescue equipment, there was some very positive outcomes!

Both our ambulance and fire calls are up this year, but our Volunteers have decreased. We are always looking to bring on dedicated members of the community to help give back to their community, so if you are interested, please stop by the fire department and talk with one of us about joining!

Some facts that may be interesting to you also would be the amount of time our Volunteers give to the community! For example, if we had 600 calls and you went on 20 percent of those calls, the average amount of time expended per call would equal about 3 hours. Thus, that would be 360 hours. Now add 72 hours of annual training to maintain certifications and you have 432 hours for this example. As you can see our Volunteers are very dedicated and committed to the community!

Some additional positives for the department would be the addition of a ladder truck! The truck was in our 5-year plan and thanks to the City of West Liberty, our City Manager, Mr. McNaul and the Rural Board, we were very fortunate to get this truck and it was a real steal for the community!

As a result of how busy our ambulance has been, we have put a lot of miles on them and it is past due to replace one of them. Thanks to our fund-raising efforts, our very successful “Train Ride”, and most importantly the Joseph and Edward Ryan Memorial Trust we will be purchasing a new ambulance and will expect delivery sometime in July of next year!

Again, a special thank you to the community and to the Joseph and Edward Ryan Memorial Trust!

Another item of interest to the community would be West Liberty’s ISO rating. ISO stands for Insurance Service Office. This is a, for profit, organization that provides statistical information of risk. The ISO rating scale is from 10-1. This rating affects everyone as it helps set insurance rates for all properties. The higher the rating the more you pay in those rates.

We recently were inspected earlier this summer and we have received our ratings back. Again, due the efforts of the City Water Department and Fire Department producing all our fire and water resources our rating was dropped from a 7 to 5.5! This should pay all some savings!

In closing, it has been my honor to serve this past year as the West Liberty Fire Chief and work with--in my eyes--some of the best unsung “heroes” of this community! Feliz Navidad! Happy Holidays, and may your 2018 New Year be very fruitful and memorable!

Fire Chief Kirt Sickels
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