MOUNT VERNON — At Monday’s meeting of the Knox County Fire and EMS Chiefs Association, members adjourned into executive session to discuss what Association President Rick Lanuzza called “dispatcher personnel issues.”
The motion to enter executive session was made by Fredericktown Fire Chief Scott Mast, and seconded by Central Ohio Joint Fire District Chief Joe Porter.
Lanuzza, Fredericktown’s EMS chief, said no action would be taken, and declined to explain what a second executive session he said was planned to follow the first would cover.
Larry Stimpert, Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District chief and association secretary, told the News the information would be provided later. No such information had been received at press time.
Before the executive sessions, association members discussed the recent decision made regarding the Knox County hazmat truck and trailer. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Board decided late last year to not sell the equipment.
Mount Vernon Fire Chief Shawn Christy said that because the information presented to the chiefs by Knox County EMA at an earlier meeting was incorrect, the recommendation made at that time to sell the truck and trailer no longer fit the situation.
If the truck and trailer are sold, proceeds over $5,000 would be given back to Homeland Security, the agency which originally provided the money for the equipment.
“I think it benefits us as a whole,” Christy said of the WMD board’s decision to keep the equipment in the possession of the Mount Vernon Fire Department, where it remains available for hazmat situations, but the truck can also now be used by MVFD personnel for other purposes.
Christy said the truck has been used for transporting people to fire scenes and carrying hose. He said he hopes it can be used for other purposes in the future.
Mast asked if the decision about the truck needed to be made the day the WMD board met in December. Christy said it was his understanding it was.
Christy said it was a “little shaky” who had the final say regarding the equipment.
“Who has deemed that a MVFD truck?” Mast asked. “Why did it get slotted toward Mount Vernon?”
Christy said he was open to other suggestions regarding the use of the equipment by other agencies. He said if there was another department willing to absorb the training and the cost of equipment, different plans could be discussed and presented at the next board meeting.
Stimpert said he had no argument with the truck staying in Mount Vernon.
In other business, the chiefs discussed the Knox County Fair Disaster Plan, which is being reviewed by Knox County EMA. The chiefs agreed the plan is outdated and in need of many improvements.
Because the fairgrounds are within MVFD’s fire protection area, Christy asked the chiefs who should ultimately be responsible for making the plan. The chiefs present said they had no input in the current fair disaster plan.
Porter said he agreed it made sense the plan should fall under MVFD’s jurisdiction because any emergencies at the fairgrounds happen within the MVFD area.
Mast updated the group on the progress of the Knox County Smoke Detector Campaign, an effort between the Mount Vernon Salvation Army and the chiefs association to raise funds for the purchase of smoke detectors for families who need them. Mast said donations have been received in the past two weeks, and efforts are going well.