I must commend the East Wayne First Responders for their commitment to the community that they
serve. There is no denying that this has been a rough year for the first responders of the EWJFD, but
they continue to serve the community and the district. I hope that all parties will step back and realize
that the EWJFD District is the best option for both communities for fire and EMS protection. Fire
Departments work as a network and losing even one is going to put the whole community in danger.
Dalton Council is considering leaving the EWJFD and contracting with North Lawrence Volunteer Fire
Department (NL) in Stark County. Closing these fire stations for even a year is dangerous because who
will be there to staff?
This could be disastrous even on a short-term basis of one year. North Lawrence already covers parts of
Lawrence, Baughman and Tuscarawas Townships. I question as a Baughman resident how this will affect
our coverage for Fire and EMS. Some Baughman residents are paying higher insurance premiums since
we switched to North Lawrence in 2019. This has been documented at the Baughman Township
meetings this year. I have a commercial insurance policy that has a yearly audit as do most commercial
policies which could potentially raise rates immediately for businesses. Baughman Township residents
just started to see their rates increase this year after ISO (private fire rating system) updated the
coverage areas from the 2019 coverage area changes. Any area that is more than five miles from the
nearest fire station is automatically rated a 10. (10 is the lowest score which means the fire department
does not meet the ISO minimum requirements).
The closing of both stations, even for a year, would destroy the ISO fire department network in our area.
NL is 8 miles from Marshallville and 6.7 miles from Dalton. Both communities and surrounding township
residents would see huge increases in premiums and cancellation of policies by insurance companies.
This is already happening in Baughman in the North and South areas of the Township (furthest coverage
areas). I also want to state that this is not a reflection of service from NL but simple geographic
distance of the two communities. NL lost the Lawrence Township fire contract last year and gained it
back after response times and ISO ratings went up for residents in the NL area .
I want to close by saying that if all the time spent were put into working to solve the district problems
instead of tearing it apart our community would have one of the best fire departments in the State of
Ohio. Please support the East Wayne Fire District and the first responders that staff it.