Catawba Island Fire Department in need of volunteers

Fairway Estates

Township trustees give nod to generous compensation in 2019

The Catawba Island Township Trustees have unanimously approved a generous pay scale for volunteer members of the Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department. Enacted during its last meeting of the year on Thursday, Dec. 27, it is part of a plan by trustees to generate new interest in the community’s fire and EMS services. The investment will also recognize the current volunteer firemen for their time and sacrifices.

The Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department is located at 4730 E. Cemetery Rd., Port Clinton. It can be reached at 419-797-2424.

Beginning in 2019, members of the Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department will be compensated $20 for each fire and EMS call to which they respond and $20 for each in-house training session attended. They will also be paid $20 for every community event they attend with the department, such as fireworks displays and other community outreach programs.

Until now, members have fully donated their time, receiving only a small annual mileage stipend.

“We currently have a fantastic and dedicated group of volunteers on the department with decades of experience.” said Fire Lieutenant Eric Schramm. “But we need more help. It is our hope that offering to financially compensate our members will attract more people to serve our community.”

Assistant Chief William Moore, Jr.  said that “details of the pay schedule will allow us to remain a volunteer department, but members will have the opportunity to earn payment by attending approximately 40 Monday night training sessions and responding to an average of 425 fire and EMS calls annually.”

In addition to the new financial compensation, the department offers many other perks to members including several social gatherings per year, such as their annual Christmas Party, and custom-tailored Class A dress uniforms after two years of service. Other perks include delicious meals for every monthly business meeting, valuable training and continuing education, and the pride of providing the residents of Catawba Island with a highly valued, critical service.

To become a member, applicants must be a Catawba Island Township resident 18 years or older with a high school diploma (or equivalent) and a valid Ohio driver’s license. Members also must have never been convicted of a felony.

“All training and required equipment are completely paid for by the department. Members may join to become an EMT only or choose to become a firefighter as well,” said Chief Kevin Wylie. “Classes to become an EMT are only offered a few times each year. One will begin on Jan.  21. If you’re interested, please contact us immediately.”

EMS classes are typically taught at Vanguard Sentinel Career and Technology Centers in Fremont. The township reimburses for mileage expenses during attendance.

Those interested may stop by the station any Monday evening, with the exception of holidays, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to request additional information. Interested parties may also contact the department via its Facebook page (CatawbaIslandVFD) or at CatawbaIslandFD@gmail.com.

“We’d love to meet everyone and answer their questions!” said Assistant Chief Moore.

Catawba VFD - vehicle extraction
Fire Lieutenant Eric Schramm and Assistant Chief William Moore Jr. train volunteer firemen how to extract crash victims from a damaged vehicle.

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