The more things change, the more they stay the same for Port Clinton Fire & Rescue.
The department has changed its name, and for the last two years has handled emergency medical services in Port Clinton, as well as the surrounding townships of Catawba, Portage and Bay.
The fire department has also added such high-tech equipment as a mobile stroke unit, and had enhanced its ability to cleanse ambulances and provide special equipment and PPE supplies throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
When Port Clinton City Council gave its final approval to the 5-year, $1.9 mils renewal levy recently that will appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 2 ballot, despite rising costs it was the same $1.9 mils amount and 5-year term the voters approved in 2016 to fund the mostly volunteer department.
“We have an amazing team of men and women who make up Port Clinton Fire & Rescue,” said Fire Chief Kent Johnson. “They’re dedicated, taking so much time out of their lives to help others during fires, medical emergencies and other disasters.”
Johnson had said months ago the added expense of treating all medical emergencies during the pandemic would be a financial challenge. He pointed out that because of the risk of infection, medical personnel and firefighters had to treat all of the people being helped as if they were positive for Covid-19, requiring far more PPE and other equipment.
The financial support from the Port Clinton Firefighters Association from its annual fundraiser, a Feather Party held in November, went by the wayside in 2020, as well. It was cancelled due to social distancing regulations by the Ottawa County Department of Health.