September 26, 2002

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Fire squad wants to expand student ride-along program

At the Township trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, Chief Colin Altman reported that he was in the process of negotiating with the "Learning for Life" Insurance company to get further coverage for the fire department's "Cadet Program."

The program, in which Miami Township Fire-Rescue works with the Explorer Program, allows students over the age of 15 to ride along with the fire squad on non-emergency calls. Altman said the program "helps younger people learn hands on skills and watch firemen take on real-life situations."

Altman wants to provide insurance coverage for the students so they can ride with the squad on emergency calls as well.

In other Township business:

· Miami Township Fire-Rescue is trying to get local businesses to sponsor the purchase of new emergency telephones for the bikepath. MTFR plans to pay for the maintenance after the initial purchase. While the old phones were destroyed by vandalism, the new ones are "practically unbreakable," Altman said. Businesses interested in sponsoring a phone should call the fire department at 767-7842.

· Mandatory drug testing will begin at the fire department for all ambulance drivers, paramedics, EMT's or anyone else with access to medicinal narcotics. Within the next year, a minimum of 10 percent of all employees will be tested. The drug screening will allow Fire-Rescue to save 15 percent of what it currently spends on worker's compensation dues. All new employees are tested when they join the squad.

-Michael Hogan Jr.