Some Ohio Townships Give Columbus More Fire and Medic Help Than They Receive

Taxpayers in central Ohio townships and suburbs provided Columbus with fire and medic runs worth as much as $80 million last year. At the same time, many township residents are being asked to pay higher fire taxes, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

Data detailing emergency and fire runs provided by the Columbus Division of Fire show that as the city has grown during the past decade, it has become increasingly reliant on other fire departments to cover parts of the city.

To ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, Columbus fire officials count a run as one vehicle responding to an emergency. Area departments made nearly 45,000 more emergency runs into Columbus than they got in return last year, according to the city’s run data.

That level of service would be equal to the city’s second-busiest fire battalion.

A Columbus fire battalion consists of four or five stations; each station has 36 firefighters and at least two emergency vehicles. Factor in the equipment costs, the stations and personnel, and that’s worth at least $80.5 million to the city, according to figures provided to The Dispatch by the Columbus Fire Division.

When presented with the numbers, officials in the city’s Department of Public Safety said that a battalion costs about $60.5 million annually.

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