The Ellettsville Fire Department will now only respond to life-threatening calls.
Ellettsville Fire Chief Mike Cornman says he needs to reduce the number of calls his fire department responds to in order to stay within its budget and current staffing levels.
Cornman’s remarks were made during the Ellettsville Town Council meeting last week.
During the meeting, Cornman told the town council that non-life threatening calls accounted for about half of the total calls Ellettsville Fire Department responds to.
Cornman says his fire department operates on an annual budget of about $1 million. The town’s two fire stations are staffed with two firemen each and average five calls a day.
Cornman drew comparisons to Van Buren Township’s Fire Department, which has a budget of $1.5 million but averages only three calls a day. He also compared Ellettsville to the Northern Monroe Fire Territory, which has a larger budget, but still averages about two calls per day.
Cornman says the Ellettsville Fire Department also experiences a high turn-over in personnel as a result of the staff-to-run ratio.
The Fire Chief says he’s working with the county’s Central Emergency Dispatch to alert the Ellettsville Fire Department only to life-threatening calls.
Town Council members Scott Oldham, Scott Thomas and Kevin Farris voiced their support for the change. Council President Oldham said he trusts Cornman’s judgment.
Council members Brice Teeter and Brian Mobley were absent from the meeting. Cornman says the new protocol is currently in effect.