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Berlin Fire, EMS present quarterly report to council

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(April 25, 2019) Representatives from the Berlin Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services presented a quarterly report during the Town of Berlin’s Mayor and Council meeting Monday night.

David Fitzgerald, president of the Berlin Fire Company’s board of directors, said there were 114 in-town fire and rescue call responses calls between July 1, 2018 and March 31.

Firefighters averaged busiest between 2-3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but there were still more calls coming from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to reports.

Firefighters’ average response time was 3 minutes and 14 seconds, as compared to the county’s “response check time [being] six minutes,” according to February and March statistics from Worcester County reporting systems.

Fitzgerald highlighted how the fire company could generate revenue through fundraisers, and using county funds, town funds and banking interests.

He said the agency’s expenses were driven by building improvements, physicals for new members, fire prevention, fuel, insurance, communications, and equipment maintenance and repairs.

Fitzgerald emphasized the fire department is “monitoring budgets in [the] last quarter to adjust as needed.”

He also praised efforts “to hold certain purchases to [the] last quarter in case of unexpected expenditures.”

As for the Emergency Medical Services department, there were 792 in-town EMS call responses, with 590 transports, and 202 non-transports, according to reports. EMS appeared on par with the fire department’s call volume during 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to reports, but the agency’s busiest days take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The average response time for EMS calls is 1 minute and 34 seconds, according to reports. Fitzgerald said the department’s “overall expenses were slightly higher” at 80 percent as compared to 75 percent.

He added EMS had expenses from several facets from the department including professional fees, training, volunteer incentives, payroll and career personnel, medical equipment maintenance and repairs, building maintenance and repairs, and vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Fitzgerald also said a fiscal report is due by “close of business” on May 6.

As for the cash flow, Councilman Zack Tyndall said discussions needed to occur.

“I think we need to talk about the way the payments are released, so we don’t fall short,” Tyndall said.

Mayor Gee Williams agreed a concrete plan needed to be put in place.

“We’re all gonna learn as we go here, and [if] there’s some tweaking we can do … we can get it all resolved,” Williams said.