Lititz eyes future of emergency services

By on February 6, 2019

Lititz Borough Council took a look at the future of local emergency services at its Jan. 29 meeting.

Duane Ober, administrator for the Warwick Emergency Services Commission (WESC), was on hand to present a summary of the recent fire services feasibility study done for WESC.

The municipalities of Warwick Township, Lititz Borough and Elizabeth Township had contracted with consultant Rob Brady to analyze the current state of fire and ambulance services in the region. The purpose of the study is to prepare for the future needs of the region in regard to its emergency services.

For the comprehensive study, Brady interviewed the volunteer firefighters and leaders from each fire company, as well as staff from the local ambulances. He also interviewed elected and municipal officials from the Warwick area, police department officials, and business leaders from the community.

“Mr. Brady made a public presentation of his report, which included eight objectives for WESC to consider and use as a template as they move forward with planning of our local emergency services,” said Ober.

The eight objectives include recommended steps to implement the ideas, as well as suggested timelines to accomplish the objectives.

“The next step is for WESC to review and discuss the objectives, and to work together regionally in an effort to remain a volunteer fire service as long as possible,” said Ober. One of the biggest challenges for the local emergency services is finding a way to serve the community needs through volunteers. Some services, such as ambulances, have had to have paid service providers, in order to more effectively serve the community with vital, life-saving services. Work schedules and availability of volunteers makes it especially challenging to staff volunteer services.

Ober will also be presenting the results of the study to Warwick Township and Elizabeth Township, as the three municipalities pursue a plan to move toward the future of emergency services in the region.

In other business, Lititz Borough Council approved the installation of a traffic sign at the crosswalk of West Orange Street. They also OK’d limiting and realigning parking on North Broad Street, in an effort to provide a better turning capability in the mornings and after school. In October, Lititz Borough Police Chief Kerry Nye agreed that marking the parking spots would provide more organized parking in that area, as well as reducing some of the yellow curbs to open up more parking.

Lititz Borough Council announced police officer Jevon Miller will rejoin the Lititz Fire Company as a driver trainee. While he is on duty, Miller will be able to assist the fire company on calls that occur at that time.

In a related matter, Lititz Borough Council approved the appointment of Grove Miller as borough traffic engineer. They also approved the purchase of an air street sweeper for the borough, at a cost of $217,840, which will be paid for through the PA liquid fuels tax.

Council was on board with allowing police officer Jevon Miller to rejoin the Lititz Fire Company as a driver trainee. While he is on duty, Miller will be able to assist the fire company on calls that occur at that time. He will need to factor his priorities to the police department during each occurrence to avoid a conflict of interest. They stressed that it is not a blanket approval for future police officers to be able to do the same. Any requests would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Several special events were approved, including the Sauder Egg Run on April 4, with a 5-mile run/walk and an Easter egg hunt and the Young Men’s Business League Run on June 22, with a fundraising event for a scholarship fund.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to The Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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