BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — The number of emergency runs in the city of Maumee has climbed to an all-time high.
In August 2021, there were 194 city EMS runs, which is a record number, according to Deputy Chief Jim Dusseau.
“That doesn’t include fire calls,” he said.
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, monthly EMS runs in the city of Maumee averaged 135. Initially, increased numbers of calls for service could be attributed to the pandemic, but that isn’t the case anymore, Dusseau said.
“Not really. A lot of it is public service non-trauma calls, like helping people up off of the floor,” he said.
Maumee Fire Chief Brandon Loboschefski said that a multitude of factors are leading to the rise in city EMS calls. Businesses are open, there are more hotels and medical facilities operating and more people moving through the city, so traffic has increased.
“The city is busier, and many things are attributed to an increase in calls for service,” he said. “The hospital systems are stressed, so we want to remind people that 911 is for emergencies only.”
Fortunately, there are not a high number of fire runs, which Loboschefski credits to a strong fire prevention program and good working relationship with the business community.
The city of Maumee is not alone in responding to more EMS calls, as departments around the area are reporting high numbers of EMS calls for service.
Sylvania fire has reported a rise in EMS calls with 215 EMS runs in August of this year, which is a slight increase from the 182 EMS runs reported in August of 2020.
EMS calls are also up annually for Monclova Township, which has logged 999 EMS calls as of September 1, or a 16.5-percent increase over last year, according to Monclova Fire Chief Kevin Bernhard.
The village of Whitehouse and Providence Township have both also reported increases in EMS runs, with Whitehouse experiencing a 9-percent jump since September of last year and Providence Township reporting an 11 percent rise in calls overall compared with last year – a majority of those calls being EMS.
In Waterville, 80 percent of calls for service are for EMS incidences. The department has seen a 15-percent increase in those calls this year with 439 EMS runs reported through September 16, according to Zach Bingham, deputy fire chief.
“Approximately 45 to 50 percent of our EMS calls are between the four skilled nursing facilities and two senior living facilities in the city of Waterville,” he added.
The city of Maumee recently added three new paid on-call volunteer firefighter EMTs and replaced one paramedic.
At the September 7 Maumee City Council meeting, council approved the hiring of Michael Henry, Marcus Matyi and James Todd to the position of firefighter.
Todd, age 31, previously worked for the city of Oregon. He is a journeyman electrician, and he serves in the Ohio National Guard. Henry, age 19, is a 2020 MHS graduate. He recently obtained his EMT and firefighting certificate from Owens Community College. Matyi, age 33, is a grain inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He received his firefighting and EMT certification from Owens Community College in 2019.
At the September 20 meeting, Maumee City Council approved the appointment of Zachary Zmuda to the position of paramedic in the Maumee Fire Division.
Zmuda, who was hired as a volunteer firefighter in August of 2019, replaces a paramedic who resigned from the division.
With the new employees, the division has a staff of 32 paid on-call firefighter/ EMTs and paramedics. Paid on-call means that an individual is not a full-time staff member working at the fire station, but rather, they respond from either home or work when called. The Lucas County Life Squad is staffed 24/7 by full-time paramedics who work at the station.