The future of the Liberty Township Fire Department appears to be bright, based on recent information it has released to the community.
The Insurance Services Organization’s Public Protection Classification Program rating for the department has improved to 3, following a recent survey. Previously, the department had a rating of 4. The program rates fire departments using standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and American Water Works Association on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the top ranking.
The ISO’s program is said to play an important consideration for insurance companies during the underwriting process.
“This rating places the Liberty Township Fire Department in the top 5% of fire departments in the country and could help lower insurance rates for our residents and commercial businesses,” states Fire Chief Tom O’Brien on the township’s website. “We will continue to improve our rating as we work through the fire accreditation process.”
O’Brien also presented the information to the Liberty Township Board of Trustees at its July 20 meeting.
The LTFD serves not only Liberty Township, but also the city of Powell, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Zoombezi Bay.
On July 31, the department’s Facebook page stated its firefighters had wrapped up nine days of training at a structure in the township.
“The training included hose line drills, search and rescue, roof ventilation, saving our own scenarios and concluded today with live fire evolutions and filming of a public education video that will be released by the LTFD Prevention Bureau,” the post states.
Property owners had not only provided the home, but local residents donated unwanted bedroom furniture that was used as props for the training.
Other recent training included the short-jacking technique on ladder trucks for tight spaces.
The Prevention Bureau has also resumed child safety seat inspections and installations, but it is limiting it to residents of Powell and the township due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one person, wearing a face covering and without flu-like symptoms, may bring in the vehicle. The bureau’s personnel will also wear a face covering.
“Inspections and installations will occur outdoors and will be weather dependent,” the bureau said.
“We here at Liberty Township fire would like to remind everyone to help stop the spread (of the virus) by social distancing and wearing a mask when out in public. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together,” states an LTFD post on Facebook.
In other fire department matters, residents and children in the Woodland Glen and Woodland Hall neighborhoods collected 55 fans that were donated to People In Need, Inc. of Delaware County.
In June, former Liberty Township Fire Chief John Bernans died at the age of 77 in Columbus. A veteran of the Vietnam War, his 40-year career as a fireman included 20 as Liberty’s chief, as well as being township administrator. Bernans’ name is on the sign for the department’s station at 7761 Liberty Road, Powell. His funeral was attended by members of numerous county fire and police departments, as well as the fire departments of Worthington and Washington Township.
Donations to the department made in his name “will support Liberty Township firefighters’ continuing education and help support the Chief John Bernans Future Firefighters Scholarship Fund for those candidates from Liberty Township interested in a career in the fire service which will be a given annually to a graduating high school senior,” states his obituary.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.