The local ambulance district that serves the city of Carlisle and the unincorporated areas of Franklin Twp. has recently purchased nearly 4.3 acres in the Carlisle Business Park to build a new station and headquarters.
City Manager Julie Duffy said City Council approved selling the land for $125,000 to the Joint Emergency Medical Services District at the business park off Ohio 123.
Duffy said the idea is to have a shared facility that could also house the Carlisle Fire Department from its current firehouse on Lincoln Avenue. She said council took that into account in the selling price with the hope of developing an attractive space and for cross-training, she said.
The JEMS District needs to move its facility from its location on East Sixth Street next to Community Park off Ohio 123 in Franklin because of the upcoming construction of the new Franklin High School campus across the road and the new roundabout that will require some of the current JEMS property.
The distance between the locations is about 2.7 miles but according to Will Bicknell, a JEMS Board member and Carlisle councilman, it will help with response times to the portion of the district and township that is west of the Great Miami River.
Bicknell said then JEMS Chief Andy Riddiough attended meetings as the Franklin Board of Education planned its levy and working with Franklin City Council. Riddiough became the chief of the city of Franklin Division of Fire in October. The JEMS Board appointed Jesse Madden as its new permanent chief on Nov. 18.
“It was determined from a safety standpoint that it would be hard to get out our vehicles with a roundabout,” Bicknell said. “Moving the station puts us in a closer location to the bulk of our activity and improve our response time for citizens.”
JEMS operates medic units from its headquarters on Ohio 123 in Franklin as well as from Franklin Twp. fire stations located on Robinson-Vail Road in Hunter and on Keays Road west of Carlisle.
JEMS, which is its own self-governing district, is funded through tax levies. In 2020, JEMS units responded to more than 1,900 calls for service in Franklin Twp. and in Carlisle. The organization also responded to more than 170 mutual aid calls to neighboring communities and were assisted by other agencies 17 times, according to its website.
Bicknell, who abstained from the vote to sell the land to the JEMS District, said a new station would be a major benefit for the city and township.
“The idea to work out of a new station, we believe increases the ability for citizens of Carlisle and Franklin Twp. have safety services that are close to home and can get there as safe and fast as possible,” Bicknell said.
Currently, the city of Carlisle, Franklin Twp. and the JEMS Board are reviewing a feasibility study to determine if there would be benefits to combine the departments.
Duffy said a draft copy has been forwarded to the entities and is being updated with final comments. She said each entity received suggestions for improvement.
Once a new station is completed to house the Carlisle Fire Department, Duffy said the city is planning to relocate the service department’s offices and workshop from its Fairview Drive location to the Lincoln Avenue facility. The service department currently shares space with the city police department.
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