NCFD Chief Steve Trusty 002It is a new year with a new Fire Chief and New Carlisle is off to a positive start. Recently the New Carlisle News had a conversation with Chief Steve Trusty about the direction the department will be taking in the New Year and how the citizens and organizations in the area can support the improvements the chief would like to see.

Trusty explained that his department has been growing in numbers since he took office in late 2015. He reported that the department now has 54 active members with two trainees who are college students. The chief noted that 99 percent of his staff are working both the fire and the EMS side of the “house” now. The department is still hiring and there has been an increased interest from both residents inside the city and individuals who live just beyond the city limits.

One of the key needs for the department which is not in the budget is a Lucas Tool. This device is carried on the units and allows for it to be placed under the patient and then clamped to their chest to allow the EMT and Paramedics to provide advanced life support while the device does CPR. The new tool is becoming very popular with departments across the country and has been responsible for saving lives. This past year a generous donation by a community member allowed the Enon/Mad River Township department to purchase two of the tools valued at $13,000 each.

The chief reported that the Lucas Tool runs on battery power and that the unit needs a cord, charger and an additional battery as well as a $5,000 service contract. The department would like to add at least one of the devices to their unit this year.

The Lucas Tool not only saves lives, but makes for a safer work place for crews who can sit and tend to the patient rather than trying to perform compressions while standing in a moving transport. It is also safer for the patient.

The chief is planning for the department to apply for grants for the tool, however past requests have not been successful. The community can help to provide this lifesaving tool by making donations to “The New Carlisle Fire Fighters Association” and earmarking them for the Lucas Tool. If the money is donated to the City of New Carlisle, it will be deposited into the general fund so the wording on the check is very important.

If you would like to know more and perhaps donate to the Lucas Tool, you can contact Chief Trusty at 219-8772 his personal cell phone.

As the year moves along, Chief Trusty plans to purchase 10 sets of new bunker gear at a cost of $30,000 for his department members. The chief is also looking for grant funds to help with the cost of this mandatory equipment. He noted that the department would need to provide 5 – 15 percent of the funding for items to meet grant requirements in the majority of opportunities.

In looking ahead regarding his department members, the chief reports that the department would like to bring training to New Carlisle and share it with other local departments. This reduces the costs for all those who participate. The department has qualified instructors on staff so this is a can do type of forward movement for the department.

Chief Trusty describes himself as “open” but also states that he has expectations of his officers. He expects them to be self sufficient and able to handle situations that come about on the scene and in the fire house. One of the new plans that have been implemented by the chief is to have the promotion of all members of the department publically recognized at the meetings of City Council. The first such public recognition is being planned for later in January.

Trusty explained that department members are able to apply for various positions which open up within the department. He noted that there is a review process conducted to assure that those selected do meet the criteria.

At the present time the department has Assistant Chief Rick Ritter on the fire operations side of the house and Assistant Chief Ward Moller on the EMS operations side. Both have experience with the department and are in contact with the Chief Trusty daily. Trusty describes his management style as “military” based on his years of service to our country as a United States Marine.

“I enjoy seeing younger fire fighters come up through the program” said Trusty of his experience with the fire department. “I enjoy working with people” he said related to why he is a fire fighter and wanted to be in the lead position. Trusty has a father and son, two brothers and his own son as members of his department bringing home that feeling of family even more.

We discussed his major goals for the department this year. He would like to see the Life Packs replaced, a Lucas Tool added to the EMS unit and the contract with Elizabeth Township renewal completed. The chief explained that the Elizabeth Township station now has a dedicated captain and Assistant Chief Ritter is in charge of handling that station.

Looking at a “wish list” for 2016 Chief Trusty would like to have new air masks for each fire fighter that have been fitted especially for them. This is a long term goal, but with help from the community residents and businesses in the way of donations for the Lucas Tool and some luck in gaining grant funding, the department could realize all of the needs this year and into early next year.

As we looked back over the few weeks that he has been in office, Trusty noted that the staffing has “drastically improved” and that there are no longer problems covering both the New Carlisle and Elizabeth Township stations. The ability of the department to cover simultaneous calls has been upgraded and the chief reported that he has enough man power to dispatch for EMS and fire runs in the city also at the same time. He noted that the department now has members living within the city who can respond if needed.

Last year the New Carlisle Fire Department responded to a combined total of 1,407 runs. In Elizabeth Township they supported 176 runs. The odds of making 2016 even more demanding are pretty good and Chief Trusty would like to assure the citizens of both station areas that his department is ready to respond should they need help.

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