Letty performing CPR on a dummy

Learning with the Law – Week Two

Posted February 22, 2019 in Community Events by Andrea Litchfield

I’m honored to be the substitute blogger for the Citizens Police Academy in the absence of Anastasia Bradley this week.

I represent another branch of Hilliard local government: the Division of Engineering. I have worked for the City for 22 years, with the last two as the Deputy City Engineer. With a background in traffic engineering, I have been involved with many safety initiatives over the years. However, my perspective has always been through the lens of an engineer: how can we make our intersections safer, make our neighborhoods more livable, reduce speeds and improve safety for pedestrians and bicycles through engineering?

I signed up for the Hilliard CPA because I wanted to learn more about what our safety services personnel experience in their jobs, so that hopefully I can be better at mine.

Coming into Week 2, I felt like I already had some friends in the room. It’s such a fun mix of people of all ages, and I really enjoy spending my evening with the group. I’m hoping that by the end of the class I might remember some names (thank goodness we all wear name tags). Shout out to Costco for providing a great dinner!

Our class started off with some words from Chief Robert Fisher and Deputy Chief Eric Grile, but then they passed the baton to Chief Jeff Warren of the Norwich Township Fire Department. So, while Week 2 was all about the fire department, there was plenty of friendly “needling,” as my Dad used to say, between the two branches of safety services. There was a lot of fun banter back and forth throughout the evening: Chief Fisher of HPD cracking jokes about the firefighters lounging in their recliners and Chief Warren of NTFD shooting right back about cops eating doughnuts. They each took it in stride and, through it all, you could tell there is a strong bond of trust, caring, and partnership between both branches of our safety services. This theme continually resonated throughout the evening.

Chief Warren provided a little background on Norwich Township and the fire department. He introduced firefighter Bo Smith, who the chief had met when Bo was a young boy running around the fire house with his dad, one of Chief Warren’s fellow firefighters from early in his career. The family connection within the safety services community is strong. Bo and the chief explained about their jobs, vehicles, equipment, training, response times, leadership, policies and procedures of the department.

We split into groups and toured the fire department side of the Joint Safety Services Building, including the kitchen, their workout room, and the sleeping quarters. Most firefighters work 24 hours on and then 48 hours off, so each sleeping quarter is shared by two other firefighters from other shifts. Day or night, they are out the door within two minutes of any call to meet the needs of our community or to assist other communities.

We got to glimpse into the room that is filled with all the medications the EMTs might use on injured individuals. This room is under lock and key, for obvious reasons. I’m proud that NTFD has taken the position that they will administer Narcan to drug overdose victims. NTFD has saved countless lives because of this decision, giving many families a second chance.

At the end of our tour, we spent time checking out the engine truck and all the equipment. Four firefighters ride on each truck during a run. Each one of them has a very specific job to do, depending on their position in the vehicle. It is an amazing act of teamwork. It was a bit sobering to think of all the unknowns that these firefighters face every time they go out on a run and how they do it all with such ease because of their training and the bonds they have formed with their team.

We finished off our evening with a brief refresher on first aid. We were reminded how hard administering first aid is and how the fear could be paralyzing if you were faced to do it on a loved one. I hope I am never faced with that reality. I much prefer to leave that to the professionals.

And Hilliard is very fortunate to have so many professionals at our call. Thank you NTFD and HPD for your service to our community!

This weeks blog post was written by Letty Schamp, Deputy City Engineer of the City of Hilliard.