COSHOCTON – First responders are using the Coshocton County Fair as a recruiting tool for volunteers, who are crucial to emergency agencies across the county.
Half of the commercial building number 2 on the exhibition grounds has been transformed into a building for the security services. It features exhibits for local fire departments, Coshocton County Emergency Medical Services, Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Staff are also available to speak with the public.
Events are also organized. On Tuesday, that included two vehicle extractions by the Three Rivers Fire District, with help from the Coshocton Fire Department for the second, and John Weber from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office with a detector dog. accelerator.
Rusty Dreher, deputy chief of Three Rivers, said that on average, a fire team can open a car and free those trapped inside in about 13 minutes. This may depend on the vehicle and the techniques used. Cars for the demonstrations were donated by Lity’s Scrapyard and towing was provided by Prince’s Wrecker Service.
The protests are important for several reasons, Dreher said. “Number one, they can see where their tax money is going. Second, they can see how we’re doing things and what to expect if they’re involved in something like this. It also gives us good practice. . “
Seeing what firefighters are doing, Three Rivers Chief Lynn Powelson hopes it will encourage children and young adults to step into the field of first responders, whether as a career or as a volunteer. They were also able to obtain information on fire prevention for festival-goers.
“If everyone volunteered for something, the world would be a much better place,” Powelson said.
The Security Services building, in its first year, was the idea of Sheriff James Crawford. He wanted to bring all the different emergency services together and give them a chance to speak to the public as a unified group.
“We try to recruit and get young people interested in public safety later,” Crawford said. “We need to shed a different light on law enforcement. There has been a lot of negative things in recent years. We’re just trying to educate and create enthusiasm and awareness.”
For the sheriff’s office, the auxiliary is crucial in providing coverage of specific events that allows active duty officers to handle other matters.
“We need to recruit volunteers in all areas of public safety,” Crawford said. “They are invaluable. We rely on our volunteer groups to manage any special programs we put in place in the community, such as high school sporting events and parade traffic control.”
Crawford has said he hopes to lead a local academy of peace officers in a few years. He is working on getting staff certified for training. But, they need interested applicants and Crawford wants at least 10. The efforts at the fair this year will hopefully sow the seeds for it.
“Not everyone has the option of going out of town for criminal justice training or applying to an academy,” Crawford said. “We haven’t had one here for a long, long time. Basically, because we haven’t had any interest.”