From: Roger Johnson
Former Indiana state fire marshal (retired)
Over time it has been interesting to either witness or serve as a first responder in public safety matters in Columbus.
This letter is to commend a leader in our community who realized the importance of solid police and fire protection coupled with street and animal control. Columbus requires quality service and equally the best possible safe working environment for city employees who deliver these services.
Mayor Kristen Brown campaigned on a platform of public safety and following her election made tremendous improvements in that area.
Following her election she sold the municipal vehicle assigned to the mayor. She immediately purchased with those funds water rescue equipment for the fire department. Today our fire department is prepared to professionally rescue a victim who falls through ice. Every firefighter, young or old, underwent ice rescue training, a first for Columbus Fire Department.
She asked a citizen committee to review ambulance station locations, eventually relocating emergency response ambulances based on available data, improving delivery time for those in need.
Based on the flood of 2008, Brown turned to those in a field of expertise to improve city government’s response and preparation should Columbus face a flood or similar emergency. Today Columbus and adjacent areas are better-prepared to face floods and other potential disasters.
Working with CRH emergency medical ambulance and county fire departments was identified early in this administration. Today’s mentality is save life and property by sending the closest fire and EMS units when incidents occur. County and city fire services have mutual-aid plans in place, a long time coming to city and county fire and emergency services. Columbus citizens win big when faced with a life-threatening situation. Seconds count during emergencies; Brown recognized this and acted to resolve the problem.
She put her campaign promises to work for every person in our community. Much more is on record to aid firefighters and emergency workers, such as newly purchased state-of-the-art, two-way radios for every on-duty firefighter; two new state-of-the-art fire apparatus, including a new aerial ladder truck and a pumper engine to replace a pumper at the Gladstone station (No. 3); addition of 12 highly trained paramedic firefighters, rounding out a promise to have every fire station providing equal quality care to the public no matter where they are in Columbus when in need of lifesaving care. Every fire engine is now equipped with new, state-of-the-art, electronic heart defibrillators.
Thanks to the mayor, life-saving EMS, rescue and losses from fire are greatly improved. On March 14, she received an honorary firefighter award from Columbus Township Fire Department for her willingness to work with emergency services mutual-aid operations, not only in Columbus but with county agencies also.
Brown deserves a second term to continue improving emergency operations.