Judge to decide future of an OH Township Fire Department

MEDINA TOWNSHIP, OHIO – Firefighters in Medina Township have taken the fight for their Department’s future to court. To help fund it, they started a GoFundMe page, soliciting donations for legal costs.

This, as people living in the township weigh the costs and benefits of the change.

People like Don Cernanek, who has lived in Medina Township for 21 years. Eight years ago, he had a heart attack. Medina Township firefighters responded.

He credits them with saving his life. “They had to revive me. I had no pulse,” Cernanek recalls. “Those people are very special to me.”

38 part-time volunteer firefighters work for Medina Township, but township trustees want to dissolve the department and enter into an agreement with Medina City. Trustees were about to make it official, when the Medina Township Firefighters Association hired legal counsel and successfully filed a temporary injunction to stop the vote.

The firefighters say trustees made the deal behind closed doors, meaning the public didn’t have a say.

Trustees say citizens will get equal or better fire protection, for a significantly lower price. $230,000 a year compared with about $650,000.

Ron and Judy Meade have lived in the township for more than 20 years. They hate to see anyone lose their job, but know it usually comes down to dollars and sense.

“We all have to be cognizant of our budgets and if the township decides to vote to go in that direction I’ll support them,” Ron Meade told WKYC Channel 3’s Carly Flynn Morgan.

But for Cernanek, a change for the fire department that saved his life…would break his heart.

“I’d hate to see us lose that here in Medina Township.”

Both sides are waiting for the judge to release her decision about whether trustees can go ahead and vote on the matter.

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