Basic info about AFD

Chiefs Blog, February 19, 2015

Fire Chief’s Blog

First Installment 2/2015


What is a Fire Chief’s Blog?

 A website that displays postings by one or more individuals in chronological order and usually has links to comments on specific postings.


So let’s start at the beginning. The Amherst Fire District (AFD) was formed in 1992 with the intent to improve service and make better use of equipment and volunteer’s in the Amherst area. The Township of Amherst along with the Villages of Amherst, Amherst Jct. and Nelsonville formed the AFD with a Fire Commission that would oversee the financial interests of the municipality. Each municipality would appoint a commissioner and along with the Fire Chief, they would be the makeup of the commission. It should be noted that the Fire Chief is solely responsible for the operations of the AFD but does not have any voting rights at the Fire Commission.


Often local politicians refer to the AFD as if it was not part of the municipality. The AFD has assets but those assets actually belong to the owners by percentage. (we’ll talk about percentages later) So the municipalities own the AFD, the Fire Commission oversees the finances, the Fire Chief runs the department and the rest is done by full time employees, part time employees, stipend employees and Paid on Call firefighters and EMT’s.


Full time employees- Our ambulance contract with Portage County is simple. Portage County funds our wages, equipment and some utilities to maintain a 24/7 ambulance in Amherst. We have 3 full time Paramedics and 1 full time supervisor Paramedic, Assistant Chief, John Porrey. Each of these Paramedics works a rotating shift to ensure that we have a Paramedic on the ambulance at all times.


Part time employees – The ambulance has one full time employee and one part time employee on at all times. The part time employees work shifts on an availability basis. Most of our part time employees are also Paramedics and firefighters.


Stipend Employees – The Fire Chief, the Administrative Assistant and the 2 Assistant Chiefs all receive an annual stipend for their work in their positions.


Paid on Call – Not volunteer! The AFD pays its firefighters and Emergency Medical Responders (EMR’s, used to be called First Responders) in a couple of different ways. Firefighters are compensated on a points system and the EMR’s are compensated on a per shift basis.


On a future blog I will discuss what each of these positions gets paid and what they do in greater detail. You will be surprised at how many services and to what level we have for a department like ours. You will be surprised to know what our members get paid and why they still “volunteer” to respond.


I look forward to providing a more in depth look at the AFD. If you have questions or ideas for topics you would like me to cover, please email me at