2011-10-18 / Front Page

Open House Slated For New Putnam County Operation Life Substation

Proper Steps Taken To Fix Property’s Previous Flash Flooding Issues
by Michael Stanley Staff Writer

A public open house for the new Putnam County Operation Life substation in Cloverdale is planned for Thursday, October 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Staff Photo) A public open house for the new Putnam County Operation Life substation in Cloverdale is planned for Thursday, October 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Staff Photo) Southern Putnam County will likely see a quicker response time from a local ambulance service, from U.S. Highway 40 south to the Owen-Putnam county line thanks to a planned mid-October opening of the new Putnam County Operation Life substation in Cloverdale.

The new building, located on East Mill Street behind Casey’s General Store, sits in the same location as the previously utilized building.

“The new building sits where the old Operation Life substation had sat for some 30 years,” PCOL Executive Director Kraig Kinney said. “Records indicate that the building had been there for at least 40 years. The building had been a bait store before it was the Operation Life substation. Some neighbors were kind enough to allow us to operate a volunteer ambulance during the late 1970s and ‘80s before we were deeded the building in the early ‘90s.”

The transfer delayed the project after it was found that the property was zoned for residential use only. After obtaining a re-zoning of the property, the structure was torn down on July 8, 2011 and ambulance crews were temporarily relocated to the Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department.

“The new structure had been discussed for over a decade but the Operation Life Board of Directors and administration waited until the funding was saved to pay for the structure,” Kinney explained. “The old building was built as a simple pole barn. Our new building was built with our purpose of housing ambulance crews in mind.”

Kinney said the extra bay in the new building allows a back-up ambulance in the southern portion of the county, and living space is relatively comparable to the prior station.

He also noted the organization’s efforts to curb a flash flooding issue on the property. The new structure, he said, should also be more energy efficient. Motion sensors in key areas active lights upon movement.

“There is also an natural gas line powered generator that operates during power outages so the station can be used during power outages and keep emergency services in the area,” Kinney added.

Operation Life has plans to move into the new building the week of October 17. A public open house is planned for Thursday, October 20 from 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by a monthly board of directors meeting so directors can see the final results of the project.

Approximately of fiveAUTUMNOperation Life’s 50 employees reside in the northern portion of Owen County, with several, including Kinney, who make their home in the Cloverdale area.

“We have around 50 employees; around 18 fulltime,

32 part-time, and 10 volunteer staff members,” Kinney said. “Roughly 22 are paramedics with 35 EMTs and two advanced EMTs, and we also have three office staff members.” The Operation Life substation will be staffed nearly 24 hours a day with exceptions for shift change between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. when the crews report to the main station in Greencastle, and for training purposes. The ambulance assigned to the station covers all responses along U.S. 40 and south to theHEARINGcountyCAREline asEVENT!well as providing mutual aid to Morgan and Owen counties as requested. The ambulance is dispatched via Putnam County 911 or through their non-emergency number of 765-795-4791.

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