Butler County sheriff, fire chiefs at odds over agreement with Campbell County

Butler County sheriff, fire chiefs at odds over agreement with Campbell County

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A deal to allow first responders to cross state and county lines has led to some controversy about the agreement.

Butler County, Ohio, and Campbell County, Kentucky have worked out a deal that would allow first responders to work together in the event of an emergency.

The fire chiefs feel this was rushed in front of the commissioners without looking at possible liabilities and costs. The county EMA director wants third-party legal representation to look at the deal. The Butler County sheriff says more training is needed.

While each side hit on many topics, the fire chiefs pointed towards vehicles and manpower, that go beyond the sheriff’s office, being tied into this agreement.

“The fire chiefs of Butler County were never asked, nor the executive board were ever asked to give any insight for the potential use of our resources to respond outside of Butler County to another state,” says Morgan Township Fire Chief Jeff Galloway.

There is already a system in place that would allow Butler County units to respond to Campbell County if called up for a disaster, but Sheriff Richard Jones says the big focus for him here is training.

“We’ve got to be able to train and you’ve got to share resources today because there’s less and less resources,” Sheriff Jones says.

Assistant Prosecutor Dan Ferguson told the Board of Commissioners this is a legally sound document, but Butler County EMA Director Matt Haverkos would still like to see an outside party look this over.

“We really wanted to take a look at it with the experts in emergency management, legal experts as well, just to review and ensure that this new way, assuming it’s a precedent for future ventures with it, is a good way of doing business,” says Haverkos.

The EMA director says this is nothing personal towards the sheriff’s office. He says he wants to make sure this was well-vetted before approval.

The deal does also allow for the commissioners to decide whether or not crews answer the call to Campbell County.

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