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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Sylvania police, township fire help at Marathon Classic

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Sylvania police officers help outside of Highland Meadows the day before the Marathon Classic begins. Sylvania police officers help outside of Highland Meadows the day before the Marathon Classic begins.
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While spectators’ eyes are glued to the green, watching female golf professionals compete at the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, a team of security and emergency responders are working to ensure the four-day event goes on without incident or injury.

Sylvania City Police have a disaster and emergency plan to deal with “every type of scenario,” Chief of Police William Rhodus said.

While the police department is mainly in charge of ensuring traffic runs smoothly during the week, it works with the Sylvania Township Fire Department and Ladies Professional Golf Association officials to plan for a possible evacuation of Highland Meadows Golf Club in case of an emergency, such as stormy weather and lightning.

The LPA tournament begins today and ends Sunday, although pro-am events have occurred throughout the week.

The city, based on past years, expects to absorb overtime costs of about $10,000. The Sylvania Township police do not provide direct help to the tournament.

Township Fire Chief Jeff Kowalski said the department has one firefighter-paramedic at the tournament, and there‘s a golf cart which can be used a medical transport on the course off of Erie Road.

“They are there to assist with private medical groups who are taking care of EMS and injury incidents,” the chief said. In case of a catastrophic event, the firefighter-paramedic would take command, advising the dispatcher what resources are needed so the department can quickly respond. The fire department’s employee will also assist the private EMS personnel hired by the event coordinators.

The fire department estimates 24 hours over overtime will be incurred, costing $850.

According to the tournament’s operations director Sandy White, the event employs Mercy for emergency medical services and G4S USA, based in Florida, for private security. Security personnel and the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office assist with parking and securing the players’ area. An estimated 40,000 people attend the event.

Chief Rhodus said that the tournament, in general, proceeds without major incident.

“I can count on one hand how many times someone has been arrested for disorderly conduct during the years that it has been held here,” he said, and it is usually fueled by alcohol.

The city police department has three to four officers assigned to the golf course during the early part of the week when the professionals are practicing and that bumps to five to seven officers when the tournament begins.

Chief Rhodus said the department tries to minimize overtime costs by using on-duty officers. Last year, it incurred $9,600 in overtime costs. It had $15,642 in overtime costs in 2012 when the department was affected by illnesses and extended leave. The costs are covered by city funds.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.



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