Otterbein University does not have any regular costs that they would pay to the Westerville Fire Department including calls that resulted in false alarms.

“We do not have any regular costs that we would pay to the Westerville Fire Department. The only way we would have any costs would be if we received a citation for a fire violation,” said Otterbein University Environmental Health & Safety Officer of the Business Affairs Division Tara Chinn.

The Westerville Fire Department was called to campus 75 times last year on false alarms, according to Otterbein Police Department Police Sergeant Investigator Mark Lopez.

These calls result in no additional cost to the university.


The Westerville Fire Department is run out of three locations, including Blendon Township, just south of Westerville. According to Fire Chief for the Westerville Division of Fire Brian Miller, they are not funded out of the city of Westerville’s general fund.

“We have fire levies that are based on property taxes,” said Miller. “Those levies generate about $14,750,000 per year. We also collect a property tax that brings us about 2.1 million dollars a year. We also charge for EMS billing. When we do EMS runs we will bill insurance companies for transporting patients to hospitals. That brings in about 1.1 million dollars per year."

Regarding spending, Miller said, “Our spending varies year to year. Last year we purchased a new hook and ladder truck and that was almost 1.5 million dollars.”