DAYTON - Box 21 Rescue Squad, the area's oldest volunteer rescue unit, is back up and running despite ongoing legal issues that have the squad's relocation plans in limbo.
Last week, the volunteer squad shut itself down for 24 hours while members evaluated what legal action would be taken against the squad, according to Lt. Danny Robinson, senior paramedic for Box 21. The squad currently operates at its headquarters on Helena Street, a structure owned by the city of Dayton.
The Montgomery County Common Pleas Court granted PNC Bank National Association as the court-appointed receiver for the preservation and/or sale of the squad's property at 6192 Webster St. in Harrison Twp.
The bank was granted approval by the court to seize the squad's bank accounts, including its bingo account.
The squad used to run a Bingo Hall at 3349 Need-more Road, but Robinson said they had to close it, mostly because of lack of interest.
Despite the bank accounts being frozen, the squad has access to financial resources and can operate, Robinson said. None of the squad's equipment has been seized or sold by the bank.
On Oct. 21, PNC's certificate of judgment against Box 21 Rescue Squad, Inc. stated that the bank was granted more than $1.1 million, which includes interest and attorney fees.
"We purchased the building (on Webster Street) and we got a construction loan on it to be remodeled," Robinson said.
The squad, which is not funded by taxpayer dollars, hired a general contractor but Robinson said the construction work was not completed, which prevented the squad from getting an occupancy permit.
The squad also encountered other issues with the requirements it needed to move into the Webster Street address.
Plus, the squad's former treasurer died. "He was handling the whole construction project," Robin-son said.
Box 21 officials purchased Webster Street property from the Omega Investment Group in 2007 for $1.3 million, according to county real estate records.
At the time of the purchase, squad officials wanted to relocate from its headquarters on Helena Street to the Webster Street address.
They wanted to use the Webster Street address as office space, a place to store equipment and as a place for the public to rent out for special events, Robin-son said.
The courts have granted approval for foreclosure on the Webster Street property, but the bank had not taken the property as of Monday.
"If the building is sold, what happens to the court judgment?" Robinson said, referring to what squad officials are asking their lawyer. "Our attorney is trying to figure out how to get us in the building or how to get us away from the building."
Bottom line, Robinson said, the squad's legal issues won't interfere with the squad's ability to provide heavy rescue, mobile intensive car, mobile rehabilitation and water rescue to area police, fire and medical units.
"We don't see us having to shut down because of this," Robinson said.