Turkey Creek Township Fire Chief Mickey Scott requested guidance from the Turkey Creek Township Fire Territory Board in preparing the 2013 operations budget and the equipment replacement budget during the fire territory board’s regular monthly meeting Thursday night.
Scott also requested a public employee retirement fund plan be considered for the 2013 budget. He will be putting together some numbers regarding the PERF. Scott explained he felt offering a PERF would not only benefit employees but the department as well, since it is currently in the process of taking applications and putting together a hiring pool for next year. Offering a PERF should increase the number of qualified applicants in the future.
Scott will be looking at a 3 percent increase on salaries this year, but noted he would like to wait to see what the Town of Syracuse decides to do. Last year the town offered a 4 percent increase while the fire territory received a 2 percent increase.
In old business board chairman Bill Dixon said he checked with Goshen and Warsaw fire departments on what they do regarding fire fighters health. Both departments require an annual physical and fire fighters should follow their doctors advice.
Dixon said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer told him he has a staffer doing research on making the health requirements for fire fighters a bit stiffer. Once that research is complete it will be shared with the fire territory.
Scott said that was one reason he wanted to implement a PERF, since it was understandable a fire fighter at age 59 cannot do what he did at age 30. There was some discussion with Musser being concerned firefighters would retire after 20 years, so benefits would be paid to a retiree and a new person. Board member Brad Jackson explained a PERF is more like an Individual Retirement Account rather than a pension.
The Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board approved an increase in EMS fees charged by the fire territory. Basic Life Support went from $700 per run to $800 per run. Advanced Life Support went from $840 per run to $900 per run. Advanced Life Support 2 went from $900 per run to $1,000 per run. Mileage went from $15 per loaded mile to $18 per loaded mile. Response fee for treat and no transport is $150 and the non-resident response fee is $150. These rates are still among the lowed in the area.
Scott expressed concern about burning during the dry conditions, especially with the Fourth of July coming up. There has already been on grass fire attributed to fire works. He advises no one in the community should burn anything. He asks the community to wait until it rains.
For more coverage, see next week’s issue of The Mail-Journal.