Thanks in part to the record breaking temperatures, drought conditions and the use of personal fireworks, the Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board learned June 2012 topped out as having the highest fire and EMS run totals as far back as the Turkey Creek Fire Territory has been keeping statistics. With 146 total runs, estimated property loss for the month was $73,000.
Chief Mickey Scott reminded everyone Kosciusko County is still under a burn ban through at least July 17. “We are requesting the citizens of the Turkey Creek Fire Territory comply with these regulations and burn bans in order to provide for the safety of everyone,” he said.
Scott said the department intends to send invoices for violations of burn regulations for fire department responses per IC 38-8-12-13. Township advisors Bill Dixon and Kim Cates expressed the desire to create a township ordinance similar to the state law in order to charge fees for fires caused by fireworks.
In other discussion, Scott said there are some changes both at the state and federal levels that will be affecting the department in the near future.
First, the Indiana EMS Commission passed new regulations for Indiana Certified EMT Basic-Advanced personnel, stating those with this certification will be required to attend additional training in order to progress to a new certification level or revert back to EMT Basic certification. This will affect at least eight, and possibly 10, members of the department. Additional training would require close to 100 hours of classroom time to be completed before July 1, 2014.
Cates asked Scott if those affected by the new regulations are willing to get the additional training. Scott said it has not been discussed explicitly but he imagines some will be willing and some will not.
Dixon and Cates agreed the township should look into either providing a stipend or paying for the time required to attain the additional training.
Second, the Federal Communications Commission is working on legislation that would require the department to change their emergency radio frequencies from the current narrowband frequencies to digital frequencies. This will result in increased expense as all base radios, mobile radios, portable radios, radio antennas and a repeater are currently not digital band capable.
Scott said fire departments across the nation are concerned with this change not only due to the expense, but because digital frequencies may be a problem in emergency situations due to the weaker transmission. Scott said the FCC is still researching this topic and the change may be two to three years out.
Also on the agenda, township trustee Barb Griffith presented her financial report stating the June tax distribution provided $25,421 for the township fund, $44,773 for the township assistance fund and $2,799 for the recreation fund. Griffith expressed relief the township now has a year’s worth of a financial cushion.
The Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board meet on the second Monday of the month at Syracuse Fire Station 2.
For a complete reporting of the Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board meeting, see this week’s issue of The Mail-Journal.