Turkey Creek Advisory Board Monday night approved a bid of $100,865 to purchase a new grass fire truck that will replace the fire territory’s current vehicle, a 1998 Chevy pickup.
“We budgeted $120,000 in the 2014 equipment replacement fund for this purchase,” reported Fire Chief Mickey Scott. Bidding was closed Friday, with the winning bid received from 1st Attack Engineering in Waterloo.
Scott and his department’s truck committee visited the manufacturer and consulted with a couple area fire departments that use the manufacturer’s brush fire trucks.
“Further research with those departments in regards to satisfaction with their units after five and six years in service has been conducted, with good reports from those departments in regards to the reliability and function of the units,” Scott reported.
The department’s current grass fire truck has 10,001 miles and 1,304 hours on the engine. “A common formula that is utilized to approximate engine hours to miles is 60 miles for each engine hour,” explained Scott. “Utilizing this formula with the 1,304 hours, there is approximately 78,240 miles on the engine of the current truck.”
The chassis for the new vehicle will be ready in April or May, said Scott, “right about when grass fire season starts.”
The board’s go-ahead allows the department to encumber the funds for payout during the 2015 fiscal year.
In other business, Scott reported the department responded to three structure fires in November, and limited overall property loss to $60,000.
“Our guys are getting on the scene quicker and getting the knockdown quicker,” he said. The department’s response time has been halved from an average of 11 minutes to 5.2 minutes.
“That six minutes seems like forever,” he said. He offered to bring a 15-year comparison of response times to the next meeting.
Scott announced that the renovations on Turkey Creek Fire Territory Station 1 have been completed, with the final payment of $21,723.95 to be disbursed upon receipt of the invoice.
Anticipated maintenance for 2015 includes replacing a couple overhead door openers which were installed around 1990 and paving a portion of the parking lot adjacent to Station 1.
Scott also reported the department has given away 100 carbon monoxide alarms and 17 smoke alarms to community residents who cannot afford them.
Such alarms should be replaced every five to ten years depending on the type of alarm and its manufacturer.
“Just remember seven years, and take care of both the alarms at the same time,” he advised. “We would like to remind everyone to check their carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms and replace the batteries in them if they have not already done so this fall.
This is the time of year when carbon monoxide poisonings and fires statistically increase due to the use of heating equipment and cooking activities.”
Any easy way to remember when to change the batteries, he said, is to do so during the autumn weekend of Indiana’s time change.
The board will next meet at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12, at Syracuse Town Hall.