Turkey Creek Fire Board Monday, July 11, heard Fire Chief Mickey Scott’s operations and equipment replacement budget proposals and voted to discuss the numbers further before its state imposed Aug. 1 deadline to take final action.
Scott requested $1,653,535 for the department’s 2017 operations, a 2.5 percent increase from 2016. The increase falls below this year’s average municipal increase of 3.8 percent.
The proposal includes $1,280,490 for personal services, $119,500 for supplies, $243,545 for other services and charges and $10,000 for new equipment.
Scott also requested $180,000 for building improvements and $18,000 to purchase a mobile facility for firefighter training. The structure has moveable walls and is used to simulate a building fire in various room and hallway configurations.
Scott cited eventual cost savings by eliminating the need to send equipment, vehicles and personnel to Warsaw, the nearest such facility, for the quarterly training.
Departments in contiguous districts will be offered the use of the facility for an agreed upon rental.
Scott also asked for $275,000 to replace the 20-year-old tanker currently in use by the department. The new tanker will hold 3,500 gallons of water and is equipped with its own pump to draw water from dry hydrants, thus avoiding tying up one of the department’s pumpers during an emergency.
The present tanker, a converted milk truck, holds only 2,000 gallons of water.
The cost of homeowner’s insurance is determined in part by the capacity of the fire department’s tanker trucks, said Scott, who hopes the new acquisition will provide a premium break for the territory’s residents.
In other business:
• The department responded to 31 fire calls and 99 EMS calls in June. The year-to-date total of 701 responses is 79 higher than the total for the first half of 2015.
• Department personnel attended 325.5 hours of training in June. Topics included fireworks safety, SCBA air consumption drills, alternative and hybrid vehicle emergency response procedures, business preplans, pump operations, driver education and landmark location, public relations and familiarization of a variety of equipment.
•The department taught an American Heart Association CPR course Thursday, June 23, with 10 students attending. The next CPR course is scheduled for Thursday, July 28. Enrollment is limited to 12 persons. Call (574) 457-4100 or (574) 457-5507 for more information.
• New overhead garage doors and openers for Fire Station 1 are slated for installation early to mid-August.
• The entire inventory of the annual pork chop and chicken barbecue fundraiser Saturday, July 2, sold out in 2-1/2 hours. The department netted well over $3,000. “The proceeds are utilized to purchase various equipment and to support those in need in our community,” said Scott.
• Scott reported no injuries or fires from the recent fireworks displays, during which the department was on standby.
• The fire territory was selected to serve as commodore for the Lake Wawasee Flotilla. “Our department was honored and we would like to thank the committee that selected us,” said Scott. “We were humbled by the number of citizens who participated with entries, boats and from the shoreline. It was an experience we will not soon forget.”
The board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at Syracuse Town Hall.