As of the end of November, the Turkey Creek Fire Territory spent only 66 percent of its allotted budget, Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported at the Monday, Dec. 12, fire board meeting.
Major year-end expenditures will occur in December, however, and Scott predicted the territory will use “maybe about 90 percent” of its budget for 2016.
Anticipated December expenses include holiday pay, overtime, a $28,000 semiannual payment to the volunteer firefighters, and an insurance premium payment for 2017.
Prepayment of the premium will result in a significant price break, according to Kim Cates, board president. The insurance is for buildings, vehicles, liability and worker’s compensation.
“There will be a zero percent increase in the premium,” said Cates. “When is the last time you heard of that happening?”
The territory this year has received $2,686 in insurance premium refunds, attributable to exemplary scores on insurance inspections and removing the department’s 2002 ambulance, slated for replacement, from the vehicle policy.
Other savings for the year came from health insurance, with only 23 percent of the budget expended through November; radio maintenance (27 percent); physicals (41 percent); gas and oil (53 percent); utilities (60 percent); and repair parts (61 percent).
In other news, Scott reported:
• The department made 107 emergency runs in November. The territory experienced property loss of $250,500 from four structure fires and a vehicle fire, but the department’s responses saved more than $1 million of property from fire loss. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.
• Through November, the department responded to 1,267 emergency calls, 29 responses higher than 2015.
• Department personnel attended 338.75 hours of fire and EMS training in November. Training topics included rescue techniques, leadership training, engine and ladder operations, thermal imaging cameras, preplanning, CPR and AED training, allergic reactions and treating hypothermia patients.
• The department’s 800 megahertz mobile and portable radios were reprogrammed according to new state guidelines. The upgrade “opens up more bands so more can be assigned” to individual firefighters and police officers, said Scott. The reprogramming was paid for by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
• The department will replace one of its vehicles next year. “The 1998 2,000-gallon tanker that our department currently has is scheduled for replacement with a new 3,500-gallon vacuum tanker in 2017,” Scott said. “We are currently working on getting bids together for this tanker.”
• The department’s annual awards banquet will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Eagles lodge in Syracuse. Scott invited the board members to the event.
The board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at Syracuse Town Hall.