Turkey Creek Deputy Fire Chief Brian Richcreek reported to the fire board Monday, April 10, several recent meetings to advance the mission of the department.
On Tuesday, April 4, department leadership met with an ISO field representative to conduct a review of the fire prevention and response capabilities of Turkey Creek Township and the town of Syracuse.
The last review was conducted in 2009 and ratings were issued separately for the town and township. The two entities will share a combined rating when the review results are issued in about six months.
Thereafter, the rating will be updated “every four or five years.”
“Our department compiled several items in reports pertaining to firefighter training, run volumes, apparatus and equipment carried on the apparatus, fire protection area, mutual aid, etc.,” reported Richcreek.
In addition, “we did receive information back from the Kosciusko County Communications Center and Syracuse Water Department as requested for the review,” he said.
The ISO rating is widely used by fire, casualty and homeowner insurance companies to determine premiums.
On Thursday, April 6, “our workers compensation insurance provider did meet with us to conduct a review of our staff, payroll, etc., to adjust our workers compensation premium, if necessary,” Richcreek said. “All of the requested information has been released to the provider to conduct the review. We hope to see a decrease in premiums.”
The department’s building committee recently met with Andrew Grossnickle, the fire territory attorney, to update the list of renovations and improvements to Fire Stations 1 and 2. Funds were appropriated last year for the work.
The department also underwent an annual aerial and ground ladder testing in March “to ensure the safety of our firefighters and the public and to have the vehicle insured.”
A hydraulic cylinder leak was discovered in the aerial and the cylinder “has been removed and sent out to be rebuilt,” said Richcreek. “The aerial has been taken out of service until the repairs can be completed. We expect to receive the cylinder any day now.”
The department hired two firefighters. “That will bring us up to full staff,” said Richcreek.
Mike Litchford was hired Monday, March 20, as a full-time firefighter/paramedic and Geoffrey Ellingwood will begin as a full-time firefighter/EMT Monday, April 24.
Both firefighters will serve their first six months on probation.
In other business:
• The department responded to 18 fire calls and 106 EMS calls in March with no property loss.
• The circuit board for the Railroad Avenue warning siren was replaced. “All outdoor warning sirens now function correctly,” reported Richcreek.
• The truck committee is obtaining bid specifications for a new 3,500-gallon vacuum tanker scheduled for purchase in 2017.
• Department personnel attended 347.5 hours of training in March. Topics included elevator and winch operations, using drones for public and firefighter safety, preplanning for area businesses, hydrant flushing, management of injured pregnant patients, neonatal resuscitation and pediatric advanced life support.
• With 25 percent of the budget year elapsed, the department has spent 15.68 percent of its 2017 budget allotments.
The board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, May 8, at Syracuse Town Hall.