Turkey Creek Fire Board Monday, July 10, welcomed Corky Wong to fill its long vacant fifth seat.
Wong served on the territory’s fire department for almost 30 years and was an officer on the Syracuse Police Department for six years.
He met with board members during an interview process and his tenure was also approved by the township advisory board and Syracuse Town Council.
“I heard there was an opening they were having a tough time filling,” he said, “and I thought with my experience I could provide a helpful perspective. I feel I can represent both sides, as a former employee of the department and as a civilian.”
Wong also served as captain of the EMS “since just about its inception,” he said. “So I have a vested interest to see that it goes well.”
“I just want to try to improve the community service as far as we can,” he said. “This community pretty well appreciates the department and what it does.”
The board unanimously approved the 2018 budget proposed by Fire Chief Mickey Scott. “All the items are within a couple percentage points of last year’s budget,” he said.
The proposed operations budget totals $1,695,854, representing a 2.56 percent increase over 2017.
Scott requested $200,000 for the proposed equipment replacement budget. The bulk of that amount will be used to replace firefighter personal protection equipment for 40 personnel.
The existing equipment was purchased in 2008 and national standards require retirement of such equipment every 10 years.
The remainder of the budget will be used to purchase five SCBAs and 10 SCBA bottles and pay for building improvements.
Scott also reported:
• The department responded to 12 fire calls and 106 EMS calls in June, and totaled 681 fire and EMS runs as of the end of the month.
• Department personnel attended 448 hours of training on topics including forcible entry techniques, operational truck checks, search and rescue procedures, establishing water supplies, public relations, vehicle and machinery stabilization techniques and a variety of EMS procedures.
• The sales contract for a 2018 vacuum tanker has been signed. “The build time for the truck is up to 300 days,” said Scott, “so it could be April of next year before we see the truck.”
• The four safety air packs and 10 air cylinders previous ordered were recently received. “We were initially advised the delivery could be up to three months. We actually received the equipment in three weeks,” Scott said.
• The department held its annual chicken and pork chop barbecue fundraiser Saturday, July 1, serving 650 each of chicken halves and pork chops.
The funds “are utilized to purchase firefighting equipment and to support various organizations and individuals in need in our community,” said Scott. “We would like to thank everyone in our community who came to support our department during this fundraiser.”
• The department received its rating from the April 2017 ISO review. The rating is improved over the previous score resulting from the last review in 2009.
• The board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, at Syracuse Town Hall.