SYRACUSE — Turkey Creek Fire Board Monday, July 9, accepted a $492,364 bid from Milestone Construction of Syracuse, the lowest of three bidders, for renovation work on the territory’s two fire stations.
The board approved $508,000 to cover a kitchen range and hood assembly not included in the bid and to allow for any unexpected costs.
According to state law, the bid must be awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, explained Andrew Grossnickle, the territory’s attorney. Factors considered included the contractors’ ability, reputation and confidence.
The board’s recommendation must be passed by the township advisory board and town council before work can commence.
Grossnickle said all three entities must accept the bid or reject all bids on or before Aug. 1. Milestone committed to commence work on the buildings Oct. 1.
The fire board also passed Fire Chief Mickey Scott’s proposed operations and equipment fund budgets for 2019. The operations budget totaled $1,822,092 and the equipment fund amounted to $765,000, broken down as follows:
• $45,000 for the remaining replacement of the department’s SCBAs and oxygen bottles
• $300,000 for the first payment of a new fire engine to replace the current 2002 vehicle
• $300,000 for the balance of the building improvement costs
• $120,000 for replacement of three cardiac monitors
“Our current cardiac monitors are on an FDA hold for repairs and sales of repair parts,” said Scott. “We are applying for a grant to cover the replacement costs. We are budgeting this amount to cover the cost if the grant request is not approved.”
Scott also reported:
• The department responded to 22 fire calls and 101 EMS calls in June.
• Department personnel underwent 463 hours of training in June on subjects such as vehicle operational checks, disaster preplanning, drone operation, fire ventilation and flow path control, pediatric trauma care, tactical emergency casualty care and psychiatric and behavioral patient emergencies.
• With half the calendar year elapsed, the department used 36.12 percent of its allotted budget.
• The department’s annual fundraiser, held Saturday, July 7, was a success, selling out 600 chicken quarters, 600 pork chops and 36 dozen ears of corn by 1:30 p.m. Proceeds go to help the department purchase new equipment.
Scott also proposed adding two full-time positions to the department roster.
“We recently conducted research into other fire departments regarding staffing and wages,” he reported. “Most of these departments are staffing at least four to five full-time personnel per station” for 24-hour, seven-day-a-week coverage.
“With these two additional positions, we would have five full-time personnel to man our two stations. This allows for personnel coverage in the event of an unexpected injury, illness, sick time use, personal time use, training events, etc.
“Currently, unless an employee chooses to cover an open shift, we have to mandate an employee to work overtime to avoid a staff shortage. We would like to get away from that as much as possible.”
Scott said the extra personnel will allow deployment of a third ambulance when the other two are on EMS calls.
“This will allow us to meet OSHA policy mandates that firefighters never go into a dangerous situation alone and that there be two firefighters outside the hazard area. This will provide increased safety for our firefighters.”
The board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, in Syracuse Town Hall.