SYRACUSE — Turkey Creek Fire Territory and township advisory board members took their oath of office Monday, Jan. 14, administered by Andrew Grossnickle, who was reappointed township attorney.
Also sworn in was newly elected township trustee Julie Close, who replaced retiring trustee Barb Griffith.
Both boards signed the 2019 volunteer fire contract presented by Fire Chief Mickey Scott, who said the contract continues the terms of last year’s agreement.
The boards also approved a $330,144 grant from the K21 Health Foundation for the purchase of 10 cardiac monitor/defibrillators.
Turkey Creek and Warsaw-Wayne fire territories will each receive four of the units and the North Webster/Tippecanoe Township Fire Department will receive two.
The purchase was necessary because “we found that repairs and parts for the defibrillators all three departments are currently using are no longer available,” Scott said.
He noted the new units will “improve the interoperability” among the three departments and “several other emergency services and hospitals in the area, as the equipment will be the same.”
The units are expected to arrive at the end of the month and the vendor will provide training for each of the departments.
Scott presented his monthly report for December:
• During the month the department responded to 10 fire and 104 EMS calls, saving an estimated $900,000 in property value. During 2018 the department conducted 1,314 emergency runs, saving more than $2 million in property.
• Department personnel underwent 167 hours of training on topics including operational checks, fire suppression techniques, tanker setup procedures, hazardous materials awareness and operations and pharmacological protocol.
• The department spent 88.54 percent of its allotted budget in 2018.
• Firefighter/paramedic Gregory Scott recently received national and state certification as an EMT paramedic.
• Building improvements on the territory’s two fire stations are progressing. Department representatives are meeting with the contractors to review the progress at 10 a.m. the second Monday of each month to coincide with the fire board meetings.
• The department held its annual awards banquet Saturday, Dec. 15. Members receiving awards: Assistant Chief Kevin Grindle, Officer of the Year; Larry Weaver Sr., firefighter, Firefighter of the Year; Gregory Scott and Brandtt Allen, firefighter/paramedics, EMS Member of the Year; and John VanderReyden, firefighter, Most Improved Firefighter of the Year.
Close presented the monthly financial report. During December, the township disbursed $800 in rent assistance; $2,868.28 for utilities; and $994.23 for food. 2018 totals were:
• $7,295.03 for rent
• $28,517.98 for utilities
• $445.05 for medical and dental assistance
• $4,300.75 for food
Gary Stover and Russ Carlson of the Enchanted Hills Community Association requested installation of a tornado warning siren for the community’s 640 families. Though Enchanted Hills has a tornado shelter, the residents cannot hear the existing sirens.
Fire Chief Scott estimated the cost to be $30,000. He said the first three sirens in the territory were funded by private donations and the fourth was paid for by the town of Syracuse.
Board member Bill Dixon inquired about possible funding sources and requested Scott to ask Ed Rock, the county’s emergency management director, about any available grants.
The fire board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, in Syracuse Town Hall. The township advisory board will meet at 7 p.m.