SYRACUSE — Turkey Creek fire and township boards Monday, April 8, approved further action on the purchase of a new pumper fire truck and the installation of a baby box.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported the department’s 2002 fire engine is scheduled for replacement. “We formed a truck committee that has been working on bid specifications for a new truck,” he said. “We now have the bid specifications finalized.”
His request to obtain bids was unanimously approved by both boards. Scott said the manufacturers estimated the new truck would be delivered “approximately 13 months from the time the bid is awarded.” The fire department has allocated $300,000 this year and $300,000 next year to the purchase.
The department is seeking a pumper truck with a six-person cab. “This will be helpful for mutual aid runs,” said Scott, eliminating the need to have two vehicles transport the requisite number of firefighters to the scene.
The boards also approved township attorney Andrew Grossnickle’s request to move ahead in securing a contract to install a baby box at Station 2 on McClintic Road.
Grossnickle reported he reviewed the latest edition of the proposed lease contract with Safe Haven Baby Boxes and noted one requirement was added: the box interior must be kept at a temperature between 72 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Scott said he would check existing technology and “we will find a way to make the temperature work.”
The lease contract is good for five years, with five-year renewals by agreement of the parties. Township board member Bill Dixon moved to accept the contract with the caveat Safe Haven will not require another $5,000 fee at the end of the original contract term.
The boards also gave approval of a memorandum of understanding whereby Right to Life of North Central Indiana will pay the $200 yearly maintenance fee.
Scott gave his monthly report for March:
• The department responded to 10 fire calls and 87 EMS calls.
• Department personnel underwent 396 hours of training on topics including operational checks, search and rescue methods, boat ramp procedures, ladder placement, defibrillator training, cardiac arrest protocols and pharmacological review.
• Renovations of the territory’s two fire stations are nearly complete. Department personnel will conduct a final walk-through with the contractor Friday, April 26. An open house of Station 1 is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, with a Station 2 open house to follow in June.
Township Trustee Julie Close presented her financial report for March. Her office disbursed poor relief in the following amounts: $600 for rent, $1,325 for utilities and $556.88 for food.
Close noted the outlays for utilities dropped by about 50 percent from February due to less inclement weather and “people seem to be catching up with their bills.”
John Heckaman and Scott personally tested the range of the outdoor warning sirens in the Enchanted Hills area and confirmed at least one siren can be heard by all of the 640 households in the community.
The sirens are designed to warn residents who are outdoors. Dixon noted most cellphones have a default app to warn of impending severe weather conditions and Scott recommended households obtain a weather radio.
The fire board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, May 13, in Syracuse Town Hall. The township advisory board will meet at 7 p.m.