SYRACUSE — Joshua Taylor was sworn in as a firefighter/EMT private at the Turkey Creek Fire Board meeting Monday, Jan. 13. The board was also sworn in for their 2020 tenures.
Taylor’s wife, Janessa, took the honor of placing his insignia pin on his collar after the swearing in by township attorney Andrew Grossnickle.
The Taylors are expecting their first child, a girl named Norah, next week.
Taylor has been with the department for one year. Before his time with Turkey Creek, he served as a volunteer in Allen County.
Corky Wong was officially approved as the fire board’s fifth member and Grossnickle was approved to serve as the territory’s attorney for another year.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott presented his 2019 year-end report. Highlights included:
• The department responded to 220 fire calls and 1,216 emergency calls, for a total of 1,436 calls, an average of four calls per day. The total is 122 responses above 2018’s total.
• The territory lost $379,400 in property damage, but the department’s responses saved another $1,599,000 in property value.
• Department personnel completed 238 hours of training on topics such as classifying and identifying hazardous materials; donning and doffing personal protective equipment within an acceptable time limit; winter firefighting operations; airway management and intubation skills; pharmacology; and operation of the Thermal Angel, used to heat IV fluids for hypothermia patients.
• With the arrival of a new ambulance, the department’s 2008 vehicle has been removed from service. The engine is inoperable, so the board approved selling the ambulance for scrap value. “We got the life expectancy of 12 years out of the ambulance,” said Scott.
• The department is “working on the acquisition of a demo ambulance to replace the 2016 ambulance that was involved in a motor vehicle accident in August 2019,” said Scott.
• Award winners at the department’s Dec. 14 annual awards banquet included John VanderReyden, EMS Person of the Year; Joshua Taylor, Most Improved Firefighter of the Year; Robert Tinkey, Officer of the Year; and Floyd Murphy, Firefighter of the Year.
Scott also issued a caution for the general public. “We would like to remind everyone to install and/or test both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in their residence. These detectors are especially crucial this time of year when heating appliances are in use. We cannot overemphasize the importance of these detectors.”
For more information, or for help in obtaining or installing detectors, call (574) 457-4100.
Scott reported his department used 94.9% of its 2019 budget. “There are some 2019 year-end invoices to be paid yet,” said Scott, who will bring the final figures to the February meeting.
He also reported the 2019 equipment fund budget, which started the year at $965,000, had a carryover balance of $43,300.63. Major expenditures included a new ambulance, 2019 Dodge Ram utility truck, SCBA units and air bottles, building improvements to the territory’s two fire stations and mobile communications equipment.
The fire board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in Syracuse Town Hall. The township advisory board will meet at 7 p.m.