By Ray Balogh
SYRACUSE — Turkey Creek fire and township advisory boards Monday, Nov. 8, approved several motions on next year’s department salaries, two new hires and an additional equipment purchase. The township advisory board called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, to revisit the fire department’s nepotism policy.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott reported placing an order for 40 new portable radios as previously approved by the board. Scott said, however, “we noted the updated quote provided for one lapel microphone for the 40 radios instead of 40 lapel microphones.”
He requested approval for $4,149.60 from the new equipment line item in the operations budget to purchase the remaining 39 microphones. The request was unanimously approved.
In his monthly report for October, Scott noted:
• With more than 83% of the fiscal year elapsed, the department has spent 68.40% of its budget.
• The department responded to 28 fire calls and 97 EMS calls. The territory lost about $18,000 in property damage, while the department saved $27,000 in property value during a fire response.
• Department personnel completed 339 hours of fire and EMS training on topics such as victim search and rescue techniques, removal of downed firefighters, self evacuation through upper-story window, biannual skills evaluation and pediatric trauma emergencies.
• New fire hose and nozzles have been ordered and delivery is expected in April or May of next year.
Township Trustee Julie Close reported October’s poor relief disbursements of $525 for rent, $3,160.08 for utilities and $200 for food.
The board unanimously approved the fire department’s proposed resolution for salaries, longevity compensation, insurance and other benefits and signed the salary ordinance at the meeting.
The board also took up Scott’s request to hire two new full-time probationary firefighter/paramedics, approving the hiring of Blake Forrester, but delaying final action on hiring Constance McKee-Richcreek, the spouse of Battalion Chief Brian Richcreek.
Township Attorney Andrew Grossnickle explained the state statute and township policy on nepotism and suggested changes in the latter to accommodate the hiring without incurring legal challenges. The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, to consider the issue.
Forrester is scheduled to begin employment Tuesday, Nov. 16. Contingent on board approval, McKee-Richcreek will report to her first shift Friday, Nov. 12.
The fire board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, in Syracuse Town Hall. The township advisory board will meet at 7 p.m.