By Dedra Cordle
An emergency unit has been ordered for the Jackson Township Fire Department.
At the Oct. 1 meeting, the board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution to purchase a new medic unit as part of a planned replacement cycle. The medic, which will be manufactured locally by Horton, will be housed at Station 204 on Buckeye Parkway.
According to Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Quincel, the department’s emergency vehicles are on a 10-year replacement cycle due to the tremendous amount of “wear and tear” that is done to the equipment while responding to emergencies.
Fire Chief Randy Little added that the department makes approximately 10,000 runs annually between the four fire stations.
“Of those 10,000 runs, 7,300 of those are EMS runs,” he said. “And of that number, about 50 percent are transports.”
He said what could help the lifecycle of the emergency vehicles in the future is a newfound proximity to hospitals.
“Having two emergency hospitals located in Grove City will be beneficial.”
The resolution that was passed marked the third time that the department has ordered new emergency vehicles within a year. In October of 2018, the township ordered a new fire engine for station 203 on London-Groveport Road and a new medic for Station 202 on Hoover Road. In March of 2019, the township ordered a new medic to replace the one at Station 203. Unlike the aforementioned purchases, the township will not have to pay for the newly ordered medic.
According to Shane Farnsworth, township administrator, the city of Grove City will cover the cost. It is estimated at $350,000.
“It is a part of our agreement with the city due to the development at Beulah Park,” he said.
In June, the city signed off on a development and infrastructure agreement with Townsend Construction Company concerning the redevelopment of the Beulah Park property. Under the terms of the agreement, the 212-acre property sits in a community reinvestment area, thus making it eligible for a 15-year, 100 percent real property tax exemption. It will run simultaneously with a 30-year 100 percent tax increment financing exemption.
During that discussion, Farnsworth spoke before the council about the burden additional homes will place on its fire department and requested financial assistance. The township later came to its own terms with the city regarding the Beulah Park property. One of those terms was that the city would purchase a new medic for the department in 2020 and 2025.
Little said the medic is slated to arrive in the spring.
In related news, the fire department announced at the Sept. 17 meeting that it would seek grant money to replace fire apparatuses. Farnsworth said one grant would be used to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus compressors for each of the fire stations. The second grant request was for diesel exhaust removal at the four fire stations. Farnsworth said the department will not hear whether they have received the grant until the end of the year.