By Amanda Amsel
As the Franklin Township Fire Department continues to make due with the resources they have, several department leaders are looking for ways to enhance the department at no cost to the taxpayers.
After receiving a $1.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant in 2015, the department is now looking into additional grants for much-needed equipment.
“As we continue to lose money from the state, we need to find additional sources of revenue to replace very outdated equipment,” said Chas Adams, assistant fire chief for Franklin Township. “If there is a grant out there we are applying for it.”
The department is applying for a $180,000 Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) to purchase four new heart monitors for the fire department. According to Adams, all the township’s heart monitors won’t be able to be serviced by 2018.
“We use these heart monitors 15 to 20 times a day, so this piece of equipment is crucial to both our fire and EMS services,” he said. “The cost of one monitor is almost $35,000 with the equipment needed to use it, so this grant would be a huge lifesaver for us. Right now, we just don’t have the money to buy one let alone four.”
The department has four heart monitors and needs to replace all four by 2018.
The department is also applying for a $30,000 grant by the Ohio Department of EMS. This grant would be used to buy EMS equipment and is offered to low income, high-call volume communities.
“This grant can be used for heart monitors, EMS equipment and other items needed by EMS,” Adams said. “I feel like we have a good shot at this grant because of how low-income we are and the high amount of calls we respond to daily.”
The final grant the township is applying for is a $100,000 Ohio Capital Grant. If the township received this grant, they would use it to purchase a new foam truck. According to Adams, the foam truck the township uses is from 1987.
“It is important that we replace this truck because we are one of the main foam specialty firefighters in the state,” Adams said. “We can be sent anywhere in the state to respond to an emergency situation where our truck is needed.”
The township fire department used the foam truck on several high profile incidents in the last few years, including a train derailment in 2012 and a rolled over tanker under the I-70 bridges last year.
A new foam truck can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000, something the township also does not have the money to replace.
“Since we have had three failed fire levies, we have to find other ways to support this department,” Adams said. “Any opportunity for grant money that is out there we are applying for.”
The township should find out about all of the grants they recently applied for in the next few months.