Jackson Township to purchase new medic and plows

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

It is out with the old vehicles and in with the new at the fire and road departments in Jackson Township.

In April, the board of trustees authorized the purchase of one new medic for the fire department and two new plow trucks for the road department. The former was approved as a part of a planned replacement cycle while the latter was approved due to part to grant funding.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Quincel, the department will replace a 13-year-old medic that has approximately 250,000 miles on it. Because of its age, it has primarily been used as a last resort.

“It is not assigned to any of our four stations,” said Quincel. “It is typically reserved for use when our frontline vehicles are out for repair or preventative maintenance or when the other backup medics are out on runs or at community events.”

He said this medic, which is one of their last international vehicle models, is not cost effective to maintain.

“At this point, we will save more money by replacing it with a new medic than we will by making repairs.”

The new emergency service vehicle will be manufactured locally by Horton Emergency Vehicles. It will cost the township roughly $315,000 and it will be completed and delivered to Station 201 on Grove City Road next year.

This purchase marks the third time in as many years that the department has ordered a new medic for its fleet. Unlike the past two purchases, the township will pay the entirety of the cost rather than a portion or nothing at all.

In 2019, the township announced that it had come to an agreement with the city of Grove City regarding Beulah Park Tax Increment Financing plans. Under the terms of the agreement, the city would purchase two emergency service vehicles for the township within the next five year. The city went on to purchase one that year, and it will purchase the second in 2025.

Late last year, the city allocated a portion of the funds it received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to the township. The township paid approximately $40,000 for a new medic, while the city funded the remainder of the cost.

Quincel said the township’s partnership with the city has been invaluable to the fire department.

“We are very appreciative of the support they have given us,” he said.

With the 13-year-old medic set to be phased out next year, the oldest vehicle will then be an 11-year-old medic. Quincel said the department is on a 10-year replacement cycle.

“The first five years of a medic will be spent as a frontline vehicle,” he said. “After those five years are up, we have to order a new one and then they become our backup medics.”

He said medics have to be replaced often as they garner a tremendous amount of wear and tear.

“Replacing the medics on a planned replacement cycle is a necessity,” he said. “Our public depends on us to assist them when they are in need and those vehicles need to be in the best shape they can be in.”

The road department will also be replacing its oldest plow trucks as they were selected to be a recipient of a Volkswagen Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund Grant.

According to township administrator Shane Farnsworth, the road department will be able to replace a 2004 model and 2006 model plow truck with two new environmentally friendly vehicles. He said the township will pay approximately $250,000 for the plow trucks, while the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will cover 30 percent of the cost, or roughly $83,000.

He said they will be specially outfitted and delivered to the department in the summer.

“They will be ready to go come the next snowfall,” he said.

The 2004 and 2006 trucks will be decommissioned. The department will have four plow trucks on hand, one of which is a smaller model to access cul-de-sacs and subdivision roads.

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