By Dedra Cordle
The Jackson Township Fire Department will be receiving new equipment at two of its stations.
At the Oct. 16 board of trustees meeting, a resolution was approved to purchase a fire engine and a medic unit. Chairman David Burris called the move a necessity.
“I think it’s well overdue,” he said. “Our equipment is aging and I believe the new engine and medic will be a great addition to the fleet we have.”
According to Fire Chief Randy Little and Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Quincel, the engine will replace the one currently in use at Station 203 on London-Groveport Road and the medic will replace the one at Station 202 on Hoover Road.
“The engine at 203 is 12 years old and has over 200,000 miles on it,” said Quincel. “The medic at 202 is 10 years old and has roughly the same amount of miles.”
Little added that while 200,000 miles may not be seen by some as time to replace a vehicle, it was important to remember that fire apparatuses are not regular vehicles.
“They go from a cold start to a quick response at least 15 times a day,” he said. “Doing that constantly makes maintenance harder on equipment than just the average vehicle.”
To date this year, said Quincel, engine 203 has cost the department $23,000 in repairs and maintenance, while medic 202 has cost the department $22,000 in repairs and maintenance.
The purchase order for the fire engine, which will be manufactured by the Amlin, Ohio based company Sutphen, will cost $640,210. The purchase order for the medic unit, which will be manufactured by Horton in Grove City, will cost $299,700.
Little said one of the benefits of purchasing locally is that is decreases the cost of parts and repairs when the need arises.
“It’s a lot more convenient when you can get it done right in town,” he said.
According to fiscal officer Ron Grossman, the township has more than enough in reserve funds to purchase the equipment.
“Our revenue has been better than expected,” he said.
He also added that the budget had set aside roughly $140,000 as a down payment on the engine and there is $98,000 in capital expenses and $319,000 in the miscellaneous/other expenses in the EMS/Medic Fund.
“We could pay upfront but we’re going to keep some of the money in the bank,” he said.
Relatedly, Grossman said they would likely fund the engine through a bank loan but will have to go over the offers and interest rates with the trustees.
Little said the medic will take at least six months to be manufactured and delivered, while the fire engine will take at least 14 months to be manufactured and delivered.
In other news, Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Cindy Forsythe gave a crime report for the first weeks of October. According to Forsythe, the department responded to 214 dispatched calls, with 139 of those dispatches being traffic related incidents. The other reports were of thefts to vehicles, vandalism, and domestic cases.
The next board of trustees meeting will be held on Nov. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the township administrative building, 3765 Hoover Road.