Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
New Boston Fire Chief Chris Bender spoke to village council during their meeting on Tuesday about the condition of the fire department’s turnout gear and equipment. Bender said the gear is five years old already and backup gear is even older.
“Backup gear can be used in an emergency, but once it reaches 10 years it has to be thrown away. That’s to the point we’re going to be. The guys are going to have the main gear that they’re using now and no back-up gear, unless we buy new to kind of rotate it,” Bender said.
That backup gear, he warned, will be 10 years old in July and will have to be thrown out.
Councilman Junior Williams said the village typically tries to purchase new equipment every five years.
Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich announced last month that $112.8 million — from his proposed a $1 billion rebate for customers of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) — would go to 3,800 public employers in the state of Ohio. According to the state of Ohio, New Boston would receive $25,610. The plan was approved on May 30, and checks are expected to begin mailing out in July. Councilman Dan Fetty asked if that money could assist the village purchasing new fire equipment.
“I know we probably do not have that money right now, but technically once we get that money released from Bureau of Workers Compensation we can take $20,000 and turn in for the new turnout gear. That’s like getting free money,” Fetty said.
Williams said it’s important to protect the firemen so they can protect the citizens of New Boston, and he asked Bender to obtain several quotes for new turnout gear.
“I’ll just go ahead and make a motion to bring in an ordinance at the next meeting to purchase new turnout gear and we’ll take money out of the General Fund and it will be replaced with that money, as you said, from worker’s comp,” Williams said.
Councilman Mike Payton asked if new tires for the fire truck could be included in that ordinance. Bender said the front two tires of the truck need to be replaced, and he estimated the cost about $800.
“The left-front is wearing pretty bad on the inside. I think a lot of that has to do where it slid over the hillside and it knocked it out of align,” Bender said. “The left-front inside tread is wearing pretty quick. Now that we got it lined up, it should slow it down. But still once it starts wearing it drifts to the left.”
He said because they are steering tires, you have to do both of them together to keep them running smoothly.
Fetty made a motion to increase the amount of the turnout gear purchase ordinance request to include new tires also. The motion was carried unanimously.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.