2016-09-22 / Local News

Elmwood to buy ambulance with banked funds

The Elmwood Township Fire & Rescue Department will have a new $196,000 ambulance before the end of next month.

At a special meeting held Monday evening, the Elmwood Township Board voted 6-0 to purchase the new ambulance based on a recommendation from the township’s Public Safety Committee. Trustee Mary Barrows was absent.

Township supervisor Jack Kelly said the township already had $105,000 set aside for the purchase based on a $15,000 per year transfer from its marina fund that the Township Board set in motion seven years ago. The transfers have been placed in a special account reserved for new equipment purchases for the Fire and Rescue Department.

As part of an effort to improve funding for the department last year, the Township Board also made an additional, one-time $120,000 transfer from its Marina Fund for new fire and rescue department equipment. Voters subsequently approved a proposal to more than double the property tax they pay to support the department, from 0.75 mill to 1.65 mills.

The voter-approved millage has since allowed the department to hire additional personnel to man its fire hall on a 24/7 basis and provide expanded ambulance operations.

“We paid cash for this new ambulance and still have $30,000 left over in the fund,” Kelly noted. “We also agreed to continue putting $15,000 per year from our Marina Fund into the capital equipment fund every year to meet additional needs going forward,” he added.

Township officials had solicited proposals from several manufacturers of ambulances and fire engines before settling on a 2016 McCoy-Miller ambulance that recently rolled off a Florida assembly line, Kelly said. The new ambulance has four-wheel-drive, is gasoline powered and is “state of the art,” Kelly said.

He said the Public Safety Committee and the Township Board wrestled with alternatives presented for a $184,000 version of the same ambulance or the $196,000 version they agreed to. Equipment purchased includes a powered cot for moving patients and a powered lift that makes it easier for emergency medical technicians to lift the cot with the patient into the ambulance.

“The new ambulance should be added to our fleet before the last week of October,” Kelly said.

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