Equipment upgrades help fire department reduce injuries, township officials say

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The Delhi Township Fire Department’s oldest fire truck has been in service since 1992.

Miranda Dunlap

The Delhi Township Fire Department’s oldest fire truck has been in service since 1992. It is set to be replaced by a new vehicle paid for by a 2018 property tax increase, which expires in about a year.

Delhi Township officials say they are seeing positive effects from a 2018 tax plan approved by voters to repair and replace fire and emergency medical equipment and vehicles.

Officials are beginning to discuss when to put a renewal of this millage, which is set to expire in about a year, before voters, Township Manager Tracy Miller said. A final decision isn’t expected to be made for several months.

The millage increased local property taxes by .5 mills, which is equal to 50 cents for every $1,000 of taxable value on a property.

“Since the approval in 2018, we have used it to purchase new vehicles for the fire departments, critical ambulance and EMS supplies and other items essential to ensuring top-quality fire and EMS services,” Miller said. 

The fire department also used millage funds to buy new power loader cots for ambulances. The equipment lifts the legs of the cot into the truck so that first responders don’t have to physically lift the patient. 

“This state-of-the-art equipment saves critical time and reduces stress on the backs of our hardworking and dedicated EMS staff,” Delhi Township Fire Department Chief Brian Ball said in a press release. 

Assistant Chief Leo Allaire said the department has seen fewer knee and back injuries since the implementation of the new equipment 

Allaire also said the department will add a new fire truck soon, once all of its parts become available. Product shortages because of the pandemic have slowed down receipt of the truck’s necessary accessories.

The new truck will replace one that is almost 30 years old. Allaire said most fire trucks are in service for 20 to 25 years, but this one has been a part of the department’s fleet since 1992.

“Without the millage, funding for critical EMS infrastructure would not have been available,” Miller said. “The benefit of reinstating the millage is that funds are raised and specifically dedicated to ensuring that our Fire Department has the durable goods and vehicles they need to provide care to those that need it.”

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