The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District has been awarded a $685,000 grant from FEMA to purchase a new ladder truck.
Paint Creek chief Bradley George said Monday the grant application was submitted last November, and district officials were excited to learn late last week that the grant had been won.
The grant award means the district will once again employ two ladder trucks to service the fire district. A ladder truck inherited from the former Hillsboro Fire & Rescue department was decommissioned a couple of years ago due to repair issues that had become too costly. George said the former Hillsboro truck had been rehabbed at least three times.
The district’s main ladder truck, with a 105-foot platform, will remain stationed in Hillsboro, said George. That truck, valued at $350,000 when it was brought into service at Paint Creek in 2014, was obtained at no cost through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry Firefighter Property Program.
The new truck — which George said will likely be smaller with a platform of 75-80 feet and will be a combination pump and ladder truck — will be stationed in Greenfield.
George said the two ladder trucks will complement each other, offering the district more flexibility. He said the larger ladder truck is sometimes too big to fit into tight areas.
George said the latest award marks the fourth such grant secured by the district, a good record for a district that has only been in existence for about seven years.
Other grants the district has won include:
• A $268,000 SAFER staffing grant in March, 2011.
• A $57,000 AEG grant for heart monitors in December 2011.
• A $271,000 grant for a tender truck in August 2015.
George said he, assistant chief Dave Manning and the rest of the staff will discuss putting together the bid proposal for the new truck, and he hopes to make a bid award by the end of August.
The Paint Creek district includes the village of Greenfield, the city of Hillsboro, and Madison, Paint, Liberty, New Market, Washington and Jackson townships in Highland County. It also covers Buckskin and Paint townships in Ross County, and fire-only coverage for a portion of Perry Township in Fayette County through a contractual agreement.
The district’s coverage of Hillsboro is also under a contractual agreement, and city council must decide by the end of the year whether to seek to continue the contract or join the district as a member, which would include an additional property tax of about 5.5 mills. The district recently moved into the newer Hillsboro fire station under a short-term lease agreement with the city for $2,500 a month while a long-term agreement, likely a lease-to-buy, is being finalized.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.