Aldermen approve fire department’s equipment requests

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 9/22/21

Equipment upgrades for Owensville’s volunteer fire service were approved Monday by aldermen including authorization to replace outdated 3-inch hose purchased in 1985.

Aldermen authorized the …

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Aldermen approve fire department’s equipment requests

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Equipment upgrades for Owensville’s volunteer fire service were approved Monday by aldermen including authorization to replace outdated 3-inch hose purchased in 1985.

Aldermen authorized the upgrades with funds from an insurance settlement obtained after department equipment stored in a local storage shed was damaged by fire this summer. The city received $23,134.88 from the insurance policy.

Fire Chief Jeff Arnold  said  their inventory of old hose, “thousands of feet,” was unfortunately purchased just two years before safety regulations went into effect in 1987 limiting the length of time equipment was considered viable. He expected to spend at least $1,230 on new 3-inch line.

Another $1,238 will be used to buy new rescue cribbing to replace what was damaged in the storage shed fire. Another $1,460 was being used to replace a SCBA mask which was lost.

The department asked for and received permission to spend $9,500 on a battery-operated extrication combination tool. The department has replaced older hydraulic units throughout their fleet of vehicles with the battery-operated tools. 

A yearly recertification of the 21 air tanks will cost $1,995 and will be something the department will need to budget for each year due to changes in regulations, Arnold told aldermen.

Four of the units stored in the shed which burned were recently returned to service after being cleaned and tested by a Minnesota firm. 

Aldermen approved a motion to use the insurance money for these purchases.

Aldermen also approved a motion authorizing fire department command to upgrade a brush truck, No. 2138, to include a $3,850 flat bed to match other units in the fleet. The truck’s upgrade will include a new “skid” unit for $10,500 and will replace the existing one from 1985. The skid is the assembly which includes the water pump and water tank for the units designated as brush rigs.

Funds for this upgrade will come from a $400,000 construction and equipment loan obtained this past spring through First State Community Bank. The addition to the fire house on Springfield Road, Station No. 3, is included in the loan which is designed as a “line of credit” for fire department improvements, according to City Clerk Bobbi Limberg. Annual budgeted payments from the fire department’s accounts will be used to pay off the loan. 

The cost of fire service

Arnold’s report included repairs of almost $2,400 to replace both rear wheel seals on pumper No. 2134.

The addition to Station 3 are nearly completed, Arnold said. HVAC work remains by a local contractor.

Arnold credited fire officers Martin Schlottach and Jeff Limberg with weekend and “own time” work on the project. He also thanked the city’s public works employees for assisting with digging and earth work to help finish the project.

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