New fire truck in service
By Jane Myhra
The Manawa Rural Fire and Ambulance Board approved the fire department’s bylaws during its Aug. 18 meeting.
The bylaws had previously been approved by the membership as presented.
Fire Chief Rob Rosenau reported that the new truck has been in service since Aug. 10. The firefighters are being trained on the pumper-tanker, which replaces two trucks.
Rosenau announced that the annual Fire Fest will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Conroy’s Bear Lake Resort. Children can sign up to win one of 10 free bicycles.
The fire chief requested that the board approve the purchase of a utility truck, which will be funded with donations.
“This would be a good investment for us,” he said.
The utility truck could be used to transport firefighters to classes, fire scenes and special events. It could also be used for fire inspections and to pull trailers.
According to Rosenau, the truck will cost about $48,000 to $52,000.
He said a total of $35,000 of taxpayer money has been set aside for the purchase of this utility truck, with another $15,000 in donations that can be added to that amount.
The board agreed that Rosenau could gather price quotes on a utility truck.
“I’m not against it,” said John Smith. “But we need to get the word out better why we need it and how we are paying for it.”
Currently, the fire department is paying about $13,633 per quarter (about $55,000 annually) on the new tanker-pumper. The utility truck would be funded with taxpayer money and donations.
Rosenau reported that Manawa plans to host an officer class and a Firefighter 1 class.
The Manawa Rural Fire Department has 74 calls to-date since Nov. 1, 2014. The total for last year was 55.
According to Rosenau, the MRFD’s response time is 10.5 minutes.
Ambulance Director Andy Werth requested that the board put money aside for the future purchase of an ambulance.
He said the oldest vehicle is 15 years old, but the primary ambulance (2006 Ford diesel) may need to be replaced first.
Werth said a new ambulance would cost about $200,000, but they might only need a new chassis, which would save about $30,000.
The board agreed to put $50,000 into a money market account to be saved toward the purchase of a replacement ambulance.
In other business, the board agreed to allow Werth to investigate computer/server system options.
The Manawa Ambulance Service has had 182 calls this year.
The board agreed to continue to maintain a website for about $80 per year. The site has at least 2.5 hits per day.
Information on www.manawafireandambulance.com includes board agendas, board minutes, budgets and information about both departments.