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Millions planned for improvements to fire department



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July 02, 2014 - Just over $5.3 million in upgrades, improvements and new equipment is included in a Capital Improvement Plan laid out for Independence Township departments over the next 10 years, through 2025.

Independence Township Fire Department's 10-year plan, funded by a recently approved fire millage and fund balance, includes truck and equipment repairs and replacements. Over the next few years, several improvements are planned for the township's three fire stations, including $381,000 in 2015.

In 2015, Independence Fire Hall 1 will get a $30,000 revamped kitchen. Fire Hall 2 is next, with $25,000 in scheduled improvements to its kitchen and station entry way in 2017.

Fire Station 3 improvements, budgeted for 2020, include a new roof on the building and repairs to the parking lot.

In 2016, $696,800 is scheduled in improvements with the biggest expense, $500,000, to replace a tanker truck. Various vehicles at the stations will be replaced through 2025.

Independence Township Fire Business Manager Renee Poole previously said equipment purchases are part of long-term capital improvement planning, planned in the previous three years.

The biggest expenditure years in the plan are for the years 2016, 2019, 2023 and 2025. Most purchases in the plan is for routine equipment replacement, which accounts for the largest expenses.

In 2014, $1.1 million in improvements and equipment purchases were made.

Earlier this year, the township board of trustees approved purchasing three new ambulances for $550,000. The ambulances all had the same equipment so no matter what station fire and medical staff they work from, the equipment is the same at all stations.

The new ambulances, which must contain certain equipment dictated by the state, contain the latest gear including new state-of-the-art cardiac monitors purchased for $167,000.

The same ambulances scheduled to be replaced in 2014 will be replaced again in 2019 and 2025.

In addition to ambulances and cardiac monitors, over $31,000 in a variety of equipment was also purchased in 2014 included bunker gear equipment, stretchers and mechanical CPR equipment--all of which are scheduled to be replaced or improved through 2025.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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