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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission approves spending up to $75,000 for firetruck

By Charlene Sims

MOUND CITY – Linn County Fire Chief Randy Hegwald brought several issues to the Linn County Commissioner’s meeting on Monday, Nov. 27, along with the numbers from last week. A representative from American Medical Response (AMR) also gave a weekly report.

Hegwald reported that there had been eight incidents the past week bringing the yearly total to 413. The incidents were two medical assists with the EMS crew, two motor vehicle accidents with injuries, two motor vehicle incidents with no injuries, one assist police or other government agency and one public service.

After the fire department weekly report, Hegwald reminded the commissioners that the auction for the fire truck he has been watching on Purple Wave ends on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and he asked commissioners how much they would approve for the purchase. He said that the bid was now at $42,500 but he could see it going much higher.

He told the commissioners that he had looked at comparable trucks on the internet, and ones that were one year newer were going for $100,000. He pointed out that the biggest benefit to this truck besides the emergency equipment and hoses that came with it was that it did not have the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system.

Trucks manufactured after 2010 with the DEF system, which was installed for all medium and heavy duty diesel vehicles to reduce engine emissions. Trucks with this system need to run regularly to activate this system.

The commissioners approved Hegwald spending up to $75,000 for truck, including the buyer’s premium.

Hegwald told the commissioners that he had approved a 17-year-old Pleasanton student in the Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) to job shadow with the fire department from Dec. 6 to Dec. 20 from 9:50 to 11:40 a.m.

He said that the student wanted to make a career out of fire fighting. Hegwald told the commissioners that he had talked with the student’s parents.

Hegwald said he had talked with County Clerk David Lamb about insurance.

County Counselor Gary Thompson said a permission slip needed to be signed and Lamb will check into the insurance for this program and the also the junior fire fighting program.

Next, Hegwald gave the commissioners a mutual aid agreement to sign for the trailer that Evergy has given Linn County to use. The trailer carries specialized equipment to fight electrical fires.

The commissioners approved the signing of the agreement, which lines out items like how the trailer is housed and the maintenance it receives.

Hegwald then brought up the program that the county had budgeted to pay for the costs of people training for emergency medical technician (EMT). He said that he had a firefighter who had done the training and then turned in a bill for $1,900.

Hegwald said that he did not feel that he could approve it because the EMT training does not benefit the fire department. He said because the fire department does not have a medical director for supervision, they only performed “band aid” services and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

He was also concerned because the person had just taken the training instead of asking about the reimbursement first. Hegwald said he would talk to the person about this.

The commissioners discussed the monies budgeted for the EMT training agreement and questioned whether it was used for the sheriff’s department.

Commissioner Jason Hightower suggested that the sheriff be asked about it, and if neither the fire department or sheriff’s office benefited from the program, then maybe it should be taken out of the policies and budgets.

Hegwald presented information about a new phone paging system for the fire department. The system will allow the general public to set up plans for emergency rescues by allowing citizens and businesses to key in the number of people in a household and where they are located.

Hegwald said that American Medical Response (AMR) used this system and have offered to chip in with the cost of changing systems. No action was taken about this.

AMR operations manager Louis Aloi reported that the past week had been a busy week in Linn County with 35 calls and 17 transports. The monthly totals for November have been 135 calls with 65 transports.

He said that nine of the calls last week came from the west side of the county and eight from Pleasanton.

Aloi estimated that it would probably be four or five weeks before a new person was hired to replace previous manager Galen Anderson. He said there had been 26 applicants for the position.

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