PERRY TOWNSHIP - It's been a straightforward, pretty much automatic procedure in the past.
A local fire department sends new recruits to Firefighter I classes and with proof of the certification gets reimbursed for the cost through a training grant from the state fire marshal.
During Tuesday's Perry Township trustee meeting, Fire Chief Bruce Witcher said his department has four personnel he wanted to take the class at a cost of $3,750 to the township.
Trustee Don Rudibaugh said that "previously all this was reimbursed with a training grant ... we don't have one this time." Witcher said the class starts in January and finishes in April. Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston said the department might not be eligible until 2014, noting there might not be a grant out there. She pointed said there hasn't been a grant available for 2012.
Rudibaugh said, "If we want to go ahead and pay, we'll take the risk of maybe not getting that money funded by a training grant."
Johnston said department training has reached between $3,500 to $4,000 this year "(and) we don't know if this is reimbursable" with other training grants.
Trustee Don Kendrick asked about a grants and Johnston said "at this point, there are no grants" and explained the procedure for reimbursement.
She had been on the state fire marshal's website but was unable to locate a grant for 2012 and since Monday was a federal holiday, she couldn't contact the office. Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix said, "Why don't we get in touch with the state fire marshal and see if there will be any grants for 2013.
No formal action was taken on the issue.
Mix also requested the department obtain a receipt from the Salem Fire Department for the $150 it paid for a class over the past weekend.
In other business, the footers were laid for the township's radio tower outside the administration building and Rudibaugh noted that Monday's rain delayed further work. Witcher also said the new fire truck is being built with the manufacturer expected to send photos of its progress.
Mix also advised Witcher, "I have a copy of the county 911 procedures and I'll give you a copy of that ..." adding that trustees must follow it.
After the meeting, Witcher said there have been calls the department didn't receive, or didn't receive in a timely manner.
In other business, a Prospect Street resident questioned the fire department's nine-minute response time to a recent fire in a field. The resident said five residents "hauled water" and put it out "as they got here."
She asked, "Who do we talk to about dispatching?"
Mix said, "We have a way to track this at the dispatcher's office, it's all done electronically."
The Columbiana County sheriff provides fire dispatching to the township and the call in question came in on the township's 330-332-3000 number.
Johnston said, "They all go to the sheriff" and Mix said he would request the time slips to find out what happened.
Larry Shields can be reached at email@example.com