Cambridge Fire Chief (OH) Jeff Deeks told the Cambridge Lions Club that changes in state funding and changes in National Fire Prevention Association regulations will require the department to find new ways to pay for equipment.
“Most cities fund their fire departments through the general fund,” said Deeks. “In Cambridge we get funds from the safety tax passed in 2010 and from our three fire levies. The safety tax helped replace the funds wiped out by the state when it did away with the personal property tax.”
He asked that voters increase the one levy by seven-tenths of a million and the other levy by nine-tenths of a million, which would increase the taxes on a $50,000 home by $46.04, a $70,000 home by $64.46, and a $100,000 home by $92.08.
Half of the department’s bunker gear is older than 10 years old and new regulations require a replacement of any fire hoses that were manufactured before 1987.
Deeks said that the department has 53 air packs that need replaced and that one of the trucks has engine problems that would cost $2,000 to fix.
In addition, he said, “Our ladder truck is 30 years old and needs to be replaced. It will cost about a million dollars to replace it. We have kept applying for grants for the last six for replacing it. So far we have been turned down and we get rejection letters. We will keep trying.”
Cambridge Township will provide a new tanker truck. The fire department also has two rescue boats available for use in the county.
Deeks showed a video of the history of the Cambridge Fire Department. It included photos of fire engines, department personnel, and fire scenes over the years.
The Cambridge Fire Department was organized in 1873. It has been serving Cambridge for 140 years.
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