Polk Fire District No. 1 to upgrade loaders

INDEPENDENCE — On Thursday, the Board of Directors for Polk County Fire District No. 1 approved Fire Chief Ben Stange’s request to purchase two E-Z Load systems and one new gurney to reduce the risk of injury for both patients and paramedics.

The installation of these systems would replace the last remaining mechanical load systems and move the station to all electric loading.

This item was brought before the board because of the district’s policy to gain approval from the board before making a purchase more than $20,000 — regardless of whether the purchase has been budgeted for, such as in this case or not.

The chief’s report followed, which included information about a second water leak which recently occurred at Fire Station No. 90, a smoke detector PSA which is running on Minet and at Independence Cinema 8, the near drowning which occurred at Riverview Park in June, the events and fires that occurred on July 4 and the Polk County burn ban.

The Board of Directors also swore in two new members to take the place of outgoing directors Terri Gregory and Joost Vanderhave.

The directors inducted that evening were Dennis King and Freeman Stutzman, who swore “to support the constitution of the United States and the State of Oregon, laws thereof and the policies of Polk County Fire District No. 1, and that (they) will faithfully discharge (their) duties as a board of director according to the best of (their) ability.”

Following the induction, the board elected new board leaders. Tom Snair and Joe Franko retained their positions as president and secretary, respectively, and Mike Lippsmeyer was elected to the position of vice president.

The board then proceeded to decide the regular meeting date, time and location. Meetings will carry on as usual, on the second Thursday of each month at the Central Fire Station in Independence, beginning at 6 p.m.

Board of Directors meetings occur monthly and are open to the public. The next meeting will be on Aug. 10.

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