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New ladder truck for Sugarcreek Township

Sugarcreek Township Fire Department receives a grant
Sugarcreek Township Fire Department receives a grant
Photo provided by Flicker, Raymond Wambsgans

After three long years of trying to win grant money from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a new ladder truck, the glory day has arrived. The Sugarcreek Township Fire Department has been awarded a grant allowing $895,250 to put towards a new ladder truck.

“A new ladder truck will not only benefit the residents of Sugarcreek but also be safer for firefighters,” Chief Randall Pavlak said, after announcing the news to the board of trustees.

Since the ladder truck would also be helping residents bordering the Township and the land that is involved in a lawsuit with Centerville, Chief Pavlak made contact with the Centerville Fire Chief.

“I’ve asked Centerville to pay that matching grant fund,” Chief Pavlak said. “I haven’t received an answer yet.”

The grant allows the federal government to provide 95% ($845,250) and the Township to contribute 5% ($44,750). The percentage of the Township is expected to come from the motor vehicle fund allowed by the budget, to be offset by the sell of the old ladder truck.

“During the fire chief conference, there was a grant specialist from the Department of Homeland Safety there teaching about grants and one of the first things he said was, if you don’t know Chief Pavlak, maybe you should get to know him,” Chief Pavlak said. “He talked about our grant and he said that less than 2% of all fire departments that apply actually get fire trucks.”

To help get more for their money, the township is looking into buying a demo, because it will have low miles, the kinks will be worked out, and everything should be working correctly at a much lower cost. The warranties of the trucks start at the time the Township purchases the vehicle, so all the benefits will go to the Township and a new ladder truck will be accomplished. The new truck will replace a 1989 truck, currently in use.

The trustees gave Chief Pavlak permission to accept the grant and allowed the availability of funds through the budget. The fire department is currently looking for a new or floor model ladder truck to find one that best fits with the needs of department and the community. Any interest in purchasing will have to be approved by the trustees prior to finalization.

“We have a little more work to do on this,” said Pavlak. “But boy, isn’t it fun.”

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