Medina FD will pursue federal grant for new ladder truck

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2020 at 10:11 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Medina Fire Department’s ladder truck, shown at a fire on Marshall Road on March 13, 2016, is 24 years old. The Fire Department is seeking a federal grant that would pay about 95 percent of the costs for a new truck, estimated at $1,450,000.

MEDINA – The Village of Medina is applying for a federal grant that would pay about 95 percent of the costs of a new ladder fire truck.

The Village Board this evening authorized Fire Chief Matt Jackson to submit an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The new Quint ladder truck would cost an estimated $1,450,000 with Medina’s share about $70,000.

The grant application is due by 5 p.m. on March 13. The grants likely won’t be announced until November or December.

“I think we have a good chance with the age of our current vehicle and the condition it is in,” said Mayor Mike Sidari.

Medina’s current ladder truck is from 1996. The ladder is 75 feet long. Medina would like a truck with a 100-foot-long ladder.

If Medina is awarded the grant in late 2020, it would likely be another year from then before the new truck is ready because it takes about 11 months for a manufacturer to build the truck.

Village officials said Medina is already spending about $70,000 a year on the current ladder to keep it going.

“We’re being nickel and dimed with the mechanical issues,” said the fire chief.

Medina faces another issue if it gets a new ladder truck. The fire hall is too small for a new truck.

Currently there is only two inches of clearance from the top of the truck to get in and out of the bay in the fire hall. The new trucks are 4 inches above the top of the door.

Fire Chief Jackson is suggesting the village consider a 75-by-50-foot addition to the fire hall with two taller bays to allow more space to get trucks in and out of the building.

An addition would be an estimated $1.3 million to $1.5 million for the building, and extending heating and other utilities, as well as engineering costs.

“With the size of the vehicles today it’s inevitable someday,” Jackson told the board about an addition to the fire hall.

Medina wants to have the building designed and ready to bid out if the grant for the new fire trucks comes in. Mayor Sidari said there would likely be grants to help with an addition, with the village likely having to finance some of the costs.

It will be a moot point though if the village doesn’t receive the FEMA grant. The fire department has received FEMA funds before for equipment and towards a fire truck.

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated. The original post said the current truck has a ladder that is 96 feet long. It is 75 feet long.)

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