LISBON – Significant public funding has been secured for the Lisbon Village Fire Department to fund the urgent and growing needs of the service.
Senator Michael Rulli recently announced that $ 150,000 had been allocated to the department in the biennial budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, a section of Bill 110, which was signed by Governor Mike DeWine on July 1.
Mayor Peter Wilson worked with members of the village council to submit a list of nine items requiring funding to Rulli a few months earlier. Wilson submitted an article regarding the fire department and its need for a new station, which Rulli chose to submit to the Senate to be considered for the state budget. When the article reached the conference committee, it was drafted in such a way as to only allow the funding to be used for the acquisition of equipment and training and specifically prohibits its being used for the purchase of goods. and other capital expenditures.
Despite the change, firefighters are anything but disappointed.
“I was like a kid on Christmas when he (Mayor Peter Wilson) called me”, said Fire Chief Mark Hall.
Hall has called a meeting with the ministry to start the discussion on what they want to spend the money on. Hall said he wanted to decide how to spend the money together with his men because they are the future of the department.
A few of the items on the list include a battery-powered Jaws of Life, a set of battery-powered portable lights for taking on dimly lit excursions such as rescues and recoveries in wooded areas, new four-inch hoses for trucks and new air tanks for their air packs.
Funding also covers training and courses. Lt. Adam McCullough said he and firefighter Tony Hunt were interested in whitewater rescue training. Hall said the training would be helpful for the men, especially after the tragic 2015 drowning incident in Little Beaver Creek when a local teacher, Todd Vadino, and his ten-year-old son Garrett and family friend Carson, 14 year old Bonar is dead. Garrett slipped and fell into the river and Bonar chased after him, and Todd tried to save them both.
“We need training in whitewater rescue. I hope we never have an incident like a few years ago, I know it affected a lot of gentlemen in this department ”, Hall said.
All of the department’s wishlist items are focused on one goal; to better protect and serve the residents of Lisbon, Center Township and Elkrun Township. McCullough said it takes a lot of money to keep up with the ever-changing training and equipment required in the fire service, and the entire service is grateful to “Roll the ball” on the financing of necessities.
Hall and the department express their gratitude to Rulli and Wilson.
“I would like to thank Senator Rulli on my behalf, the firefighters of Lisbon and the citizens of Lisbon and the center and Canton of Elkrun. Just a big thank you, it’s very much appreciated ”, Hall said. “And thanks to Pete Wilson for taking the initiative to do it.”
Wilson gave full credit to Rulli and Rep. Tim Ginter for making this possible.
“I will tell you that we are truly grateful to our state lawmakers – Senator Rulli and Representative Ginter – for helping to secure this money for the fire department. Since January 2020, Lisbon has received almost $ 2 million in state and local grants and funds, which we are putting to work to improve our public services ”, Wilson said.
The money will be available to the ministry on July 1, 2022 and they have two years to spend it.