Gratis Fire, EMS getting new equipment

GRATIS — The Village of Gratis EMS and Fire Department will be getting new equipment, thanks to a grant from McCullough-Hyde/Tri-Health. During a council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 24, EMS Chief Joan Vance came to council to request purchase approval.

Vance said the department was contacted a year ago about a program grant through McCullough-Hyde/Tri-Health to be able to purchase a cardiac monitor for the Gratis area.

“They are donating us a heart monitor — which is about $28,000-$30,000. They are donating two AEDs to the Fire Department here and then one to the Fire Department in West Elkton,” she said.

She needed the approval of council to purchase the equipment, which they readily gave.

Vance was also seeking to change the payment schedule for the ambulance.

“It was originally supposed to be set up for May and November, but somehow it got set up for April and October,” she explained. “The payment might change if we do this.”

Council approved her request in a motion.

The EMS received a donation of MARCS radios from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Vance explained that they donated three mobile radios and six portable radios to the department. Gratis EMS will have to send the radios to MARCS for programming – which they will do for free – otherwise, the department would have to pay at least $100 per radio, according to Vance.

Gratis Fire Department also got a donation of MARCS Radios, but theirs were from the Preble County EMA.

The EMA provided four more MARCS Radios for Gratis Fire Department. The EMA secured the additional radios through the state and will be loaning them to Gratis indefinitely. They are still technically property of Preble County EMA.

The radios are also older, but according to officials they work fine. The state will also be paying to reprogram the radios, something which would have cost the department otherwise.

According to Mayor David Johnson, the police department has been working on noise ordinances. Police Chief Jeff King is trying to get copies of the ordinances from neighboring villages — including West Alexandria and Germantown. Once the council has received three to four example ordinances they will go over what structure works best for what they need.

In other news, council approved a motion for the Bicentennial Committee to spend up to $2,000 for the closing of the time capsule on Sept. 23.

The next Gratis Village Council meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. in the village building.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH