Hubbard fire district seeks ARP funds for ambulance

WARREN — Two Trumbull County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to allow a late American Rescue Plan application request for $179,900 from the Eagle Joint Fire District to be placed on the county’s yes list to be used for the purchase of an ambulance.

With the addition of the Eagle Joint Fire District’s request on the county’s yes list, 17 applications eventually will be sent to the law firm of Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Matthews to determine if the applicant has met all of the requirements needed to be awarded a portion of the county’s ARP funds. This law firm has reviewed all of the county’s applications.

Being placed on the county’s yes list does not guarantee the applicant will receive whatever amount was requested. It does mean the application will be reviewed by the law firm.

If an application fulfills all of the requirements needed to receive an ARP grant, it eventually will be placed on the county’s agenda for a vote by the commissioners.

At this point, commissioners could decide by a majority vote not to fund a request.

Eagle Joint Fire District Chief Ron Stanish initially asked the commissioners to consider providing enough funds to purchase two ambulances. Stanish noted the joint fire district purchased two used ambulances in 2022.

One of the two ambulances has approximately 136,000 miles on it and the second has approximately 116,000 miles on it, according to Stanish.

The fire district purchased its two current EMS vehicles for approximately $54,000.

“Last year, we spent approximately $30,000 on maintenance,” Stanish said.

Even before making this request to the county, the joint fire district already was looking to replace its aging EMS units.

Stanish said the district found two ambulances that cost $179,800 each and were previously ordered by a different EMS organization, but not purchased. The district signed a commitment to purchase the vehicles.

The district was looking at seeking financing to purchase the vehicles.

However, the county has approved providing the funds needed by at least four different communities using its ARP funds. The projected costs of the already approved ambulances in the four other communities ranged from $153,000 to $225,000.

The Eagle Joint Fire District already is undergoing a transformation from a complete volunteer department to one that will have up to nine paid, full-time fire and emergency medical service employees.

Voters approved a 4.1 mill levy in November for the Eagle Joint Fire District fire department and EMS.

With the funds approved in that levy, Stanish hopes to be able to hire up to six full-time fire / EMS employees by June.

The joint fire district, which was formed in 2007, currently has 37 firefighters / EMS volunteers.

The district began to respond to EMS calls more often as private ambulance services began becoming unreliable, according to Stanish.

In 2021, approximately 38% of the district’s calls were EMS calls. Since that time, the percentage of calls received has increased to between 60 to 65%.

Between the city of Hubbard and Hubbard Township, Stanish said there are about 20,500 residents for them to serve.

Trumbull County received $38,557,293 in ARP funds. Approximately $36,720,553.71 either has been allocated or has been placed on the county’s yes list to be considered for funding.

The county has about $1,836,740.17 left to be allocated, according to information provided by Auditor Martha Yoder.

Have an interesting news story? Contact Raymond Smith by email at rsmith@tribtoday.com.


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