NECAS is seeking FEMA grant


CHRISMAN – Keeping the Northern Edgar County Ambulance service going is a challenge.

Money is not always adequate to keep the service moving forward, and the managing board took a step Thursday, Oct. 25, to seek outside funding to help replace dated equipment.

Board members authorized applying for a FEMA Firefighters Assistance Grant for approximately $100,000 to install new heart monitors in the two ambulances operated by NECAS.

There was also discussion about how to address damage the Unit 2 ambulance received after hitting a deer. Randall Wheeler explained the ambulance is still operable, and he considers most of the damage cosmetic, except for a horn at the front of the vehicle. The impact broke the bell on the horn and it needs replaced.

An estimate to fix the damage is $600 and board members were reluctant to file an insurance claim for just $100 since the policy has a $500 deductible.

Wheeler stated the ambulance company volunteers can likely make the needed repairs for less than $100. He said the damaged grill appears to simply need bolted back in place. The most expense is associated with purchasing a new horn, which a volunteer can install.

Board members approved the purchase of two new tires for the main ambulance.

The final item of the evening was distributing a copy of the state statute relating to the creation of a special service area or the expansion of an existing service area.

One option under consideration to create more financial stability for NECAS is annexing into the special service area that taxes to assist ambulance service for seven townships in southern Edgar County.

Board president Kevin Julian asked the others to review the statute for discussion at the November meeting.