Chesterton Tribune

202 calls: Porter Fire Department reports on very busy summer

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Jay Craig should know.

As assistant chief of the Porter Fire Department, he told the Town Council on Tuesday that firefighters had an extremely busy summer responding to 202 calls May through August with 63 in July alone.

Craig said the department hasnít given its activity reports to the council publicly in the past but he plans to in the future so residents know how busy firefighters are responding to vehicle accidents, medical calls, water rescues and fires.

While 21 of Juneís 38 calls were for medical assists, said Craig, 35 of Julyís 63 calls were medical. The July 4 weekend also had Porter firefighters involved in three fireworks stand-bys and two parades.

August slowed only a little with 59 calls, said Craig, one a drowning at Porter Beach. Porterís dive team never leaves a scene once called; he thanked the Porter Police and Public Works departments for protecting and assisting firefighters during the incident as well as the other departments and agencies that provided mutual aid.

Although Septemberís statistics havenít been tallied, there was one fatality this month in a house fire, noted Craig.

When Porter firefighters arenít on scene at emergencies, Craig said they are involved in training sessions and do apparatus checks on vehicles and equipment.

Craig reminded the audience that at Hawthorne Park Oct. 15 both Patís Liquors and Leroyís Hot Stuff are sponsoring Porterís Perfect Pint, a specialty-brews fundraiser; it benefits both the town Park and Fire departments. Earlier in the meeting the Town Council approved an assembly permit for the 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. event.

Porter fire chief Lewis Craig Sr. reported the incorporated Porter firefighters association purchased a $5,000 Boston Whaler 14-foot jet boat equipped with sonar, GPS and a trailer for the Fire Department. The Whaler, which is touted as unsinkable, improves upon the departmentís first-in rubber boat, said Craig.

He also advised that the 1995 tanker truck was repaired for $12,500 and all department vehicles are in running order.

Snyder calls it quits

Council vice-president Michele Bollinger announced Redevelopment Commission member Bruce Snyder has resigned effective immediately. He has served since 2009. The annual appointment is made by Trevin Fowler as council president, who was absent last night.

Snyder resigned in an email to Bollinger, commission president, last Thursday; she said he had advised her the previous day of his intention to step down to concentrate on his business.

Contacted prior to the council meeting, Snyder said he resigned because ďIím older now; let the young guys do it. Iím heading toward retirement.Ē When asked if quitting was a sudden decision, Snyder said heís been thinking about it quite a while but couldnít recall if he told anyone that.

Snyder said he doubts his presence on the Redevelopment Commission will be missed, and it has been an honor and privilege to serve the Town of Porter.

According to Bollinger, ďHeís been a definite asset with his vision, his planning, his questions and always willing to help.Ē Snyder previously served on the town Board of Zoning Appeals.

Trick-or-Treat Oct. 31

Following Chestertonís lead, Porterís council voted 4-0 to schedule the time for children to haunt neighborhoods in search of treats on Halloween itself from 5 to 7 p.m. that Monday. Police chief James Spanier brought the request.

Spanier also said heís been notified his department received a grant to purchase hybrid-fuel vehicles although specifics of the program havenít been finalized and the cars canít be ordered until early to mid-2012.

Council members approved a temporary $6,220 loan from the CEDIT fund for the Park Department to remove ash trees at Hawthorne Park infected with Emerald ash borers, and to have replacement trees replanted. Under a grant awarded to the park the $6,220 will be reimbursed when the work is done and paid for.

The council also approved giving the Park Board $2,000 from the CEDIT fund to pay for a separate park attorney through 2011. The new town attorney declined to represent the board. Bollinger said the park has to expend $525 in its legal services account prior to using the $2,000.

By consensus council members agreed to draft specifications and place 2012 trash collection/recycling pick-up out for bid. The specs will include providing residents with large rollboxes for recyclables.

Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer apologized to the public for any inconvenience related to last weekís paving of Lincoln, Sexton, Beam and Mineral Springs roads. Striping should occur in about two weeks. She also thanked volunteers from Chesterton United Methodist Church who helped pick up litter along North Waverly Road.

Porter director of engineering Matt Keiser said the lights are activated on the new Indiana 49 bridge over U.S. 12, and the new sewer lines are tied in and functioning correctly at the upgraded 6 Box Lane lift station.

About 20 people attended Tuesdayís meeting but no one spoke under public comment.


Posted 9/28/2011