2015 Plumsted fire budget will be presented to public

A public meeting during which the 2015 Plumsted Township Fire District budget will be presented to residents has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the New Egypt firehouse, 59 Main St.

Residents will be asked to vote on the budget in the fire district election on Feb. 21. The polls will be open from 2-9 p.m. at the firehouse.

According to a press release from fire officials, the Plumsted Township Board of Fire Commissioners No. 1 was formed with the purpose of overseeing fire protection services to Plumsted.

In 2004, an emergency services study determined the need for career (paid) personnel to supplement volunteer firefighters during the day. Over the years, additional daytime personnel have been added. This allows New Egypt Fire Company volunteer personnel to be supplemented by career personnel Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Along the same lines, there became a need for New Egypt First Aid Squad volunteer personnel to be supplemented. In 2009, the fire commissioners welcomed the career (paid) EMS staff being employed by Plumsted Township to operate under the board as career personnel. EMS staff responds 24/7 to incidents in Plumsted and surrounding areas.

In 2009, the board also added Plumsted’s own office of the fire marshal. In total, the board employs 13 full-time career staff personnel while still overseeing and funding the volunteer operations of the fire company and the first aid squad.

In 2014, the need for fire services was 429 emergency calls and the need for EMS services was 1,590 emergency calls. Details of the operation can be viewed at www.plumstedfiredistrict.com.

This year, the Board of Fire Commissioners will ask voters to approve a budget of $2 million, with $1.5 million to be raised in local fire district taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $279,100 will pay an additional $7.82 in fire and EMS taxes in 2015 if the budget is approved, according to fire officials.

There are two three-year terms available on the board. Incumbent Dave Gindlesperger is the only board member seeking re-election, according to the press release.