MARTINS FERRY - The Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a State Fire Marshal Revolving Loan for $41,000, on July 5. The loan is interest free and the fire department has 10 years to repay the loan.
"We are very grateful, it is very important; we were in the need to replace the other chief's (Mike Reese) vehicle in the next couple of years," said Fire Chief Jack Regis. "Everything happened really quickly from the time we applied for the loan to now. We are waiting to get the additional equipment."
The Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department used the loan money to purchase a 2013 Chevy Silverado 3/4 Ton Crew Cab Pick-Up truck. The additional equipment needed is the lights, sirens and other small things. The truck will be used by Chief II, but will also be available for pulling trailers and other purposes.
T-L Photos/ KAYLA VAN DYNE
Ohio Dept. of Commerce Director Andre T. Porter, left, presents a $41,000 check to Martins Ferry Fire Department Chief Jack Regis, center, and Assistant Chief Mike Reese.
"Ohio behalf of the state of Ohio and the Department of Congress and the Division of State Fire Marshal, I present this check to the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department in the amount of $41,000, which I am sure is going to be put to very good use (in Martins Ferry)," said Ohio Department of Commerce Director Andre T. Porter. ""This unique loan program allows the State of Ohio to provide lifesaving tools and better working conditions to the first responders our communities rely on for safety each and every day."
The Revolving Loan Program is offered to fire departments in the State of Ohio to help with building repairs or upgrades or vehicle purchases or upgrades. This is the first time the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department has applied for and received this loan.
The Revolving Loan is one of three programs that the Department of Commerce offers fire departments. The loan program, created in 1993 by the Ohio General Assembly, assists local governments in funding certain fire department major expenses.
It can be used to expedite the purchase of firefighting, rescue or EMS equipment and can also be used for the construction or renovation of fire department buildings.
"We know that this money is going to go to great use, you have a nice looking truck sitting outside," said Department of Commerce State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers. "As a former volunteer firefighter, paid firefighter and paid chief, I know how important those kind of vehicles can be ... I'm glad to be able to provide this to you."
The applications for the Revolving Loan is scored base on the need of the community and the services provided. Fire departments are selected based on a variety of criteria, including the fire department's annual budget, annual number of fire incidents and the resident population served by the fire department.
Loans such as these will continue to be offered to fire departments throughout the state as part of the budget for the new biennium passed by the Ohio General Assembly and recently signed by Governor John R. Kasich. In addition to the Revolving Loan Program, the budget contains funding for training and equipment grants, including an additional $500,000 for firefighter training. These loan and grant programs are designed to offset the cost to local governments.