The BST&G Fire District is on the May 3 ballot for a renewal of its existing fire levy.
Motorists going through its service area have no doubt seen yard signs in support of BST&G, and a fact sheet was recently released on Facebook.
“This levy is a renewal — not a tax rate increase — and will continue to fund firefighter/EMT salaries, maintenance and replacement of fire apparatus, and essential operating costs,” the district said in the fact sheet. “Funding allows continued 24/7 fire, rescue, and EMS first response protection.”
BST&G has 12 full-time firefighters, 20 part-time firefighters, and four full-time administrative staff. It offers fire code enforcement, tours of its station, CPR and first aid certification, child car seat safety inspections, school safety programs and community events.
“We have put together several resources that can help you in your fire prevention plans,” the district said on its website, under the “Fire Prevention Forms” link. “Our objectives are to help you in your preparation to make sure you do not suffer the devastation that a fire can cause, and to keep you and your family safe with the following useful fire prevention information.”
The district’s most recent training day was last week, with firefighters rappelling themselves off the top of an engine’s extended ladder and bucket.
“Engine 351 is BST&G’s primary truck for all fire calls,” the district’s website said. “The cab can hold up to six firefighters but can operate with a minimum of three, a driver who is responsible for the pump, a Lieutenant who is in charge of the emergency scene, and a firefighter who is the nozzle man. It has several attack handlines as well as 1,000′ of 5″ supply line.”
Local residents may have seen the truck, nicknamed “The Beast of the East.”
BST&G also has a 2008 Spartan rescue truck, 2012 and 2009 Rosenbauer engine trucks, a tanker, and a grass firefighting Ford F-350.
The renewal is for 4.85 mills, which the district said will cost a homeowner $132.54 per year for property valuation per $100,000 or 36 cents per day. The current levy is due to expire at the end of the year.
According to the district, 85% of its revenue comes from levy funds. The remaining 15% comes from grants, inspection fees, New Community Authority taxes and permits.
As its name suggests, BST&G services residents and businesses in the city of Sunbury, the village of Galena, and the townships of Berkshire and Trenton. Its station is at 350 W. Cherry St., Sunbury.
“The Fire District has no other funding source, we are autonomous from the political entities,” the fact sheet said.
For more information, visit www.bstgfire.org.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.