Richfield Township orders long-awaited fire apparatus

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

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Nearly two years after voting to buy one, Richfield Township residents will finally get a new fire truck later this year.

Township officials have placed an order for a $193,000 fire truck, scheduled to arrive in October.

“It took a while to get everything set up,” said Wayne Farley, a township trustee who served as fire chief for 13 years.

In November, 1996, voters in the township, which makes up Lucas County’s northwest corner, approved a five-year, 1.9-mill tax millage, 428 to 235.

The township has nine vehicles in two fire stations, one in Berkey and one in Richfield Center. But many of the vehicles are old, Mr. Farley said, and the new pumper will replace one of two trucks built in the 1950s.

Bids on the truck came in lower than expected. The levy will raise about $225,000 over its five-year lifespan.

Mr. Farley said he hopes the new truck will eventually be moved to a new fire station in the center of the township. About three years ago, the township purchased land on Sylvania Avenue, between Washburn and Richfield Center roads, envisioning a new station there.

The new facility would replace both current stations, uniting all nine trucks in one centrally located place near the township hall.

Combining the two stations would reduce response times by allowing the township’s 33 volunteer firefighters to have one central location in which to assemble when there is a fire.

But putting a levy on the ballot to pay for a new station is “still down the road a ways,” Mr. Farley said. Such a move is at least two years away, he said.

Mr. Farley was one of the township fire department’s charter members in 1943 and served as fire chief from 1972 to 1985. The department still uses an old Willys-Overland Jeep from 1947.