Photo by Carla Waters

Watseka Fire Chief Tim Ketchum talks to the public safety committee Tuesday night.

The Watseka Fire Department has been busy in the past month.

Chief Tim Ketchum spoke to the public safety committee Tuesday night.

He said he would like for the department to participate in the Firefighter Property Cooperative Agreement program.

“This was brought up a long time ago,” he said. “Back in the last flood, Limestone Fire Department brought down that big military-style truck. That asset was actually obtained through this program.

“This program takes excess property, whether it be from the department of defense or other federal or state agencies, that are not in use. It’s just sitting there. They can actually distribute it out to the fire departments within the state or the country. It can be as small as a desk chair.

“Limestone has used this program extensively. They’ve gotten office equipment. They’ve got AEDs for all their units. They just came back with three larger sized portable generators. The military truck that they use helped us with the flood for brush. All that they get is free to the fire departments. Now there are some stipulations that go along with it. If we were to be awarded any piece of property, no matter what it would be, obviously we would be responsible for maintaining and repairs that go along with it.

“If we fail to get any unit or property into service within one year we’d have to return it back so another fire department has the opportunity to use it. Other than that, it’s a very simple program. I have a memoranda of understanding to go through. I will give a copy to the mayor. He has to sign off on it.

“There’s some departments using this program. I think it’s something we could benefit from. It’s free property. We do with it what we want. If we choose to dispose of it we just have to know that we have to let them know so they can take it off their inventory list.

“If it’s a significant value, over $5,000, after we keep it for that one year, if we decide to sell it to somebody we would be able to keep the monetary value we receive for it,” he said.

“I’d like to get involved with that. There’s no liability to us other than keeping the property for one year.”

He said thee is a wide variety of items that come up in the program. He said he can’t really see what is actually on the list until they sign the memoranda of agreement.

The committee said it is in favor of getting involved in the program.

In other fire department matters, Ketchum said they had six fire/smoke in building calls for May. There were also seven line/odor investigation calls, two traffic accident calls, three fire alarm calls and three EMS assist calls.