Mansfield Fire Dept. seeks rescue squad, roof replacements & safer sleeping arrangements | News

MANSFIELD — A new rescue crew, fire station roof replacement and safer sleeping quarters for firefighters were topics for the Mansfield Board of Control Monday morning.

Mansfield Fire Chief Steve Strickling and Assistant Chief Jim Bishop met with the board and explained proposals for the effort.

The board of directors unanimously approved $211,365 from the department’s capital expenditure fund for the 2022 Ford E450 Braun Chief XL ambulance.

Strickling said he wanted to “walk ahead” with the purchase, as the squad he ordered in October 2020 has still not arrived. CARES Act funds were used for that $244,023 unit, a COVID-19 self-cleaning ambulance/rescue crew.

“As you can see, we are looking at the delivery of rescue teams somewhere between nine and eighteen months,” the chief said.

The proposal now goes to Mansfield City Council, which will meet again on August 3.

Bishop went over proposals to replace aging roofs at Station 1 at 140 E. Third St. and Station 3 at 705 Sunset Blvd.

The department has obtained plans and estimates from: The Garland Co., a commercial roofing and construction company in Cleveland. The company inspected the roofs and provided a detailed inspection report on each.

In its proposal, The Garland Co. that it would seek quotes from local contractors to do the work.

The roof of Station 1 consists of three sections, totaling 12,400 square meters and the company offered “good”, “better” and “best” options ranging from 10 to 30 years in terms of roof life.

“The existing roof system … has a number of problems,” the company said in its analysis. “The membrane is older and has had many leaks. The leaks and the membrane will only deteriorate further in condition.”

The auditing board chose to allow the department to seek bids for the “better” option with a preliminary estimated cost of $190,000.

The board chose the “best” option for Station 3 with an estimated cost of $50,000 for the 4,700-square-foot roof.

“It’s the only station we have on the south side of the city. It’s going to be there for a long time and we want to make sure it stays good for the next 30 years,” Bishop said.

In its analysis of Station 3’s roof, the company said, “The current roof membrane has far exceeded life expectancy and is on borrowed time,” the company said in its analysis. “Ongoing repair costs will become more frequent and extensive.”

The fire service will obtain bids for the construction work and send them back to the control board and ultimately the city council for approval.

Funds for the project will likely come from the department’s maintenance funds for years to come, although Mayor Tim Theaker said it’s possible money from the U.S. bailout plan could be used.

“We still don’t know what and how to spend that money,” Theaker said. “We have now received three different directives from the (US) Treasury Department and we are still waiting for the official, final directive.”

In their latest request, fire chiefs were allowed to spend $19,200 on drawings that could lead to a remodel of the dorm-style sleeping quarters at Station 1.

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about the safety of the “open dormitory” for firefighters. The project would convert the area into 10 individual bedrooms while retaining the existing showers and toilets.

The department is working with Mansfield architectural firm Felty-Heinlen and will be able to request quotes for the project once final drawings are completed.

Strickling said the construction project will likely cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

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