Voters in the county who will be affected by a no-tax-increase Cooper County Fire Protection bond measure chose to overwhelming approve the bond.

Voters in the county who will be affected by a no-tax-increase Cooper County Fire Protection bond measure chose to overwhelming approve the bond.
“We are thrilled the measure passed by 79 percent. Now the work begins,” Cooper County Fire Protection District Chief Dave Gehm said. “Obviously, the people are expecting great things.”
Tuesday brought out a 14 percent turnout of voters, which was higher than expected. On the ballot was an almost $2 million bond measure that would significantly impact the way the district can fight fires. In addition, new firetrucks and fire stations will be part of the end result.
“We hope we can be in the stations within a year. It will take almost a year to get some equipment, including firetrucks,” Gehm said.
The goal is to have no resident further than five miles away from a fire station. This will greatly lower insurance rates and will keep the districts ISO rating at ‘6’.
Services provided by the district include structure fire suppression, emergency medical response, motor vehicle rescue, water rescue, large animal rescue, ice rescue, wild land fire and hazardous materials rescue.
The district plans to construct a new stations in Bunceton and Lone Elm. In addition, the district looks to begin updating their fleet of vehicles. A purchase of one fire engine will cost $365,000 while the combined cost of two takers and two brush trucks will cost $600,000. Right now, the district has seven engines, six takers and six brush trucks. Some of these vehicles are 25 years of age or older.
Every 15 years, the district has to replace its air packs. The combined cost of replacing 40 (replacement will take three years) of these would be $300,000. Further purchases include airbags that can lift large cars or machinery, which cost $10,000 each.
Helicopter pads will be constructed around the district.