Perry Township Trustees last week wisely told firefighters that the township cannot provide public funds for a first responder program.
Township firefighters had requested $7,267 last fall to cover startup equipment costs for a first responder program. Trustees voiced support for the program's creation, but noted they can't spend fire levy funds for such a project and the general fund isn't able to cover the costs either.
Trustees received a prosecutor's opinion on the issue which stated they can't use fire levy money for the first responder program because that use wasn't indicated when the levy was put before voters.
At a time when most governmental entities are cutting services to reduce costs, the township's involvement in a first responders program which would compete with private ambulance services already available seems to be questionable usage of public funds.
Firefighters indicated they will work on fund-raising efforts to create the program and perhaps request a levy be placed on a future ballot specifically for this purpose.