Township trustees Monday approved donating the Austintown Fire Department's outdated turnout gear to Metro Arson Task Force.
Fire Chief Andy Frost requested permission from trustees to give away some of his department's expired fire gear, and a motion was made to declare the gear obsolete or unfit for use.
The turnout gear includes the pants and coat a firefighter wears when on scene, whether the department is battling a structure or brush fire. According to National Fire Protection Association regulations, the turnout gear has a life expectancy of 10 years.
"We have sets that turned 10 last year and some that will hit 10 this year," Frost said.
He told trustees that the NFPA imposes the limit and fire departments must retire and replace outdated turnout gear because of a liability issue. If the gear was given to another fire department, used to fight a fire and the person wearing it was injured because the gear failed, the liability would fall on the donating department.
Frost said the liability involves the gear being used for its flame-retarding ability. A recent request was made from the Metro Arson Task Force, a fire investigation unit, to obtain the equipment only for weather protection.
"(It doesn't) fight fires, but (it goes) in and investigates [once the fire is out]," Frost said. "I can have them sign a waver stating the gear will not be used as fire fighting turnout gear."
Trustee Ken Carano asked Frost if the gear could be sent somewhere to be refurbished. Frost said it was not possible and would be destroyed instead.
On a different matter, Zoning Inspector Darren Crivelli asked that any resident living next to an abandoned home report it to his department. He said the Mahoning County Land Bank has funds to demolish the homes or save them.
He said in some cases, the land bank can put funds into restoration, if the total cost is under a certain percentage of the demo cost.
In other business:
Trustee Jim Davis asked that anyone attending this weekend's St. Patrick's Day celebration at O'Donold's in the Austintown Plaza should use common sense and get a ride if they want to drink. He said the celebration is the largest St. Patrick's Day party in the state of Ohio;
Trustees approved a new D5I liquor permit for Del Rancho LLC, doing business as El Cowboy, 1739 S. Raccoon Road;
Trustees approved a change of corporate stock ownership for Little Hunan Restaurant Inc., 4748 Mahoning Ave.;
Mike Dockry mentioned the parking ban for Austintown during the severe winter storm, and it also was noted that whenever the Austintown schools close due to weather, the Austintown Senior Center closes as well.