The City of Akron announced Wednesday the purchase of 10 new thermal imaging units for the Akron Fire Department.
In a press release, City of Akron Press Secretary Ellen Lander Nischt describes the new devices as "life-saving" equipment that will help the City's fire department "advance its mission to protect the lives, property, and environment of the Akron Community."
Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker is quoted in the press release saying, “Heat-detecting cameras will allow our first responders to locate a victim in an environment with very limited or no visibility. For a firefighter searching for a trapped victim, little is worse than losing your ability to see due to darkness or dense smoke. In a rescue operation where every second counts, these units can make the difference between life and death, by enabling us to find victims faster and increasing their chances of survival.”
Akron City Council unanimously voted to approve the purchase of the equipment at an estimated cost of $50,000 for the ten thermal imaging units.
The new thermal imaging units were purchased with funds from the passage of Issue 4 last November.
“Once again, we thank the Akron community for their support of Issue 4, which has made critical safety investments like this possible,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “In the months and years to come, will continue to invest these funds in ways that make all our neighborhoods safer and stronger.”
The City of Akron has announced that starting the week of April 5th, all Akron Firefighters and EMS will wear ballistic vests and helmets on calls that are deemed more dangerous and threatening to their safety.
Mayor Dan Horrigan was quoted in a press release, saying, “This is the unfortunate but necessary result of changes in our landscape, including the increasing frequency of volatile and dangerous emergency situations. One of our highest responsibilities is to the safety of our first responders. Our firefighter/medics can’t help others unless they are safe and protected themselves.”
The protective exuipment was made possible, in part, thanks to the passage of Issue 4, the income tax increase, back in November. The press release noted that the Northern Ohio Golf Charities also provided a $29,000 to cover costs as well. According to the press release, each Akron EMS unit will be outfitted with four sets of ballistic gear (helmets and vests), "to be used whenever conditions warrant added protection." Those conditions, as explained by the city, would include active shooter situations, or other calls that have the potential for escalating into violent situations.
“Ballistic protection for the safety of our personnel has been a priority for the Akron Fire Department for many years,” Fire Chief Clarence Tucker said. “Providing our officers with this gear will allow them to more safely respond and care for victims at the scene of a shooting or other violent event.”
The City of Akron has released details, including maps and the budget breakdown, for this year's multi-million-dollar road resurfacing project.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Kenmore Construction secured the contract for the work, at nearly $6.4 Million; they'll begin work in mid-May.
2018 is nearly a month old, and the mayor of Akron, Dan Horrigan, addressed some of the needs and visions in the community on the Ray Horner Morning Show. Topics discussed: *The Akron Racers not playing in 2018, and how that will affect Firestone Stadium and the area of South Akron *What is left of the Rubber Bowl, which looks to cost about $400,000 to demolish *The area surrounding the Rubber Bowl, including Akron-Fulton Airport. *Continued development of the 31 acres that once made up the Innerbelt *Issue 4 and the upgrades to the city’s roads and firehouses *The sewer project
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has released the full budget plan for the funds the city raised through the successful passage of Issue 4 on the November ballot.
Below is the full release and budget from the Mayor's office.
Today, Mayor Dan Horrigan released the City’s plan for spending “Issue 4” funds in 2018. The budget outlines a plan for more than $13 Million in increased investment in police and fire protection and roadway improvements in Akron.
On November 7, 2017, Akron voters overwhelmingly supported Issue 4, a charter amendment that levied an additional .25% income tax to support police, fire, and roadway improvements in Akron. The tax took effect on January 1, 2018 and the City will receive additional revenue starting in February.
“This budget is a reflection of promises kept,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “While my administration continues to tackle difficult financial challenges resulting from cuts in state and federal funding, I am proud to budget for $13 million in new investment in our core city services that will keep our neighborhoods safe and strong. As pledged, these new funds will be split roughly equally between police, fire, and roadway improvements, depending on the most pressing needs of each department each year.”
“We are incredibly thankful that the community came together to raise this critically important and much-needed revenue,” Fire Chief Clarence Tucker said. “I’m proud to say that, thanks to these new funds, we expect to break ground on a new Station 2 this year—our first new fire station in several decades. Additionally, this year we will be able to purchase the recommended second set of fire gear for all our firefighters and extractor machines for every fire station, to ensure our front line personnel always have access to a clean, safe set of protective gear.”
“In the Akron Police Department, we will be purchasing 50 new vehicles to replace deteriorating cruisers, investing in our body-worn camera program, and making important updates to our 9-1-1 operating software to improve our service to the public,” Akron Police Chief Ken Ball said. “Without these funds, much of this simply would not be possible.”
You can see the full budget here.