A fully-equipped vehicle for use by the Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) will be discussed over the next month. The County Board Tuesday raised questions about the need and policy for such a vehicle’s use should it be added to the county’s fleet of vehicles.
It was learned that an emergency vehicle would be donated by the EMA by a private citizen. EMA Coodinator Eric Ceci made the presentation last week to the policy & procedure committee.
Ceci was absent from yesterday’s meeting, attending a 3-day Emergency Preparedness Summit meeting for the Public Health Dept.
County Board members learned the proposed donation is from Mike Miner of Watseka. That’s how Chairman John Shure answered the question of ‘who the donar was ?”
Mike Miner has since clarified the proposed donation is from the Harold & Jean Miner Foundation.
The P&P committee gave its approval last week. But several board members are asking questions about the need for such a vehicle and policy for its use...while also questioning other stipulations that may be tied to accepting a donation.
A question raised was, the acceptance of such a gift could be viewed as lobbying – involving government operations.
Iroquois County has turned down similar offers in past years. A proposal for ESDA was denied when presented to the county board a few years ago.
Liability issues were raised over questions of who / how many individuals would be driving the vehicle ? And if there’s a policy in place for the vehicle’s use ?
Ceci’s presentation to the committee referred to personal use of his own vehicle and a savings in fuel. The health department, where Ceci also has work obligations, offered to pay for the vehicle’s insurance while also requesting to use the vehicle when not in use by EMA.
Comments in support of the vehicle included a professional image for EMA and such an emergency vehicle for first response situations.
The county disposed of such emergency vehicles in past years....while the agency carried the names of Civil Defense and ESDA. Other county department vehicles were also cleared from the fleet.
The sheriff’s department has made retired-squad cars available for use, and Sheriff Derek Hagen told the Board he has high-mileage, good upkeep cars available.
Board Chairman John Shure says the matter will get more attention next month.