The Idyllwild Fire Protection District’s Finance Committee has completed its initial report on refinancing existing loans and possibly seeking new borrowings to purchase equipment.

Committee Alternate Calvin Gogerty told the committee Tuesday that there were substantial savings available if the district’s three financial instruments were refinanced. Currently, IFPD is paying about $84,000 annually for Brush Truck 621, Engine 621, and its heart monitors and auto pulse equipment.

The longest period before paying off the financial debt is about three years. Gogerty estimated that refinancing the debt could save about $10,000 annually. However, payments for the heart equipment end in February 2015. Consequently, Fire Chief Patrick Reitz recommended against trying to refinance that in such a short time. Still, the savings would be about $8,600 for three years.

Gogerty also explored the costs to finance one or two ambulances and a water tender. Total cost would be about $350,000, but Gogerty estimated annual expense for 10-year financing might add about $40,000 to the IFPD budget.

Reitz also recommended that the subcommittee include the cost of a new utility vehicle in its future research. Reitz estimated that unit’s cost would range from $30,000 to $55,000. The higher end would be the cost of a command vehicle, he said.

To save money, Reitz said he has been looking at demonstration models rather than new, off-the-assembly-line units.

“The next ambulances will be very different than what the Hill has seen,” he commented. For example, the next ambulance will likely have a “pick-up truck” front end and allow a large “box” or medical unit with more stability.

Although the heart monitors’ lease will end in February 2015 and the equipment could be purchased for $1, Reitz advised the committee that the county Emergency Medical Services Agency and its pending strategic plan will likely urge “standardization of equipment across the county.” If that happens, and the county negotiates acquisition contracts, “it may lower the price for this type of equipment,” Reitz said.