FLINT TWP. — In 2014, township firefighters responded to 745 incidents – an average of 62 per month, 14 per week and two per day – according to the recently released 2015 Annual Fire Department Report.
It is the first time in many years that the department has published an annual report of its activities, said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burkley, who has been in charge since the fire chief retired last year. Fire runs include structure fires, vehicle fires and extrications, police and EMS assistance, hazardous material calls, confined space and residential assists.
April was the busiest month last year with firefighters responding to 76 incidents, followed by 72 in March and 71 in September. February had the fewest incidents – 44, followed by 46 in January and 54 each in December and May. Summer months – June, July and August – tied with 65 incidents each.
With a staff of nine full-time officers, 20 on-call firefighters and three trainees, the department manned two of its three fire stations around the clock.
Station 1 is staffed by Burkley and a part-time administrative assistant (non-fire trained) from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. On-call firefighters were used when needed, via a paging system dispatched through Genesee County 911. Three on-call trainees hired last year are expected to graduate from the Genesee County Fire Academy in April, 2016. The department is constantly looking for more on-call applicants.
Two certified on-call firefighters were hired last year but two long-term employees retired, including the fire chief. As specified by the Civil Service Act, steps were taken to hire more full-time fire fighters and to administer promotional testing of sergeants for the rank of lieutenant.
The department received ongoing criticism from some residents last year for not manning station one 24/7. But average response time last year from the two stations on Flushing or Bristol Roads, was 6.45 minutes, according to the report.
Billings to insurance companies and Consumers Energy for calls to non-residents brought in $6,700 through the Cost Recovery Ordinance.
Grants totaling $2,500 awarded to the department included $1,500 from the “One Hundred Club of Genesee, Shiawassee, and Lapeer Counties that was used to purchase 30 pairs of fire gloves. The second grant of $1000 from Canadian National Railroad was used to purchase FTFD logo sweatshirts and T-shirts, LED flash lights and safety webbing for fire fighters.
The Flint Township Fire Department participated in more than 69 public events last year including visits to schools, conducting fire station tours, participating in parades, installation of smoke detectors and battery changes, and other fire prevention efforts.
The department conducted 25 full fire investigations in 2015, including two fatal fires. Fatal fires are also investigated by the Michigan State Police Fire Investigators.
Firefighters trained for more than 1,192 hours last year. Training are held twice a month, with sessions lasting up to three hours.
They also spend time doing community service. The Flint Township Fire Fighter Association fed four families at Thanksgiving with turkey dinners and raised more than $12,000 for the Salvation Army – Red Kettle fund. They also attended the Carman-Ainsworth Homecoming Parade and delivered Santa to the Genesee Valley Mall.
Fire Inspections were conducted at 186 businesses with a focus on restaurants, new businesses and new construction.
The report also includes information about hydrant maintenance, mutual aid calls, equipment purchases and types of incidents.
The full report can be read online on the Flint Township Fire Departments web site at www.flinttownship.org/ Portals/68/FireDocs/2015%20Annual%20 Report.pdf