FLINT TWP. — Only one person died in a fire last year in Flint Township, caused by careless smoking, according to the 2017 Annual Report from Fire Chief Tom Stadler.
Township firefighters responded to 778 incidents last year, averaging 65 per month, 15 a week and two per day.
March was the busiest month with 96 runs, followed by 70 In July, 68 each In April and December and 67 each in May and October. January and February were the quietest months with 53 calls each.
Fire runs include structure and vehicle fires, vehicle extrications, police and EMS assistance, hazardous material calls, confined space rescues, down/arcing wires, carbon monoxide alarms and residential assists.
Of the three fire districts, district three generated the most calls (more than 300) and district two received the least (more than 150). Slightly more than 250 calls for help came from district one.
The fire department operates three fire stations. Station 1 is at 5331 Reuben Street; Station 2 is at 3327 Flushing Road and Station 3 is at 2511 W. Bristol Rd. Stations 2 and 3 are staffed around the clock with an average response time last year of 7.27 minutes, according to the report.
The department promoted a new Fire Chief last year and hired three new fulltime firefighters. A current staff of 28 included 9 full-time officers and 17 on-call firefighters who are summoned on a paging system dispatched through Genesee County 911. One full-time firefighter is currently on sick leave and three on-call recruits are enrolled in the Fire Academy.
Special events at the fire department last year included a visit from Congressman Dan Kildee to station one which has been named in honor of his grandfather, Jack Maxwell, who served as the township’s first fire chief. Station 2 also was named in honor of Don Rowley who served as fire chief for more than 35 years.
Firefighters also said goodbye to Gary Borse who retired after more than 35 years of service.
The fire department upgraded and added equipment last year. A $275,910 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was used to purchase 42 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units , two breathing air fill stations and one new breathing air compressor. Also the department acquired one new pumper engine and one used squad/air truck.
Fire fighters also spend time each on inspections, training, testing and community service.
Last year, 130 businesses were inspected and had their blueprints reviewed by the fire chief, assistant fire chief and two fire captains. They focused mainly on restaurants, new construction and new businesses looking for a long list of compliances including sprinkler systems, portable fire extinguishers, exit lights, exit door latches, ceiling tiles, storage and dead bolts at exits.
Fire department members also visited schools, conducted fire station tours, participated in parades, installed smoke detectors in homes and attended more than 42 public events.
Department personnel attended the Genesee County Firefighter Memorial Service, rode in the Carman-Ainsworth Homecoming Parade, delivered Santa Claus to Genesee Valley Mall, and participated in Shop with a Hero at Christmas.
Fourteen firefighters volunteered to ring the bell for the Salvation Army and fill the truck event at Walmart on Corunna Road where they took in 446 donations of toys and clothing valued at $6,690 and also collected $2,697 in cash.
At Thanksgiving time, the Fire Fighter’s Association fed four families with complete turkey dinners.
To sharpen skills, fire fighters attend training sessions twice per month for up to three hours per session. Last year, they trained for a total of 899 hours on a variety of skills including vehicle extrication, handling hazardous materials, hose pulls, using ladders and fire control.
To meet requirements of the National Fire Protection Association, fire fighters tested 279 lengths (15,450 feet) of fire hose and detected no failures.
Routine hydrant repair and maintenance is another requirement. More than 100 hours were spent on hydrant inspections last year.
The full 2017 annual fire report can be read on the fire department’s web site at flinttownship.org/Portals/68/ FireDocs/2017%20ANNUAL%20 REPORT%20(002).pdf.