FLINT TWP. — There were no fire fatalities in Flint Township in 2016 is among the top news to be found in the 2016 Annual Fire Activity Report prepared by Assistant Fire Chief Michael Burkley, who has led the departments since the previous fire chief retired in April 2015. For the second year in a row, after a long hiatus, Burkley has compiled a comprehensive 11-page report of the department’s activities including charity work, fire runs, maintenance and training.
With a staff off 9 full-time firefighters and 18 on-call, the department last year responded to 745 incidents, an average of about 62.3 calls per month, 14 per week and two per day.
Those calls included, but were not limited to, structure fires, vehicle fires, extrications, police and EMS assistance, handling hazardous materials, rescues from confined spaces, downed or arcing electrical wires and residential assists.
On average, it took 7.8 minutes for the crew to respond from the stations on Flushing and Bristol roads. Eight full-time officers staff those two stations around the clock.
Burkley along with a part-time administrative assistant staffs Station One on Reuben Street from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Currently, one full time firefighter and one on-call firefighter are on sick leave.
Despite ongoing recruitment efforts, the department had three fewer on-call firefighters last year than in 2015, due to illness, relocation or job changes. No new personnel were hired in 2016.
Four former or retired firefighters passed away last year including Craig Greenway (Sargent, 1998-2013); Jack Artibee (on-call 1967-1984). Robert Simpson (on-call 1966-1998) and Greg Wright (Fire Chief, 1973- 2001).
Under the Cost Recovery Ordinance, the department recouped $9,300 in by billing insurance companies, Consumers Energy and non-residents for calls. That was an increase from $6,700 in billings in 2015.
Two grant awards totaling $1.900 included $900 from the One Hundred Club and $1,000 from Canadian National Railroad (CN). The 100 Club grant was used to purchase orange safety cones and the CN grant was spent on department logo sweatshirts, T-shirts, LED flashlights and safety webbing.
New equipment purchases last year included a staff vehicle, a new pumper, fire extrication gloves, water rescue throw ropes, 1100 feet of four-inch fire hose and new 2012 International Fire Code (IFC) code books, breathing apparatus computer upgrades, pagers and chargers and a Knox Box secure key for engines.
To comply with regulations, crews spent 98.75 hours testing fire hose and 75.25 hours on fire hydrant inspection, maintenance and repair.
Burkley along with three fire captains conducted fire inspections and blueprint reviews at 188 businesses, as required by the IFC.
Twenty two fire investigations were conducted , which can range from a single interview to weeks or months of full-blown inquiry. Twelve full investigations were completed last year. Also, the fire inspector served as an expert witness at the trial of two men convicted of setting a fire at the Home Depot store on Corunna Road, to create a distraction during a theft. Both men were sentenced to 26-plus years for arson.
Firefighters train twice a month to keep their skills honed. Training can last as long as three hours and can include vehicle extrication, handling hazardous materials, fire control, hose pulls, erecting ladders and rapid intervention. The crew spent more than 1,392 hours in training last year, in compliance with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administrations requires for firefighting.
Charity work included providing Thanksgiving turkey dinners for four families and raising $12,623.15 for the Salvation Army Red Kettle run. Firefighters also participated in the Carman-Ainsworth homecoming parade, delivered Santa Claus to the Genesee Valley Center mall and attended he Genesee County Fire Fighter Memorial Service,
The report also includes breakdowns by incident including 185 service calls, 166 false alarms, 109 hazards and 101 fires.
The report also shows that most incidents occurred in June and October (77 each) followed by 72 in September and 66 in February. January had the fewest incidents 44.
Broken down by districts (1,2 and 3) most incidents occurred in district 3 and the least in district 2. The department also received 9 mutual-aid assists from other fire departments last year, provided 11 mutual-aid assists and also 9 automatic assists.
Read the entire report online at flinttownship.org/Portals/68/ Docs/2017/2016%20Report.pdf