Two more on-call firefighters quit

FLINT TWP. — The board has accepted letters of resignations from two oncall firefighters. Ray Anthony served the department for 31 years and Michael Bielec for five years.

Fire Chief John Ringwelski said that Anthony left to move to the Gaylord area where he hopes to continue fire service. He praised Anthony for his many years of service and said will be sorely missed.

“I hope someday to grow up to be like him,” Ringwelski quipped.

In his resignation letter, Bielec attributed his decision to “health conditions that will make it difficult for me to fulfill my duties.”

He left on an upbeat notes compared to several members who quit in the past year or so attributing it to morale problems.

“It was an amazing journey for me,” Bielec said. “I made a lot of great friends throughout the years.”

The fire department has an ongoing effort to beef up the dwindling ranks of the township’s on-call services.

Supervisor Karyn Miller commented that declining volunteerism is a nationwide trend and makes it harder to recruit on-call fire staff.

An open call for applications from people interested in becoming firefighters is posted on the township website.

Responding to a question from Trustee Frank Kasle, Ringwelski said the department currently has about 24 on-call staff and two in training that started about two weeks ago and will be qualified in the spring. Four other recent applicants did not work out, he said.

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