FFD busy with mutual aid assistance, practical trainings
The Frankenmuth Fire Department had three calls for service last week, including one alarm to help search for a missing bovine.
Around 3:45pm Tuesday, October 20, a loose bull was reported in the 8000 block of West Tuscola Road and the FFD was summoned to use the public safety drone to locate the cow.
FFD Captain Doug VanWormer said Squad 4 and drone responded to the area to assist in the search. Following an hour-long search, no bull was sighted and the crew cleared the scene. A total of 11 firefighters responded to the station.
A little over two hours later, Frankenmuth fire personnel were summoned to a stove top fire in the 7000 block of Flint Street. Engine 1 responded and FFD Lt. Adam Weiss reported the fire was out when they arrived.
As a precaution, the thermal imaging camera was used to ensure there was no fire above the stove. Fifteen firefighters traveled to the hall and cleared by 6:20pm.
Shortly before 1:30am on Sunday, October 25, FFD was activated for mutual aid by the Bridgeport Fire Department for a house fire in the 3000 block of Ramond Street, just west of Dixie Highway.
FFD Assistant Chief Phil Haubenstricker said Bridgeport’s main engine was out of service and they needed FFD personnel to refill their air bottles at the scene.
“Prior to calling en route, they also requested five firefighters to assist their crew as well,” Haubenstricker said.
There were no injuries, the home was heavily damaged and the Bridgeport crews were also assisted by Buena Vista and Spaulding fire departments.
Squad 4 and five personnel worked the scene and cleared by 3:30am. Eight reported to the station.
Alarm No. 119 of 2020 took place at 3;30pm Monday, October 26, when the Birch Run Fire Department requested mutual aid from the FFD for a fire in a single-family home at 10220 South Block Road in Birch Run Township.
Upon arrival, Birch Run had contained the fire to the basement and required minimal assistance, VanWormer said. Squad 4 and six personnel helped with overhaul and were able to clear an hour later. Sixteen firefighters reported to the station.
In other FFD news, Captain Matt Vasicek and his wife Trisha welcomed a new addition to the family, Colton Matthew Vasicek, born October 12.
The FFD and MMR Ambulance Service continue to standby at Friday night Frankenmuth High School football games.
The FFD is continuing its National Fire Prevention Month activities, this week visiting classes outdoors at List Elementary School.
Frankenmuth firefighters conducted practical exercises at the former Weber farm on Flint Street, near West Jefferson Street, last night (October 27) for end of the month training.
Frankenmuth Insurance is in the process of dismantling and demolishing some of the barns, outbuildings and a house, making this available for training.
“We also plan to conduct a training burn on some brush piles located on Blossom Drive in the new Springs development on East Tuscola Road, near Block Road. It gives us good pump practice; however, we must wait for favorable weather conditions,” FFD Chief Phil Kerns said.
A team of five FFD firefighters has been diligently meeting to review new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA packs) as the current models are getting dilapidated.
“SCBA’s are vital to our health and safety as they provide us with clean air while in smokey atmospheres,” Kerns pointed out.
The Frankenmuth City-Township Commission has budgeted for the $200,000 replacement of the 15-year-old packs over the last several years and “we are anxiously awaiting word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on a 90-percent grant to cover the costs,” Kerns added.
The five-member committee expects to make a recommendation to the department by month’s end as Kerns will need to make this purchase in the first quarter of 2021, grant funded or not.
“If we are awarded the grant, our second submittal and request in the past three years, that money could be used elsewhere to purchase other expensive equipment. In 2006, we were awarded such a grant for the purchase of the current air packs,” Kerns recalled.