Communities Move Forward with Possible Fire Merger

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Automatic mutual aid means if a fire breaks out, the closest department would respond regardless of jurisdiction. That's one of the first steps to regional collaboration as recommended in a recent study commissioned by six local communities.

"We may find that the complete merger is the way to go as some time goes on or we may find that somewhere short of there is best for our communities," said Delta Township Fire Chief John Clark.

Delta Township was part of the study and Fire Chief John Clark says leaders from all six jurisdictions have met about once every two weeks since June to talk about the details.

"A lot of times a meeting doesn't mean sitting down in a room, there's a lot of emails that fly back and forth," said Chief Clark.

The study recommends cost savings through sharing fire services and even merging, a daunting task to be completed in four stages.The communities are in phase one of the project moving into phase two. All four phases completed could take around seven years.

The first phase is about creating the platform for future collaboration and forming a management structure.

"We're all facing tough budgets and the idea is to get together and see where we could put like services together, save money and save lives. We believe that's possible, the study basically told us that was possible," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

Lansing and East Lansing took a head start by sharing a fire chief. However, there are still uncertainties as to how fast the project will move and whether there will be a final merger.

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  • by Mike Location: East Lansing on Sep 15, 2012 at 04:36 AM
    The public sector should be in the fire protection business in the first place. I see no reason why the private sector cannot provide this service to the public and get government total out of this business. The tax burden for everyone could go down and in my opinion we would all be better off.
    • reply
      by shelly on Sep 16, 2012 at 02:04 PM in reply to Mike
      Really how would we be better off. with jacked up insurance rates becasue you cannot count on private companies to get there. who will maintain the lines they belong to the cities. How will you know the people coming are properly trained to help you. Lots of variables that werent thought of
  • by Steve Location: Dewitt on Sep 14, 2012 at 04:47 PM
    Well first, Meridian would have to have a fire department before they merge with anyone. They have a total of seven on duty, 2 for each of the three medics. Leaves one if there is a fire. No wonder every house burns to the ground out there. Perhaps instead of a new central station, they should think about hiring a few people to actually do some work! What would you expect from a department headed by a cop, but why should he care, he's safe as a bug in a rug living on Moores River in Lansing, up by the Governor. Wonder how much he makes?..........
  • by Anonymous on Sep 13, 2012 at 08:45 AM
    Finally someone with brains and common sense is our elected officials.
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