Changes in store for Montcalm Township Fire Department

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:07 am on Friday, January 13, 2012

GREENVILLE — The Montcalm Township Fire Department will have some minor changes coming its way.

During the regular scheduled Montcalm Township meeting on Wednesday, the board approved new equipment and personnel changes to the fire department.

The board approved a Ventis MX4 Carbon Monoxide detector that detects up to four gases.

The request was originally presented to the board during its regular December meeting. The board decided to table to the decision because there was concern about the possibility of getting a higher-end detector similar to the one used in Stanton, Grand Rapids and Detroit.

Ron Trachet, chairman of the Montcalm Township Fire Department board, said after doing research, they found the three cities were able to purchase the higher-end $4,500 detector through a grant.

The detector was described as a “sniffer unit,” Trachet said.

“It would be an overkill for this department,” he said. “(The Ventis MX4) will meet our needs.”

Trachet said communication was made with the Ventis Company to compare the two models and he told the board Ventis said the MX4 is probably more reliable because it specializes in detecting the gases.

Trustee Tom Smith asked what would happen if a higher-end detector is needed at a place like Keystone.
“… We would rely on our mutual aid,” Montcalm Township Supervisor Michael Adams said.
He added if something that big were to happen where there would be a chemical spill, Montcalm Township Fire Department would not be the only department on the scene.

It was approved to purchase the Ventis MX4 detector and items for operation for a total of $955 with funds from the Fire Millage Fund.

During the meeting, the board also approved the cost for upgrading personal safety alarms for the fire department.
The devices monitor the movement of the firefighters, Adams said. If a firefighter goes down while at a scene the monitor will sound an alarm to help fellow firefighters find them.

Trachet said of the ones they have by the company MSA, seven of them need to be repaired because they are failing.
The design allows for it to gather dirt making it unable to function properly, he said.

“It’s a poor design by MSA,” Adams said.

MSA acknowledged the faulty design and has agreed to cut the cost from $215 per device to $140 per device to upgrade to a better design, Trachet said.

A new face was also approved to take over on the Montcalm Township Fire Department board.

Adams announced that Bob Bunnell has resigned from the Montcalm Township Fire Department board stating because of a new job, he is unable to fulfill the duties. The township board approved to have Mike Martin take his place.

Adams said Martin was a firefighter from 1983-1994, and he is local resident and business owner. He added Martin is someone he could not have more respect for.

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