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Solon staffs full-time firefighter

Lt. Chris Paige. Photo by J. Reed

Lt. Chris Paige. Photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

 

There have been times in the past when it was hard to find a volunteer firefighter curing the daytime in Solon Township that was available to answer an emergency call. That is no longer the case, since the residents in Solon Township approved a half mill (.50) last August to fund the salary of a full-time firefighter to man the station 50 hours a week. Lt. Chris Paige, took on full-time duties after the first of year.

“It’s been a good thing,” said Paige, “to have someone here that can answer those calls. It’s not just that way here; it’s everywhere. Most people work during the day. A lot of departments wish they could have someone full time,” he added.

Paige, a graduate of Cedar Springs High School, started his career in the fire service in 1993. He worked at both Courtland Fire and Spencer Fire before hiring on at Solon nine years ago. In 2010, he was promoted to Lieutenant. In March of 2014, he was hired to man the station part time, on a trial basis.

Paige now mans the station Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. He answers emergency calls, maintains equipment, does paperwork, and maintains the facilities.

Chief Jeff Drake was pleased that the residents approved the millage to fund the position. “We hope to fill a void of alarms not being answered,” explained Drake, who is starting to see some of his plans come to fruition. Drake also applied for and got a partial grant to have a feasibility study done on ways to improve the department, including a possible consolidation with the Cedar Springs Fire Department. Both Solon and Cedar Springs approved the grant award in December.

 

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