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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Fire Department"

Family donates unique flag to fire department


The Cedar Springs Fire Department received a unique donation of a flag made out of retired fire hose earlier this week. Pictured (from L to R) is firefighter Steven Courtade; Chief Marty Fraser; Grace Fittro (who helped make the flag); and Deputy Chief Troy Detloff. Photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Fire Department was shown how much they are appreciated this week when a local family donated a unique flag and plaque with coat hooks—both made out of fire hose.

Tim and Gail Krygier, of Rockford, and their granddaughter, Grace Fittro, 11, of Cedar Springs, made the presentation to the CSFD Tuesday evening. 

Tim and Grace make the flags for area first responders out of retired fire hose. This flag was made out of new hose that was not going to be used. Grace helps her grandfather by doing the painting and nailing.

“I do it to give back to the community,” said Grace, who will be a 7th grader at East Middle School in Rockford this fall.

“She’s been very involved in paying it forward since she was a tiny girl,” said her grandmother, Gail. “The first responders need to be recognized.”

Tim said this is the second year he and Grace have been creating the flags. They have also donated flags to Courtland Fire Department, Rockford Fire Department, and even one for a firefighter son in Cheboygan. Tim thinks they’ve done about eight different ones.

Fire Chief Marty Fraser was very appreciative of the donation. “The fire department graciously receives the donation, and we will put it in storage until the new station opens and we will hang it with pride,” he said.

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LEON E. AVERY


Leon E. Avery age 86 of Cedar Springs died Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at his home. Leon was born July 5, 1934 in Cedar Springs, MI, the son of Donald and Caroline (Townes) Avery. He served in the US Army. He was Worshipful Master of Cedar Springs Lodge 213 (4 times), a Member of OES Job’s Daughters Bethel 86 Dad. He retired from the Kent County Road Commission after 41 years. After his retirement he worked at Great Day. Leon served on the Cedar Springs City Council for 20 years and the Cedar Springs Fire Department for 25 years. He is most recognized as Mr. Red Flannel driving the Keystone Kop truck for years and was a Keystone Kop for 54 years or more. He is survived by his wife, Janet; daughters, Deb (Harold) Yancey, Nancy (Edward) Johnson; grandchildren, Amber (Eric) Anderson, Mandy (Josh) Tomlinson, Michael Leon (Brandy) Yancey, Mallory Johnson (Christopher Kieda), Mark (Julie) Johnson, and Harold (Jeannie O’Malley) Yancey Jr; great-grandchildren, Brooke (Taylor Krulek) Mason, Chloe Mason, Rebecca Mason, Mia Hurtado, Isabelle Yancey, Michael Leon Yancey Jr., Chase Johnson; great-great-grandson, River Leon Krulek; sister-in-law, Peggy Avery; nephews, Michael (Denise) Avery, Tim (Kim) Avery, Philip (Janet) Stanton; nieces, Ida Clement, Donna Kay Stanton; special niece, Dawnette (Steve) Roberts; special friends, Mark Strypko, Rick and Judy Fisher. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Carl (Joseph), Jerry, David Avery; sister, Madeline Piasecki; sisters-in-law, Verna Stanton, Jean (Violet) Avery; brothers-in-law, Donald Stanton, Stan Piasecki; special uncle, Edward Townes. The family greeted friends Sunday, July 19 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A private family service was held Monday, July 20. Pastors Larry French and Darryl Miller officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of donor’s choice.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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$5,000 reward offered for info on suspicious fire


by Judy Reed

A Cedar Springs woman was out hunting for pokemon in the wee hours of Friday morning when she spotted a trailer on fire as she returned home.

Both Cedar Springs and Sand Lake Fire Departments responded to a fire at 401 Sarah Street just after 2:30 a.m. on Friday, June 28. Photo by Kelli Destrampe.

Kelli Destrampe reported the fire at 401 Sarah Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, right around 2:30 a.m. Both Cedar Springs and Sand Lake Fire Departments responded to the scene. A Kent County Sheriff deputy and Rockford Ambulance also responded.

“The came in as a report of a trailer fire well involved, and it was unknown if anyone was inside,” explained Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser. He said they had the fire knocked down in the first 10-15 minutes.

There were three other mobile homes surrounding the burning one—one on each side and one behind it. “We did have three exposures, and it melted some of their siding. It could have been such a mess if we didn’t have it knocked down quickly. There could have been three other trailers burning,” remarked Fraser. 

Fraser said the park owned the trailer and they were getting ready to remove it. No one was living there and there were no utilities hooked up, so the cause was not electrical.

No one was living in the mobile home at the time of the fire. Photo by Kelli Destrampe.

Fraser is ruling the fire as “suspicious but undetermined.”

Cedar Springs Mobile Estates is offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest, testimony against, and conviction of the perpetrators responsible for the suspicious fire. If you have any kind of information, please contact the CSME Office at (616) 696-0820 or the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at (616) 632-6100.

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Community walk



On Wednesday, May 29, Mrs. Bellamy and Mr. Telman’s kindergarten classes went on a community walk. Their first stop was the police station where The Kent County Sheriff Department talked to the kids about safety and then let the kids explore their vehicles. The next stop was the Post Office, where the kids mailed a persuasive letter home to their parents. Next they enjoyed a quick snack on the way to the Fire Station, where they learned safety tips, explored equipment and vehicles and sprayed water from a firehouse! Then they visited the library where they learned about the summer reading program, and enjoyed a couple of stories along with some movement songs. Lastly, students and parent volunteers enjoyed pizza from Little Caesar’s at Morley Park. 

Students learned about safety from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. 

Thank you to our community for teaching our youngest students about safety and allowing them to experience real life heroes; ordinary people who serve and risk to keep others safe. These hands on experiences are invaluable and memorable.

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Firefighters save home in Solon Township


by Lois Allen

Tuesday evening, May 21 around 9:30 p.m., Solon resident Bernie Hale was doing what many other residents in Cedar Springs were doing. He was mowing his lawn. He happened to look up at the house he rents at 545 Solon Road and saw sparks coming out from the eves of the roof as well as on the power pole located next to the house.

He called 911. Firefighters from Solon, Kent City, Casnovia, and Sand Lake Fire converged on the scene about 10-15 minutes later to find the upper portion of the home in flames.

Photos from Solon Fire Department Facebook page.

The fire was contained and damages included structural to the attic area and one room as well as contents. The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical. Although Hale was not the homeowner, he did have renters insurance.

No one was injured and both the dog and cat survived the blaze.

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Cedar Springs Fire honors members


Brien Velting
David Barnes

Philip Andrews

Shawn Holtrop

The Cedar Springs Fire Department recently congratulated four members on their 20 years of service to the Fire Department and community.

“These four members have donated, served, and given up an unknown number of hours away from their families and activities for 20-plus years,” said Fire Chief Marty Fraser. “This includes being called away from family gatherings; Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners; many meals; and family time to proudly serve the needs of our community.”

If you see these four firefighters out and about, please take a minute to say thanks to Philip Andrews, David Barnes, Shawn Holtrop, and Brien Velting. Thank you guys for all you have done!

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Area firefighters receive $310,500 grant


The grant will cover the purchase of air packs (SCBA’s) for firefighters. Photo by Joshua Sherurcij via Wikimedia Commons.

By Judy Reed

Three area fire departments have been awarded a regional grant from FEMA to purchase 45 SCBA’s (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and 12 extra face pieces for $310,500.

Capt. David Barnes, of the Cedar Springs Fire Department, researched and wrote the grant, and both Solon Township Fire and Sand Lake Fire Departments were included in the submission.

The grant is a 10 percent matching grant, which means that they will receive $279,450 from FEMA, and the fire departments will pay 10 percent, or $31,050. 

Cedar Springs will get 15 of the SCBA’s and four extra face pieces and pay $10,350; Sand Lake will get 14 SCBA’s and four extra face pieces and pay $9,680; and Solon will get 16 SCBA’s and four extra face pieces, and will pay $11,020.

Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake applauded Cedar Springs Fire Capt. Barnes for the work he put into the grant. “He has invested many hours in this project beyond his typical delegated responsibilities. He was diligent and proficient in obtaining the necessary data, from both the Sand Lake Fire Department and Solon Fire Department, as requested from FEMA,” said Drake.

“In addition, I am very proud of the ability for all three agencies to join together cooperatively to pursuit this regional award. I think there was a minimum chance of a successful grant if each agency had written individually. The discount that will be afforded by the successful vendor with this bulk purchase will be substantial and demonstrates great fiscal responsibility.”

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In the Spotlight: The Cedar Springs Fire Department


The Cedar Springs Fire Department fights a fire in Northland Estates in 2013.

By Carolee Cole

The Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue Department is a lean, clean, helping machine, full of spunk, kindness and compassion. These men and women volunteer to do many different things in our community and while all volunteers are important and keep the community moving forward with their efforts, I think I can safely say that no other volunteer group has as much responsibility or is required to be as available, without forewarning, as our amazing Fire and Rescue Department. 

Fire Chief Marty Fraser

There are 13 active firefighters and five first responders currently serving the department. Marty Fraser is our Fire Chief and the only salaried employee of the department. He is a most unassuming, humble man focused, number one, on keeping us and our possessions safe, and number two, on leading his department well. He’s been involved with the fire department for nearly 40 years having joined in April of 1977. I’m just going to say, this good-looking, kind-hearted man must have still been a teenager when he joined! 

A few members of the team have been serving the department for over 25 years and several joined in 1998, so there is a lot of cumulative experience represented in your local fire department. You can count on them to be there when you need them and to know what to do! To become a firefighter, you attend school one night per week and one Saturday per month for 6 months. Medical First Responders (MFR’s) typically attend training to become a firefighter and then attend MFR school for an additional 12-14 weeks. After initial training is complete, each member of the department is required to continue training once per month for a total of 60-80 hours per year to keep their training and certification up-to-date. School and training is paid for by the department.

In addition to keeping us safe and keeping their training relevant, firefighters participate in a lot of community events like parades, car shows, going to the elementary schools or career day at the high school as well as Girl and Boy Scouts’ events and other clubs in the area. Fire Chief Fraser noted that the firefighters are quick to volunteer for these events and donate countless hours to keep our children and us clear on safety things like, “Stop, Drop and Roll” and scream and holler if you’re ever trapped in a burning house, as well as child car seat checks and much more. This team has a real sense of Cedar Springs pride and community contribution.

I bet you are wondering what your firefighters get paid to keep you safe, attend the training, and show up with the fire trucks at school, girl scouts and parades. Let’s break it down. They get paid $0 for showing up at parades, school activities, girl scouts and other such scheduled events. They get $120 per year for attending all trainings and meetings. And, they get paid $11 for each emergency response. That’s it, unless the run goes over three hours, then they get an additional $11 for the second three hours! I’m actually doubting that these payments cover their gas money! But, That. Is. It! And they have to be ready at a moment’s notice since heart attacks and car accidents as well as fires are not scheduled into our days. 

While we were talking to Chief Fraser, a call came in. Stacy Velting, a medical first responder (MFR) for the department, responded to a medical situation at a local business. Stacey got there before the ambulance, assessed the situation, and developed a rapport with the person collecting their health history, name and contact information. The person was transported to the hospital and Stacy returned to the station where she repacked the “First In” bag and made sure it was ready for the next call.

We are so lucky to be the beneficiaries of the commitment the Cedar Springs Fire Department brings to the job of keeping us safe. In the next few weeks we’ll do a follow-up article to get you even more impressive information about how effective they are. Between now and then, drive by the department when the team is out washing the trucks, training or preparing the equipment for another call and yell out a thanks to them. 

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Marching band completes band camp


The Cedar Springs High School Marching band recently attended band camp where they worked on their 2018 show entitled “We the people.” At the end of the week, they did performed for the community to showcase what they had learned.

The band is grateful to the Cedar Springs Fire Department for hosing them off after a hot day, and appreciates the community for their support!

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Car show draws crowds


The Cosplay Crusaders were a big hit at the museum car show last Saturday.

This car was shown in its original condition. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The annual car show at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum was a huge success last Saturday, July 28, bringing in lots of vehicles and people to their biggest fundraising event of the year. 

“We made $5,000 this year, the best we’ve ever done,” said Sharon Jett, Director at the Museum.

Steve Quigley won best of show, with a 1987 Buick.

Special guests included the Cedar Springs Fire Department, and DJ JoJo Girard from radio station WFGR 98.7. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office also was on hand with one of their tactical vehicles.

Also on hand were the Cosplay Crusaders, as part of a fundraiser organized by Ryan Hess, 8, and Cub Scout pack 3220. Kids were excited to see Thor, the Black Panther, and the Dark Knight of Michigan with his bat bike. For a donation, anyone could sit in the bat bike. Proceeds raised will go to Howard Christensen Nature Center, as will the proceeds from the Cub Scouts beef stick sale, and Ryan’s pop can drive.

“It looks like we will be donating a little over $400 to the nature center,” said Dana Hess, Ryan’s mom.

“Everyone loved the superheroes and the cub scouts sold all their beef sticks,” noted Jett. She also said that Maranatha Baptist Church gave out almost 600 hot dog lunches and dozens of donuts. 

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