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Tag Archive | "Grand Rapids Fire Department"

GR Fire promotes Algoma man 

Ron Tennant, of Algoma Township, was recently promoted to Grand Rapids Deputy Fire Chief, support services. GR Fire Facebook photo.

From GR Fire Department

On Tuesday, November 07, 2017, the Grand Rapids Fire Department promoted Battalion Chief Ronald G. Tennant, of Algoma Township, to Deputy Fire Chief, support services.

Deputy Chief Tennant was hired by the Grand Rapids Fire Department in 1985 and has held the positions of Firefighter, Fire Equipment Operator, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, Acting Assistant Training Supervisor, Acting Fire Training Supervisor, Battalion Chief, and has been in a long term acting assignment in the position to which he is promoted.

“Chief Tennant went into this position, he kept the ship moving forward and he advanced the position creating new areas taking it to a higher level,” said Fire Chief John Lehman. “He has definitely proven himself as somebody I welcome into my command staff.”  

Upon receiving his badge and brass, Chief Tennant replied, “My honor, Sir, I humbly accept the position, and I appreciate your confidence.”

Addressing the staff in attendance Chief Tennant said, “This is certainly a team effort and I really appreciate your support that all of you have shown. I couldn’t have done anything without the help with everyone here and plus some. I will continue to rely on that.”

Deputy Chief Tennant earned an AAS in Fire Science in 1990. He holds two EMS licenses and is a certified instructor in firefighting, hazardous materials, EMS, and fire leadership courses.

His duties include oversight of the Support Services Division for the Grand Rapids Fire Department, which includes oversight of the Fire Marshal, the Building and Fleet Division, Administrative office staff, and over 30 individual fire department programs.

Outside of the GR Fire department, DC Tennant was an adjunct instructor with the Michigan State Police Hazmat Training Center; currently Co-Chairs the Governors Traffic Safety Advisory Commission Traffic Incident Management Action Team; he has volunteered with the Coopersville & Marne Railroad; and has been active with his church in Cedar Springs.

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Propane tanks cause explosion at recycling center

An explosion at the Kent County Recycling Center last week was caused by three small propane tanks someone had tried to recycle. Photo courtesy Kent County.

Pictured are thethree small propane tanks someone had tried to recycle that are believed to be the cause of the fire. Photo courtesy Kent County.

By Judy Reed

Three small propane tanks, improperly disposed of, were the cause of an explosion inside a baler at the Kent County Recycling & Education Center at 977 Wealthy SW in Grand Rapids last Thursday morning, June 22.

According to Kristen Wieland, the Communications & Marketing Manager for the Kent County Department of Public Works, the explosion occurred at 7:45 a.m., shortly after they started up the sorting equipment for the day. Grand Rapids Fire Department was dispatched, and one Kent County staff person was taken for medical observation.

Grand Rapids Fire was called to the scene of this explosion at the Kent County Recycling Center last Thursday. Photo courtesy Kent County.

Wieland explained that there are a series of conveyor belts and other equipment that help move the recyclables through the plant. “The belts pass by 26 people around the plant who are each responsible for sorting specific materials. Fairly early in the sorting process, a strong magnet automatically pulls out ferrous metals. That’s where the propane tank would’ve gotten removed from the sorting line.

“The ferrous metals are dropped by the magnet into a storage area where they sit until we have a sufficient quantity to bale. Kent County staff was baling ferrous metals when the explosion occurred. Three of the one-pound propane tanks were found in the residue from the explosion,” she said.

“Though they’re considered disposable, small camping-style propane cylinders are not recyclable. With camping season upon us, it is critically important that these metal tanks be disposed of properly,” said Wieland.

Instead, propane tanks of all sizes should be brought for safe disposal to any of these locations:

  • South Kent Recycling & Waste Center, 10300 South Kent Drive, Byron Center
  • North Kent Recycling & Waste Center, 2908 Ten Mile Road, Rockford
  • Or any of Kent County’s SafeChem household hazardous waste drop off centers, listed at www.accesskent.com/waste.

Wieland added that it was nearly one year ago to the date of their last significant explosion though that one was less severe. A propane tank was also suspected as the cause of that incident.

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Detective exposed to dangerous drug


The detective bureau at the Kent County Sheriff Department was temporarily evacuated Tuesday after a detective showed medical signs of being exposed to an opiate.

According to Sgt. Joel Roon, a Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team detective with the Wyoming Police Department was conducting routine testing of suspected narcotics that were in the form of a white powdery substance. The substance in question was collected on Monday, May 29, as part of an ongoing investigation. While testing, one of the detectives began to experience symptoms that could possibly be related to a drug exposure, and so NARCAN was administered. That detective was transported to a local hospital to be checked, and was conscious and alert.

The detective bureau was temporarily evacuated and remained closed while the Grand Rapids Fire Department hazmat team completed air quality tests. It reopened shortly after noon.

K.A.N.E.T. is made up of detectives from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Police Department, Walker Police Department, Grandville Police Department, and East Grand Rapids DPS. K.A.N.E.T. is operated out of the KCSO located at 701 Ball Ave NE.

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