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Tag Archive | "Marty Fraser"

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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Couple escapes mobile home fire


This home was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

This home was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

Photo by J. Reed.

Photo by J. Reed.

By J. Reed

A Cedar Springs family made it to safety early Tuesday when their mobile home caught fire on the coldest night of the year.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in at 2:11 a.m., on January 5, for a home at 365 Sarah Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. Fraser said that the homeowner got up during the night and saw smoke, and was able to get his wife and dog out.

Fraser said that the fire started in the hot water heater/furnace room area, but they do not yet know the cause. He said the fire was mostly contained to the room of origin, but some flames, smoke, and heat escaped to other areas. He said that due to the age of the home, it was probably a total loss. “There was some structural damage,” he explained. He added that the home was insured.

The fire did not reach a cargo van parked in the driveway, nor a shed that was next to the home.

The home did have two operating smoke detectors, which Fraser said were going off when they arrived on scene. “Unfortunately some flames that spread across the ceiling melted them,” he said.

The Sand Lake Fire Department assisted Cedar Springs at the scene.

Fraser said that it took about 20 minutes to get the fire knocked down, and a total of 2-1/2 hours before they cleared the scene. “The cold temperatures factored into the cleanup,” said Fraser, who explained that hoses stuck to the ground, and one was impossible to fold. “The cold also takes its toll on the firefighters,” he said. Temperatures dipped to about 10 degrees overnight.

Fraser said that the couple has family in the park that they are now staying with.

The fire is still under investigation.

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Resident helps put out fire


 

The quick thinking of a Nelson Township resident probably helped save his home from burning down, according to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser.

Cedar Springs and Sand Lake Fire Departments were dispatched to a structure fire at 6590 19 Mile, at 2:03 a.m., Friday, February 20. When the first firefighter arrived on scene, Fraser said flames were seen coming through the roof of the attached garage.

Fraser said that the man who lives there, Thomas Gilchrist, was on the roof of the home, throwing snow on the roof of the garage. “With what he did, combined with the firewall, it probably saved his house from burning,” said Fraser.

The Chief said it took firefighters about 25-30 minutes to put out the fire. There is a wood stove in the garage, and Fraser said the fire started in the attic, around the chimney. “It just goes to show that a proper firewall and resistant materials really help in a fire,” he said.

Fraser said the garage wasn’t a loss; it probably just needs a new roof.

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Family homeless after fire


Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by Marty Fraser

Photo by Marty Fraser

A fire that started in a garage destroyed a two-story home in Nelson Township last weekend that had recently been remodeled.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, February 1, at a home at 7788 19 Mile Road, between Myers Lake Avenue and Pine Lake Rd. “The family woke up when they heard a noise in the garage and couple of explosions,” explained Fraser. “They were probably the tires on the minivan and a small car.” Both cars were destroyed in the fire.

Fraser said the first unit arrived at the home of Karl and Kathy Hanes to find the structure well involved and the occupants outside. Home at the time was the mother and four teenagers.

Assisting at the scene was the Sand Lake, Spencer, Courtland and Oakfield Fire Departments. “It took approximately two hours to knock the bulk of the fire down, and about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to knock down hot spots. We were on the scene a total of six hours,” explained Fraser.

The home was a total loss. Fraser said that the interior of the home was compromised so they had to attack the fire strictly from the outside. The cause was undetermined.

The family does have insurance, and the Red Cross put them up temporarily in one of their Red Cross houses. Anyone who would like to help the Hanes family, should contact the Red Cross.

 

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Fire starts in cemetery


Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

Firefighters were called to Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs about 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, on a grass fire.

Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a pile of grass clippings smoking toward the back of the cemetery.

Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser said it might have been started by fireworks. Several remnants of fireworks, including an unused match, were littered across the area.

The Fire department had the fire out within minutes of arrival.

 

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Fire Chief sworn in


Fire Chief Marty Fraser. Post photo by J. Reed.

Marty Fraser, recently selected as the new Cedar Springs Fire Chief, was sworn in at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting last week Thursday, April 12.

Police Chief Roger Parent has been serving as interim Fire Chief for the last year, with Fraser serving as Deputy Chief. Fraser is a 35-year veteran of the department and has served in various roles. He has been a first responder since 1990.

Fraser publicly thanked Parent for his help with the department and how he’s helped during this transition.

Parent thanked Fraser, too, saying his 10 months as fire chief would not have been as easy without him.

 

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