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Tag Archive | "Solon Township Fire"

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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Group builds ramp for veteran, helps other vets


Purple Heart Michigan built this ramp for William Gregones on Saturday, July 7. Courtesy photo.

Solon Fire and members of Purple Heart Homes. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Purple Heart Homes West Michigan Chapter and Team Depot made life easier for some of our veterans over the weekend.

On Saturday, July 7, the group met at the Cedarfield Community on 17 Mile Road, next to Meijer, to build their first Dale Beatty Memorial Ramp for U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran William Gregones. The also assisted three World War II veterans with cleaning up around their homes by trimming bushes, mowing the grass, cleaning out and raking flower beds, and power washing their homes.

According to spokesman Doug Pickel, they built the ramp to make it easier for Gregones to get in and out of his home. “That’s what Purple Heart Homes is all about, removing the barriers in their home to improve their quality of life,” explained Pickel.

While planning to build the ramp, he discovered through discussions with community manager Marilyn Doane that there were also three World War II veterans in the park: Tom Sharpe, Clarence Carlon, and Louis Milewski. 

“So I talked with Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 of Muskegon, as well as Combat Vets MC and Solon Township Fire and asked them for help with this random act of kindness for all four. The veterans were very happy for the company and hard work, but most of all the kindness and friendship of the whole day,” remarked Pickel.

Solon Township Fire posted about their experience helping with the project on their Facebook page. “It was a great experience that we were glad to be involved with in our community. Thanks to everyone who was a part of today’s experience,” they wrote.

The ramp was built in memory of Dale Beatty, a founder of Purple Heart Homes and a veteran. Courtesy photo.

The ramp was built in memory of Dale Beatty, one of the founders of Purple Heart Homes who passed away unexpectedly on February 12. “Dale always had a huge heart for our veterans, being a double amputee from the US Army himself, and one of my good friends. So we’re doing these wheelchair ramps in his honor, something he always wanted to do,” explained Pickel.

After the work was done, they held an ice cream social for everyone, and had a special cake for one of the veterans and his wife, Tom and Shirley Sharp, who celebrated their 64th anniversary July 10.

To follow what they are doing, like their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PHHWM/.

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Deadly rollover in Solon Township


car rolled over

A man died in this crash at 18 Mile and Simmons Thursday morning, December 2. Photo courtesy of WOOD-TV8.

A man was killed Thursday morning, December 2, when he slid through the intersection at Simmons and 18 Mile Road in Solon Township about 4:30 a.m.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Christopher Lee Walker, 45, of Cedar Springs, was southbound on Simmons Avenue, approaching 18 Mile Road, when he lost control, left the roadway and rolled his car into a ditch. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Solon Township Fire and Rescue and Rockford Ambulance all assisted at the scene.
According to his obituary, Walker was employed at Irwin Seating, was a member of the Tri-County Eagles, in Sand Lake and the Man Cave, in Howard City and liked to ride his motorcycle.
Funeral services were held Monday at Bliss-Witters & Pike funeral home with interment in Elmwood Cemetery.

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