Attendance at an open house June 25 at the Yankee Springs Fire Station exceeded planners estimates. They had 200 hot dogs to grill, potato chips, water and cookies to pass out for the noon to 3 p.m. event. They headed to the store for more hot dogs and bottled water before 1 p.m. because they were running out.
The visitors could pick up a hot dog, talk to fire station personnel, watch an extrication demonstration and look at equipment that serves area residents.
The parking lot at the corner of M-179 highway and Payne Lake road was crowded with two grass rigs, two all-terrain vehicles, a Medical First Responder unit, an ambulance, Michigan State Police with K-9 Pito, a ladder truck, two fire engines and two antique fire trucks. The Genesis Company demonstrated the latest in battery operated extrication equipment, something the department would like to have in the future.
Wayland Deputy Fire Chief Dan Miller worked part time at the station for several months before the official April 1 transfer date for emergency services from Thornapple Township Emergency Services to the Wayland Fire Department and Wayland Area Ambulance Service.
He now works 20 hours a week, taking care of matters at the station and maintaining equipment. He said growth of the service is beyond where he expected it to be today.
“We have personnel up to 15 from the Gun Lake area,” with a goal of 20. We have a emergency medical technician, medical first responder and paramedic; the backbone of emergency services,” he said. Miller credits a new electronic sign at the station and social media for the interest in volunteering for the fire-fighting service.
“ A lot of volunteer hours went into the service here since we got up and running in April. We’re beyond happy with where we are,” he said.
Photos: (top) Josiah Commans, 10 from Dorr, checks out driving a fire engine at the June 25 Yankee Spring Fire Station Open House.
(upper right) An equipment van is stocked and ready to roll.Visitors inspected the facility and the equipment available for emergency services to Yankee Springs Township.
(lower left) Genesis employees demonstrate portable battery operated extrication equipment that would let fire fighters take them into houses or out in farmer’s fields.