Don’t Count on Mutual Aid: “Let it Burn”

From the Grand Rapids Press Series

Interesting discussions and dialog coming from the Grand Rapids Press and a series of articles on fire service delivery , capabilities, ratings and finances. The Series was written by Jim Harger a reporter for the Grand Rapids Press. An examination and comparison of staffing levels, training, service delivery and budgets was presented. Budget issues, efficiencies and operations seem to be the issues.


SUNDAY: Who’s in your fire department? Some communities have full-time firefighters on duty around the clock, while others rely on paid-on-call volunteers.

MONDAY: What does the future hold? Grand Rapids is looking at new methods and mergers with neighbors as it prepares to cut $3 million a year in costs.

TUESDAY: How safe is your neighborhood? We list the insurance industry ratings for each of the 50 Kent and Ottawa county fire departments.

An excerpt from the Grand Rapids Press, accessed (HERE) on June 2, 2011;

City Manager Greg Sundstrom said he’s getting tired of having his firefighters put out fires in the neighboring suburb of Grand Rapids Township.“Just know that if you buy a house in Grand Rapids Township and it starts on fire, say goodbye. That’s how it is,” said Sundstrom in remarks to city commissioners Tuesday.

Sundstrom was commenting in the wake of a Grand Rapids Press series that highlighted the differences between urban, suburban and rural fire departments. The series highlighted a May 5 Grand Rapids Township house fire in which Grand Rapids firefighters were called to assist.

Then there’s another quote from the City Manager on another issue HERE and a grant issue HERE

Faced with making cuts in the city’s 203-person fire department’s $29 million budget, Sundstrom said he resents being lectured by township officials about the examples they set of fiscal prudence.

What makes this such an intriguing series and article is the follow-up that the has the Grand Rapids city manager lashing out over the fire department being called to help neighboring township. (HERE).

Manager Greg Sundstrom said he doesn't need lectures from neighboring communities. Grand Rapids Press File PhotoCity

Direct Links to the Series below;
How does your township fire department rate? See our map with safety ratings
Here’s a link to the city manager’s reaction:
This story also surfaced during the newspaper’s  investigation:
One has to wonder if the right people have read any of the following reports, studies or publications or if they have the “right stuff”on their radar screens…(see HERE;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *