Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Greenfield Fire Department

Greenfield Fire Chief Jim Roberts spoke to Kiwanis at a recent meeting. Beginning with a little personal history, Roberts told that he served as a volunteer fireman before joining the force. He had always been interested in firefighting and served for 18 years before being appointed Fire Chief. Becoming Chief was one of his life goals and he is enjoying the position. He oversees two stations, the downtown location as well as the newer station on New Road. The stations have two ambulances plus reserve vehicles, a tanker and a ladder truck in the downtown location, rescue trucks plus other fire engines. When questioned about need for a ladder truck when Greenfield does not have high rise buildings, he explained that what Greenfield has are “wide buildings” that they need the capability to reach over the top to apply water to fires.

There are 46 career fire fighters, EMTs and Paramedics associated with the department. Constant training is part of the job. There are 28 Volunteer staff members and they participate in 24 hours of training per month to stay active and are paid a small monthly stipend. Firemen serve 24 hour shifts with 13 members per shift serving.

Approximately 3,000 runs per year are made with 80% of them being ambulance runs. Each run consists of an ambulance and fire rescue vehicle to ensure that the patient is treated as quickly as possible. A question about Life Line answered that the fire or police department makes the call about when they should be called and where they should land, depending on the circumstance.

The Greenfield area covers 52 square miles of Greenfield and Center Township and serves basically all of Hancock County on a mutual aid agreement.

Besides fire and emergency runs, the department does 700-800 Commercial inspections per year to make sure fire codes are met. They also do Fire Safety education for schools and pre-schools and homes for elderly.

A cadet program in conjunction with the high school provides training in fire fighting to students. Four former cadets are presently serving as Volunteer firemen.

An additional duty is checking and maintaining apparatus and equipment. Most meals are cooked on site and each shift handles duties differently.

Present goals include finding and purchasing land to build a third station.

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Greenfield Kiwanians perform service projects to help people and organizations. We also perform service projects to raise funds to support Riley Children's Hospital and many local charities.