Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The Peninsula Fire Department hosted an open house at Station 1 in Mapleton on Saturday.

Although the weather turned chilly, plenty of Old Mission Peninsula residents turned out to see the new fire engine and tanker, eat some hotdogs, and watch a demonstration of the Jaws of Life.

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Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: New Engine 1 with Tiny Driver at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: New Engine 1 at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo

New Engine and Tanker Offer Better Services

The new Engine 1 was officially welcomed to the Peninsula Fire Department on June 27, 2019. Here’s a video of the swearing in of the new engine.

The retired Engine 1, which served the OMP community for 25 years, has already been sent off to the Northwest Regional Fire Training Center.

At the Peninsula Township Board meeting last week, Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff said this is an important tool for training both PFD fire personnel, as well as others in northwest Michigan. He also noted that former Fire Chief Rich VanderMey helped to set up the center years ago.

The new tanker, which arrived on the Old Mission Peninsula in September, holds 3000 gallons of water (1000 more than the old tanker), and the hoses are 80 feet long (60 feet longer than the old hose).

Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: New Tanker at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo

Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff says this not only brings more water to the scene during a fire incident, but it gives the team the ability to access water from the bays at numerous areas on the Peninsula.

PFD Gives Jaws of Life Demonstration

The PFD crew did a Jaws of Life demonstration during the open house, showing how the device is used to tear a vehicle down. Gilstorff said it’s a matter of removing the vehicle around the person, which then helps to extract the person from the vehicle.

Here’s a video and a few photos.

Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Jaws of Life demonstration at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo

Advanced Life Support Saves Lives

Last year, the fire department became certified in advanced life support services, bringing medications, heart monitors and defibrillators to folks in their homes or wherever they may be on the Old Mission Peninsula. That’s important when every second counts after a 911 call is made.

They also began staffing Fire Station 2 with personnel 24/7. For more info, read our story published last year.

New Fire Station 3 in the Works

As we recently reported, Peninsula Township is in the process of building a new Fire Station 3 on the north end of the Peninsula.

This station will not only provide faster fire and emergency care to residents on the north end, but will also help improve the fire department’s ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating, resulting in better insurance premiums for homeowners in that area.

Reflective Signs Offer Visibility 

When responding to a 911 call, precious time is often wasted trying to find an address when the mailbox isn’t numbered on both sides or not at all.

Gilstorff said they would like to see more mailboxes have numbers on both sides, allowing good visibility no matter which direction emergency personnel are coming from.

Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo

To that end, the fire station offers reflective signs to make your home address highly visible any time of day or night, at a cost of only $15.

To order your reflective sign, or if you have questions about anything, call the Peninsula Fire Department at (231)223-4443. They will also help with placement of the sign.

Check out a few more photos from the open house…

Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Fire Department Open House on the Old Mission Peninsula, 10-12-19
Oct. 12, 2019: Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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