Oct. 12, 2019: New Tanker at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
Oct. 12, 2019: New Tanker at the Peninsula Fire Department Open House | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Need a cheery birthday parade? Wondering if you can burn that brushpile? Pondering whether to call 911 if you think you’re having a heart attack? (The answer to that would be yes.) Here’s a roundup of news out of the Peninsula Township Fire Department.

Birthday Parades

The Peninsula Fire Department is helping OMPers of all ages celebrate their birthdays. In this time of COVID-19 when we can’t get together with friends and family for those special moments, a cheery “Birthday Parade” led by the Peninsula Fire Department is an uplifting way to celebrate.

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If someone you know is in need of a little something extra on their birthday, consider surprising them with a Birthday Parade. Call the Peninsula Fire Department at (231) 223-4443 to set it up. They will even sing “Happy Birthday”! Check out one OMPer’s special day here, and watch the video below.

Yes, They Are Responding to All Calls 24/7

While the Peninsula Township Fire Department buildings continue to be closed to the public except in the event of an emergency, rest assured that the team is still responding to all calls for help. However, if you need to do business with the fire department, do it by phone, if at all possible.

With the increasing risk of the COVID-19 virus, the department is taking many precautionary steps to ensure the safety of both firefighters and OMP residents. One of these steps is social distancing, which limits their exposure to others. But know that they are still here for us and will continue to respond to all calls for emergencies. If you have any questions, give them a call at (231) 223-4443.

As noted in yesterday’s Executive Order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, health clinics across the region remain open and ready to safely serve any medical need, including general health and follow-up care. When immediate medical attention is needed, know that it is safe to call 911 and access emergency services at your local hospital. Pay attention to signs and symptoms of other health issues such as heart attack or stroke and seek immediate medical attention by dialing 911.

Most Burn Permits Suspended Across Michigan

According to the Michigan DNR’s Fire Management page, most burn permits are suspended across the state. Burning yard debris is the top cause of wildfires in Michigan, and suspending burn permits reduces the potential for wildfires, which in turns limits the risk of exposing first responders to the CoronaVirus, ensuring that trained personnel and equipment are available to assist with COVID-19 response as needed.

However, that doesn’t mean all burning is banned. The Michigan DNR has a map online here, which tells you if you’re allowed to burn brush, stumps, tree limbs, leaves, evergreen needles, grass and other debris. When you click on your county on the map, if ‘yes’ appears in the ‘Burning Permits Issued’ column on your county, “you are authorized to burn that day. This serves as your burn permit – you don’t need to print anything.”

There are also some guidelines and exemptions for agricultural burning. Check them out here.

Thank You, Town Board and OMP Residents

From the Fire Department’s Facebook Page this week (“Like” it to stay up-to-date):

“The Peninsula Township Fire Department would like to thank the residents and the Town Board for continuing to support us and check in on us. We have received so many calls from residents to just say “Thank You” for being here for them. This means the world to our whole staff. 

“We miss being able to see our residents and converse with them in public. We know this is short term and things will get back to normal here in the future. In the meantime, please keep up with all the requested actions that have been put into place to keep us all safe. We are still here for all of you and are proud to serve this beautiful community. Stay safe and have a blessed day.”


Shine Your Light for Firefighters

Nearly everyone knows a firefighter – especially in our small community on the Old Mission Peninsula. They’re our family, friends and co-workers. They show up at school, church and library events. They bring their trucks to the 4th of July Old Mission Parade. They respond to our calls for help without hesitation, and they serve our community with pride and compassion.

International Firefighters Day is being celebrated on May 4, 2020, and for the first time, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is inviting communities to celebrate firefighters by lighting their homes in “red” on that day. It’s easy – simply change out your porch light with a red bulb.

If you like, share your story or red-light photos on social media as a way to thank all firefighters – including our Peninsula Fire Department – for keeping us safe. Use the hashtag #ShineYourLight4Firefighters with your social media posts.

You can also post your firefighter tribute on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation here, and help the organization to support firefighters and their families by donating on May 5, 2020, a “Giving Tuesday Now” global day of giving, using the hashtag #Give2NFFFNow. Learn more here.

Also, if you need red lightbulbs, consider buying them through the Foundation’s Amazon Associates link here, which helps to support the organization.

SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: 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. Thank you so much for your support! -Jane Boursaw, Editor/Publisher, Old Mission Gazette

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation.

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