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Somerset Township Fire and EMS
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Fire Chief

If a township has established a fire department, the township board is authorized to employ a chief, fire fighters, and officers as required.  MCL 41.806 requires that, in general law townships, the township board hires the fire chief, fire fighters, and officers. A fire chief has statutory authority to perform fire-related duties that is separate from the authority delegated by the township board. The Fire Prevention Code Act, Public Act 207 of 1941, conveys certain specific authority and obligations on fire chiefs, and provides very broad authority to fire chiefs to abate dangerous conditions (MCL 29.7a).

The International Association of Fire Chiefs has promulgated a Fire Chief's Code of Ethics.

Fire Chief: Scott Friess

Assistant Chief: Richard Sleeman

The Board of Trustees is proud to be able to provide 24/7 Staffed Fire and EMS service. Thank you to the residents for continuing to support a local department.

Burn Permits are required for large bonfires, waste fires of organic materials, etc. Please call the township offices, 517-688-4406 to arrange. 





Interesting ‘tidbits”--about the Department or Fire Service in General A brief history of the Maltese Cross
 News --about the Department or Fire Service in General
Significant Past Events April 4th 1998 - Water Rescue at Lake Somerset  
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Past Training Events

State of Michigan guidelines currently require 36 hours of ongoing fire training annually, and an additional 12 hours of hazardous materials training. In order to keep things interesting and provide our crew with the most realistic experience we can, we make an effort to provide as much hands-on experience in non-emergent situations as we can. On the pages linked below, you can see photos of some of our monthly fire training events.

We are also required to keep up our 'continuing education' credits for our medical licenses, according to the individual's level of licensure. If you are a volunteer and licensed by the state of Michigan as an MFR or EMT, you are welcome to join us for our monthly 'rescue' training sessions. Just bring a letter from your Chief stating you are a volunteer. If you are a paid MFR or EMT, please contact the Fire Chief if you would like to attend. The rescue training schedule can be found on our Calendar page.

The Somerset Township Fire Department and EMS was founded September 1, 1977 when a group of concerned citizens realized that the township needed a Fire Department. Through months of hard work and dedication, the group obtained the equipment and training necessary to start the department. On June 1, 1979 the department went into service.
The department has grown continuously since in its capabilities and the service it is able to provide to township citizens. On September 1, 1994, the department began providing a Medical First Responder rescue service. On October 22, 2008 we started our own Basic Life Support ambulance with our Paramedics responding out of Addison. On July 1, 2008 we began staffing our department 24 hours /7 days a week. On July 1, 2010 we upgraded our Basic Life Support Service to an Advanced Life Support Service with our own Paramedics.
It is interesting to note that from 1996 - Present Somerset Township Fire Department has been the second busiest in terms of call volume of all Hillsdale County including the City of Hillsdale. This is due to the size of our Township coupled with the population density of our lake areas.
The Department currently operates with 8 apparatus and over 30 Paid on Call personnel. The apparatus includes a 2006 Pumper: a Crimson 1500/1000 on a Spartan 6-man cab, 2013 Tanker: a Spartan ERV 2000 gallons on a Kenworth Chassis, 2009 Pumper/Tanker: a Crimson 2500 gallon on a 6-man Spartan Chassis. There are 2- Grass Rigs for field and grass fires. One of the Grass Rigs carries a portable pump capable of pumping 500 gallons per minute to fill the tankers from lakes, ponds, or streams. We have 2 ambulance's for medical emergencies and accidents. One which is licenced with the State of Michigan for Advanced Life Support. Finally, we have a Rescue Boat designed especially for water rescue and a mobile training unit. It is important to note that we were able to purchase the Rescue One boat primarily from private funds raised by fire department personnel. The cost to the township has been minimal, and yet this boat has added immensely to our capabilities.
Somerset Township Fire Department currently has Thirteen Paramedics, Fourteen EMT Basics, and Two Medical First Responders. The department also has 30 persons trained in Hazardous Materials to the operational level. Besides the State required Firefighter training, there are monthly medical continuing education trainings and monthly fire trainings. These are required to keep up with State mandated fire and medical licenses.
Besides the fire and rescue work that the members provide to the community, Somerset Township Fire Department also hosts or co-hosts several community events. These include an annual Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Open House. Each November, we have our annual Feather Party.