County fire department ‘not properly’ trained, certified under law

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To the Editor,

My name is Emely Schiff. I live in the town of Clayton, Michigan, which is in Lenawee County. I belong to a group of concerned residents and community members who have discovered and tried to bring an issue before the fire board and governing bodies in regard to the problems occurring at the Clayton Fire Department.

One of the major problems we as a community are dealing with is that our Fire Chief and three of his officers do not have the proper training and certification to hold their current positions according to Michigan State law. That law is MIOSHA Part 74; guidelines for firefighter training; also the Michigan Firefighter Training Council; and NIMS (National Incident Management System).

The Fire Chief and his three officers do not have NIMS training and certification that include 700 and 800-required at all levels for all firefighters; NIMS 300 and 400 required for all Company Officers; NIMS ICS (Incident Command System) training-required at all levels; Michigan Firefighter Training Council- Firefighter I and II-required for all Company officers; Michigan Firefighter Training Council-Officer I and II-required for all Company Officers and Officer III level training-required for all Supervisory Officers.

The group has been able to get a FOIA request to obtain their training records,which are available upon request and are public record. NIMS certification is vital when taking over an emergency incident or situation; yet neither the Fire ChIef or his officers are NIMS certified.

This can create disasterous results for our town when we need state aid or assistance from FEMA. This is a huge liability and risk for us if a natural disaster occurs.

This issue has been brought up before the fire board and governing bodies with no results. We are at the mercy of untrained and uncertified individuals and we as a community face dire consequences if an injury or death occurs.

We are asking that you investigate this matter. Perhaps if it were Detroit or another major city, the media would take notice and interest. Clayton is miniscule in comparison.

Nonetheless, the lives of our residents and fellow firefighters are at stake... God forbid something tragic happens… is that when the interest of the story will begin?

Emely Schiff
Clayton




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