Neighborly help benefits all

Grand Haven officials hope their recent collaboration celebration stokes the fires of partnerships for years to come.
Alex Doty
Jul 24, 2014


Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke, Mayor Geri McCaleb and City Manager Pat McGinnis attended recent community meetings to celebrate the collaborative work.

“The mayor and I, and Pat, have kind of been on a road trip recently,” Hawke said. “This started this past spring with a conversation between Pat and I about some really tough, cold, harsh fires we had this past winter and what very good support we had.”

When several serious winter fires occurred, Hawke said the city had immediate assistance from neighboring communities. The city has a mutual aid relationship with all fire authorities in the region.

“Without our mutual aid partners, the service we provide to our citizens would be greatly diminished,” Hawke said. “We all count on each other in times of major emergencies.”

The city is especially connected with the Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and Grand Haven Township fire departments.

At the neighboring community meetings, Hawke and McCaleb presented each of the respective fire chiefs with a ceramic wall hanging for their departments. Local artist Brad Patterson created four hangings with a representation of a traditional fire scramble surrounded by the initials of each fire department.

Grand Haven Township Fire Chief Tom Gerencer said mutual aid agreements have proven beneficial.

“We’re not wasting resources by doing mutual aid and automatic aid,” he explained. “It’s very helpful and it makes our community stronger. I always say ‘safety in numbers’ when it comes to fighting fires.”

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



More BS... It's only because GH City cut the fire service to the poit they have know one on shift or in the backup plan except to lean on the other communities and TWP's This is not about mutual aid packs either. All this has done has increased run volume and cost increases to the tax payer. Mutual aid agreements have been around the Tri-Cities for many many years. They use that term "Mutual Aid Response" today very loose. I ask the question why GH City does not hire more volunteer fire fighters then if they have the need for help.


Why don't you pony up some of that lawyer money and donate for more fireman.


How about using the money wasted on Grand Landing...


I would chalk this off as ignorance on your part but you and I both know that this is not the whole truth. You are ignorant to a certain extent about how Public Safety and other area departments conduct business today, but for the most part your statements are purposely misleading. Your agenda here has deep "family" roots and you skew the facts into a negative light just to serve your own agenda and dislike for Public Safety. You and your family's glory days are in the past. This is all just a bunch of internet bravado on your part.


Ever proof read before posting?
I think mutual aid agreement between all the area departments is awesome. Just because a department hires say 30 part paid or volunteer people doesnt mean all 30 people are always around. At anyone time you may get 12 guys total for a fire from each department. Its a great idea if you think about it and spot being so negative towars public safety.


sure you do with making 35-40.00 for the first hour and 25.00/hr after. So if the incident is in the city... 4 guys from the road and maybe 4-6 from the office. and 3 from GH twp fire... they are all fulltime people on the day shift. In the day GH City fire was able to handle a house fire with 5 guys. But you would not remember that being so young... Get the lastest issue of fire house news and drum some more BS.


Well said twpguy. It's always straight to the negative. Nothing related to public safety can ever be positive. God forbid these men and women work together. Anyone with any common sense knows these area departments rely highly on volunteer or paid on call firefighters who are not always available. People can never support a good thing that these departments have working together and being willing to help each other out whenever it is needed. I think what GH did was a positive thing and proves the relationship these departments all have together. No matter how much complaining certain individuals do everytime they are in the paper, you know who you are, these people show up next time and work together just like every time. Might as we face it, area fire departments working together is going to become more regular. It's reality, might as well wipe the tears away and let these guys do their job and respect them for it


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