3 new fire fighters welcomed in Plymouth Township

Jan. 18, 2019  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News




Don Howard

Staff Writer

Jubilant Plymouth Township officials, board members, and the family and friends of three newly-hired firefighters were on hand Monday morning at Township Hall to witness the swearing-in ceremony, administered by Township Clerk Jerry Vorva.

Experienced firefighters and licensed paramedics Bruce Van Gemert, Jr., Nolan Gilo and Richard Inman will immediately join the ranks of the township department that has been understaffed for almost 7 years after suffering a severe cutback in 2012.

Last year, township voters approved a public safety millage to facilitate the hiring of the additional staff and provide for the replacement of a 30-year-old fire engine along with the purchase of a new ambulance. The new employees will bring the total staff count up to the recommended level of 24 firefighters.

Fire Chief Dan Phillips said one firefighter is a replacement after a department retirement and the other new members are to be considered new staff, giving the department an average of eight firefighters on-duty per day.

Township Supervisor Kurt Heise said the addition of the new firefighters will allow them to keep Station 2 open full-time, provide faster EMS response and  reduce overtime costs.

“Thanks to the strong support of our public safety millage last year, and our township’s smart financial planning, we are keeping our promise to make public safety a priority again,” he said.

Van Gemert, Jr., 34, a Ypsilanti resident, has worked for the Ypsilanti Fire Department and the Van Buren Township Fire Department since 2014. He has also served on the Western Wayne County and Washtenaw County Hazmat Teams.

Gilo, 22, a Plymouth Township resident was a former on-call City of Plymouth firefighter and worked for both the Wayne and Inkster fire departments. Inman, 30, of Berkley is a retired U.S. Army veteran who previously worked in the private sector for various ambulance companies.

According to Heise, future plans for the fire department include the purchase of a new fire engine in 2020, new life-saving equipment for firefighters, and later this year an update of the 9-1-1 dispatch system plus upgrades and improvements to Fire Station 2 which serves Lake Pointe, the largest subdivision in the township.

Phillips said the new hires and positive changes to equipment and staffing levels have been long-awaited.

“The three new firefighters that were sworn-in today will increase the safety of every township resident,” Phillips said.


Plymouth Voice.

Photo: © Don Howard / Associated Newspapers

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