Ludington Fire Department runs increased in 2013

March 24, 2014
Ludington Fire Department assisted at the Applebee's fire in Amber Township earlier this year.

Ludington Fire Department assisted at the Applebee’s fire in Amber Township earlier this year.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Ludington Fire Department responded to 262 calls in 2013, an increase from 253 in 2012 but a decrease to 277 in 2012. Fire Chief Jerry Funk presented the department’s annual report during the regular meeting of the city council Monday night.

The majority of the department’s calls, 86, were medical calls, which accounted for 33% of the department’s activities. Funk said LFD does not respond on all medical calls but rather only when requested by EMS.

The department responded to eight structure fires in the city, 25 minor fires in the city and five mutual aid fires along with 50 vehicle extrications. LFD’s rescue unit conducts vehicle extrications east to Stiles Road, north to Hamlin Lake and south to the county line.

In 2013 there was one fatal fire in the city.

Funk said several of the city’s 20 firefighters have been on the department for a long time. Four of the department’s officers, joined the department in the early 1970s. They include Funk, 1970; Assistant Chief Ron Jabrocki, 1971; Capt. Gary Lange, 1971 and Lt. Fred Hackert, 1971. Lt. Bruce Pelletier joined in 1978.

He said in anticipation of retirements, an effort is underway to train senior firefighters more about the command structure, especially when assessing a scene.

Three firefighters recently completed the firefighter I and II training program, which consisted of 245 hours of training over five months. “This was all donated time,” Funk said. “They don’t get paid for that.”

Ludington’s firefighters are paid on a yearly salary. Most of the other fire departments in Mason County, with the exception of Pere Marquette Township, pay their firefighters by the hour. Carr Fire Department is all volunteer.

Funk said he has made an effort to visit many of the city’s industrial sites this year. Later this year there will be two drills held at House of Flavors ice cream manufacturing. One will be a fire drill and another will be an ammonia leak simulation. A few years ago such an incident occurred.

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