Custer fire chief in GR hospital after cardiac incident

October 9, 2013


Chief Allison

Chief Allison

CUSTER – Custer Township Fire Chief John Allison is at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids today after he had an apparent heart attack Tuesday night. Allison, who is a farmer and lives south of the Village of Custer, was at home when the incident happened. His family called 911, which meant a response from his own fire department.

Emergency responders reportedly performed CPR on the 52-year-old.

Allison was transported by Life EMS ambulance to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and then flown by Aeromed helicopter to Grand Rapids. Since then he has been placed into a drug-induced coma to allow swelling in his brain to reduce.

“We’re all still in shock over this,” Custer Fire Capt. Darrell Crawford said this afternoon. “John’s a great guy and a great chief.”

Crawford said doctors are not quite sure if Allison actually had a heart attack. He said they won’t be able to perform additional tests until early tomorrow morning.

Many of Custer’s personnel are in Grand Rapids today. To help cover the on-call department’s territory, Scottville, Riverton, Fountain and Branch fire departments will respond to any calls in Custer’s coverage area.

“It’s just what we do,” Joe Cooper, Riverton Fire Chief, said. “We help each other out in a time of need.”

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