Press Releases

Mills Township fire gets new truck
Kelly Nankervis, Midland Daily News

In a fire department without many hands for backup at fires, a new pumper tanker could make all the difference.

The Mills Township Fire Department recently put the new $210,000 truck into service, but its big debut will be at the Mills Elementary School carnival in April, said Chief Tim Metzger.

The white truck with blue and lime green stripes down the sides bucks the traditional red, but provides better visibility. It carries 2,000 gallons of water.

Its main job will be to back up the departments pumper truck, as well as to haul water to mutual aid calls. If something happens to the other truck, Metzger said, this truck still has the capability to pump water.

It also has new gadgets to make firefighters' jobs easier, Metzger said.

Among the safety features is a camera mounted to the back of the truck. It feeds to a screen in the cab, showing the driver what's behind the truck, eliminating the need for someone to direct while it's backing.

"Being a department without a lot of manpower to back you up, this is a safety feature," Metzger said.

The truck is an automatic, and improvement over the old stick-shift 1976 tanker it replaces. The clutch on that truck was hard to push in, making it difficult for some to drive.

Dumping water into portable tanks will be an easier proposition -- now done with the push of a button, rather than getting and out of the truck to set up. That's until the new hydrant hose included is needed, with city water coming to areas of the township soon.

Metzger showed off empty storage compartments along the side of the truck, something the older truck also lacked. The plan is to outfit the new truck with the same tools the department's pumper carries.

The truck was purchased from CIS Fire Apparatus in Grayling, with the help of $70,000 from the Dow Foundation. The process of getting a new truck took about one and a half years, and it was ordered in October, Metzger said.


Mills Twp. home burns
Kelly Nankervis, The Midland Daily News

MILLS TOWNSHIP – A woman and two children escaped a house fire just after noon Friday.

Firefighters from the Mills, Hope, Larkin and Edenville fire departments fought the fire at the home, 2286 E. Baker Road.

Smoke billowed from under the home’s eaves while firefighters concentrated on the area around a chimney. Fire trucks filled the driveway and road in front of the house.

Mills Township Fire Chief Tim Metzger said he did not know the cause of the fire while he was on scene, adding he was calling for a fire investigator as standard practice. Wherever the fire began, it went into the roof area, he said.

The home sustained heat and smoke damage, Metzger said. The Red Cross was called.

Homeowner Ted Stinson said the home is heated with a wood stove and that his wife, Sue, was at home when the fire began. She said the family lost one dog.

Two of the family’s four boys were home as well, but got out safely.

While the pair watched firefighters work, they gathered with family and friends in a circle to pray.

"We have a great church family," Sue Stinson said.

Anyone who wants to help the family can do so through Calvary Baptist Church, 6100 N. Perrine Road.


Nills fire department showing off new truck
Kelly Nankervis, The Midland Daily News

The Mills Township Fire Department is showing off its brand spanking new fire truck from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Mills Township Community Park.

The lime green truck with a six-man cab will replace the department’s 1976 model in September. The truck cost a total of $320,000, with $160,000 funded by a grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.

"We’ve been real fortunate," Deputy Chief Tim Metzger said.

Metzger began writing the grant in July 2002. The truck was delivered this July from Crimson Fire in Brandon, S.D. The truck is the first from the manufacturer to be in the state of Michigan, Metzger said.

Firefighters have been training with the truck.

The dedication will take place at noon, with a demonstration of the Jaws of Life at 11 a.m. by the Larkin Township Fire Department. The Midland County Sheriff’s Office, Midland County Emergency Medical Services, mobile command unit and St. Mary’s FlightCare also are scheduled to be at the event.

The park is by the North Midland Family Center, near the corner of Shearer and Sturgeon roads.