The Northville Township Fire Department welcomed its largest class of firefighter recruits in a decade Monday.
Seven firefighters/paramedics took the oath of office, creating a 37-member department. The firefighters were sworn in by Northville Township Clerk Roger Lundberg in a Township Hall ceremony in front of friends and family.
They will provide the highest level of fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the community. Each firefighter is also a paramedic.
With the township’s population rates rising to just under 32,000, the move matches staffing with incident volume. Fire calls for service have increased by nearly 49% since 2012 with the township’s growth. In 2021, the Township Fire Department responded to more than 3,100 incidents.
Preparing for growth
The hiring also helps Northville Township prepare for its future. It expects to break ground on an essential services complex on the Seven Mile Road property of Legacy Park. It will house a second fire station, a new Public Safety Headquarters, a new headquarters for Public Works and some storage for Parks and Recreation.
This multi-year project is in the early stages of design and planning with an anticipated ground breaking in late summer/early fall of 2023. It will be built without new taxes. These hirings will allow for this second fire station to be staffed fully.
“This is an exciting day for Northville Township,” said Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “Today we took a step toward a safer community while focusing on further improving service delivery to our residents. We welcome all of our new first responders.”
The fire team organized a hiring open house on their own to invite possible candidates in to see if they’d like to apply to work there. Currently, the fire industry is undergoing a shortage of firefighters, so to get 13 people to show up for the open house and 34 to apply for the positions translated to a success.
“We are confident that Northville Township is in good hands,” said Township Fire Chief Brent Siegel. “Since our first meeting, it was clear that each person we hired was a skilled professional who embraced our emphasis on training and preparation while providing exceptional public service.”
Because the industry is ever evolving, Northville Township Fire Department averages more than 6,000 hours of training annually because of the large scope of services the Department provides. It is completed daily.
Northville Township’s newest recruits, their hometown and their former employer, are:
Frank Dreslinski, Milford Township (formerly Ferndale Fire Department);
Kody Gazdag, Whitmore Lake (formerly Garden City Fire Department);
Peter Michalak, Brighton (formerly Ferndale Fire Department and recently promoted to
Kevin Pietrasinski, Livonia (formerly Wayne Fire Department);
Mackenzie Slowik, Allen Park (formerly Westland Fire Department);
Zachary Sprys-Tellner, Brighton (formerly Canton Fire Department); and
Tom Wilson, White Lake (formerly Westland Fire Department).
Northville Township Fire Department is an all-hazard emergency response department. It handles fire suppression, emergency medical service (EMS) and the following rescues: motor vehicle accidents, open water and ice rescues, hostile incidents (i.e. active shooter), technical rescue (high-angle, collapse, trench, rope, etc.) and hazardous materials mitigation.
It provides Advanced Life Support and prides itself on its cardiac arrest survival rates, which are three times greater than elsewhere in the state and nation.