Thursday, September 23, 2021

Safety first

Donations fund fire safety equipment services for city businesses

Nearly 50 small business owners in Westland got some unexpected help from the city fire department where funds are now available to pay for the servicing of fire safety equipment.

The Westland Fire Administration Public Awareness Committee officially announced the funding for the program last month. The nonprofit group members hosted a summer raffle and generated $10,000 to be used to service 49 businesses in the city.

The businesses are those selected through the Westland CARES program, a city fund to assist struggling business owners and their employees. Grants to the 49 local businesses ranged from $1,000 to $10,000, officials said.

The grant funds were used to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic and keep employees paid. 

On hand to explain the new program at the official opening last month were Mayor William R. Wild, Fire Chief James Morris, Fire Marshall Kelly Eggers, President and CEO of the Westland Chamber of Commerce Gretchen Heinicke and several Westland business owners who will benefit from the new program. 

“The City of Westland Fire Department's Westland Fire Administration Public Awareness Committee is dedicated to enhancing the administration's efforts to further assist these businesses,” commented Eggers.

“These services can typically cost the business owners anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars annually depending on the type of occupancy and their associated fire protection systems,” Morris added.

“The COVID-19 virus has significantly impacted all of our lives this past year,” commented  Wild. “The statewide closings and government implemented restrictions have drastically affected the ability of small business owners to pay ongoing expenses.”

The committee has already begun servicing the fire extinguishers, emergency exit lighting, and fire suppression systems making the businesses fire safe and code compliant for one year. To make the raised dollars stretch, the fire committee has teamed up with local service provider Quality Fire. 

“On behalf of the Westland Chamber of Commerce members and the Westland business community, I would like to thank the City of Westland, Mayor Wild and his administration, the Westland Fire Department and the Westland community for their continued support of our Westland businesses, especially these past 17 months,” commented Heinicke. 

“Westland is committed to continuing to assist our local business community through these difficult times and we are very grateful to the Westland Fire Administration's Public Awareness Committee for their compassion and support,” Wild concluded.