The firefighters were sworn in by Northville Township Clerk Roger Lundberg in a township hall ceremony in front of friends and family. Each firefighter is also a paramedic.
Public service officials said that rising population rates in the township have reached nearly 32,000 which impacts requests for service. This hiring, they said, matches staffing with current incident volume.
Fire calls for service have increased by nearly 49 percent since 2012 as township population has grown. In 2021, the Northville Township Fire Department responded to more than 3,100 incidents, they noted.
The hiring also helps Northville Township prepare for the future, officials said, as they expect to break ground on an essential services complex on the Seven Mile Road property of Legacy Park.
The new complex will include 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 groundbreaking in late summer/early fall of 2023. It will be built without any new taxes, officials stressed.
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.”
Each recruit is an experienced firefighter, hailing from the following community fire departments: Ferndale, Garden City, Westland, Canton Township and Wayne.
The fire team organized a hiring open house on their own to invite possible candidates to determine if they had any interest in joining the township department.
“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,” noted Northville Township Fire Chief Brent Siegel.
“We are confident that Northville Township is in good hands,” said 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.”
Northville Township Fire Department personnel average more than 6,000 hours of training annually because of the large scope of services the department provides, officials said.
Joining the township fire department 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 sergeant); 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 which handles fire suppression, emergency medical service (EMS) and rescues including 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 cardiac arrest survival rates, which are three times greater than elsewhere in the state and nation.
The Northville Township Fire Department is also is a member of the Western Wayne County Fire Department Mutual Aid Association, the Western Wayne County Hazardous Materials Response Team and the West Wayne County Urban Search and Rescue Team.
“We appreciate all of the support our community gives to our fire team,” Siegel said. “When you see us out and about, we hope you will say hello welcome the seven new faces with open arms.”