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A highly successful regional approach for providing fire protection and emergency medical services to South Haven area residents and property owners has been extended for another 25 years.
The governing boards of the City of South Haven and townships of Casco, Geneva and South Haven have each approved the extension of the agreement thru 2044. The pact received approval from South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) Authority at their March 7 meeting.
In 1994 the city was facing financial challenges in the operation of ambulance (EMS) service through its fire department. The city was providing fire and EMS services on a contractural basis to South Haven township and the western half of Geneva Township. Casco township operated its own fire department.
A task force consisting of residents and officials from each of the four government agencies was formed and came to the conclusion that an “emergency services authority” be established. In 1995 it became the first such authority to be created in Michigan with funding based on the taxable property value for fire protection and population for ambulance service.
“SHAES has been a huge success and has raised the bar as an example of regional cooperation,” said South Haven Township Supervisor Ross Stein who is also Chair of the SHAES Authority Board.
Today the department has 16 fulltime and 30 paid-on-call staff operating from three stations. The department responded to over 2,000 calls for service in 2018, according to Executive Director Ron Wise.
“We continue to receive several requests each year from fire departments and communities across the State inquiring on the formula to share costs on a consistent basis taking life and property into account,” said Wise.
The SHAES budget in 2018 was just under $2.7 million. The Authority derives its income from each of the governmental units, the Van Buren County ambulance millage and ambulance user fees.
The city of South Haven in 2018 funded 22% of the budget followed by Casco township 17%, South Haven township 11%, and Geneva township 9%. The Van Buren County ambulance millage and user fees each provided 20% of the budget.
South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) is accepting applications for its Summer Beach Internship positions.
The deadline for applying is March 29, 2019.
See job description and application form – http://www.shaes.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=public:employment
South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) and City of South Haven Police Department are now better equipped to handle serious bleeding emergencies with Stop the Bleed kits thanks to a citizen-led initiative.
Twenty-two kits were recently purchased through a fund raiser organized by resident Sandy Fenske. Local residents donated money towards the purchase of the kits that have been placed in every city police vehicle, SHAES fire apparatus and support vehicles that would be called to an incident where victims may have serious bleeding.
Pictured, left to right: Police Chief Natalie Thompson, Sandy Fenske, SHAES Chief Ron Wise
“SHAES ambulances already have the needed equipment, but may not always be the first to arrive on scene,” said SHAES Chief Ron Wise. “The small kit can be easily grabbed by a responding firefighter or police officer and its contents quickly applied to a wound thus increasing the patient’s chance of survival.”
The kits include a tourniquet, large absorbent pressure dressing, compressed gauze for packing an uncontrolled bleeding wound, scissors for removing clothing and protective gloves.
“The kits allow for a much more robust supply of lifesaving equipment for our first responders,” said Police Chief Natalie Thompson. “Having the kits in all vehicles allows for a greater response capability in case of a multi-patient incident that could be spread out over large area.”
Sandy Fenske got the idea after watching an episode of the CBS television show “60 Minutes”. She contacted Chief Wise to see if the community's first responders could benefit from having the kits. She immediately reached out to friends who generously supported the project with their contributions.
“Today, the most prevalent call on everyone’s mind is an active shooter incident, but beyond that type of scenario, these kits will be vital to early-arriving first responders at accident scenes or non-violent injury situations,” said Wise
“Thank you to my South Haven friends for their donations and SHAES for their support,” said Sandy Fenske. ” I know we all hope and pray that South Haven will never have an incident where this life saving equipment will be needed. Perhaps in the future we can also place these devises in all our schools as a safety measure.”
See 2018 in Review in Photos – http://www.shaes.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=public:2018_review
Read Complete Annual Report – http://www.shaes.org/dokuwiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=public:2018_shaes_annual_report.pdf
South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES) responded to more than 2,000 calls for the sixth consecutive year according to the department’s Annual Report for 2018.
SHAES serves the city of South Haven and the townships of Casco, Geneva and South Haven from three stations.
“A dedicated staff and a supportive community continues to allow us to provide a very high level of service,” said Chief Ronald Wise.
The 2,085 responses were the fifth highest in department history. The all-time record is 2,276 in 2016.
There were 579 fire alarm responses and 1,506 medical calls in 2018. There were 955 responses in the city of South Haven, followed by 415 in South Haven township, 349 in Geneva township and 304 in Casco township. SHAES provided mutual aid to other fire departments on 62 occasions and received assistance 31 times.
Property losses from fire in 2018 totaled $709,000 compared to $316,500 in 2017. Geneva township experienced the biggest fire loss ($457,000), followed by the city of South Haven at $145,500. Next were South Haven township ($58,000) and Casco township ($48,500).
There were no civilian fire-related injuries or injuries in 2018. There was four incidents in which a firefighter was injured in either at an emergency scene or a training exercise.
The department is comprised of 16 fulltime staff and 37 paid-on-call firefighters. The department continued an expanded community-wide pre-planning and inspection program. Staff has now completed pre-fire surveys at 448 of the 516 businesses in the SHAES coverage area. There were also 139 short-term rental inspections during the year.
The department continued its active public education programs with safety presentations to nearly 1,900 people at schools, senior living facilities, businesses and to civic groups. An estimated 450 children and adults attended the annual Fire Safety Fun Night.
A power point program highlighting the history of the department and explaining current SHAES services was developed for presentation to community groups.
During 2018 the department acquired a new 4×4 Paramedic Ambulance and state-of-the-art battery-powered Jaws of Life rescue tools.